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Day 11- Pikes Peak

Day 11-

We had a nice stay at the Eagle Fire Lodge last night. First thing this morning was a stop at the Post Office to ship some things back home that we do not want to carry with us the rest of the trip.







Then down the road a bit is the turn off for the North Pole and Pikes Peak.








Up we go! We've been up this road once before....but it's definitely worth doing a second time.








We got to the entrance...







...and they told us the road was closed to the top. It was open to mile 18, but the last 3 miles (some of the most fun) was closed due to high winds (40-50 mph gusts). AND, even though it was open to mile 18, they did not recommend bikes past mile 15.

HMMMM...we pulled over and looked at the map, seeing what else we might want to ride today. We are spending the next two days riding some great roads in the area with Scott and Karin, so we don't want to ride those today and turn around do them again a day later.

SOOO, we decided to ride on up to mile 18, have lunch, and then maybe they will be able to open up the last 3 miles.






8,000 feet, we have over a mile in elevation more to the top (14,110 ft).








The riding is easy, scenic, and fun down this low....









...as we continue up it starts getting a bit more steep and sharper turns.








I'm not sure how high we are now, but the trees are mostly gone, and the car drivers are freaking out, going ultra slow, I guess they are afraid they will make a mistake and drive off the edge of the road. lol









It is not that windy up here....the winds we battled on the 10 a few days ago make what is up here seem like just a stiff breeze.

The road is definitely getting more fun, and we fortunately do not have a bunch of cars we have to get around to avoid crawling up at 5-10 mph.







We're having fun now!!!!





Three levels of switchbacks in this pic-








Looks a bit like the edge of the world while riding up...









...you wanna stay on the road...it's a ways down off the edge.








If you like curves, you can see why we like this road...I think there are 6 levels in this pic, and the lake we passed on the way up is quite a ways down there.








Taking the very inside of the curve, where the right tire can really drop down and stay on the ground as we go thru at a good clip.








It is a crazy road, I can't even figure out how many levels are in this pic....it's a mess...but fun to ride!









Yes, We are ON the road in this pic...it give you an idea of how sharp it is, while at the same time, very steep.









Well, the road is closed at the 18 mile mark. We parked, got our lunch, and walked out about 100 yards across the road...









...to get behind a big rock, and try and get out of the wind. As you can see by our hair, even behind this big boulder, the wind is still pretty stout.








Dunno what I was looking at, Mary stayed behind the rock while I was out taking a few pics.






Look in the upper right of the photo...you can see the TG and the cones are gone! We did not even start eating our lunch...







...back on the road, all the way to the top!








Heading on up, not close to the edge...








...but the road is pretty steep!









Closer to the edge now, better for taking photo's looking down...








...this one's better. So steep it is hard to even tell what you're looking at, at first. That is a LONG Way down!








This V-Twin powered Trike? came up behind us, really moving out...








...the V-Twin is at the very front. I did not want to slow him down, motioned him to go around us. Very cool 2 seater.









I've skipped a ton a great pics going up, but am going to share some of us heading down too. This is one of the last turns before reaching the summit.








Obligatory pic at the sign.





A panoramic shot to give an idea of how high up we are-








Mary with a range of snow covered mountains in the distance-








End of the line for the cog train-








Last time we were here I walked down to this look-out. The walk down, I guess it is about 50-60 yards, is easy...at 14,000 feet, the walk up is a bit of a different story. Anyway, Mary must have take 5-6 photos of it, teasing me to go down...I passed today. lol








We messed around at the top for a while, then got back on the TG to head on down a ways for lunch.

The TG is running really well. Last 111 miles we've averaged 35.6 mpg, and that includes the climb to the top here.

Note, it's 46 degrees...it's still pretty windy too.









Headed down, no better way to start than a sharp descending curve!








This is a fun road, with amazing views...note there's still snow here and there.








Mary in the mirror in a sharp left curve.








This pic gives a little bit of an idea of just how crazy this road is....looks a bit like a 3-D slot car track. My quick count is that there are 31 curves in this photo.








Mary in the mirror as we head into a sharp descending, cambered right U in the road. FUN!!!





Headed down, same story, gotta stay on the road!








But it is just as much fun headed down as up...









WOW! I rode close to the edge for Mary to take a pic, but I did not look down...that's a long, steep, way down!









A look back, a little further from the edge. lol









Not down to the elevation where the trees are yet...









We're now in the trees, AND at the brake check area where they use infra-red guns to measure the temp of the brake rotors. If you don't know how to use your gears to control your speed, resulting in the brakes being too hot, they send you to the parking lot to let them cool off before you can continue down the hill.









We stopped at the same corner as a couple of year ago (when we rode PP with Scott & Karin) to watch folks thru this curve and to eat lunch.









Back rolling, still lot's more curves and fun...








...but I gotta wrap up Day 11, so here we are back at the entrance.








We started out for Scott and Karins, outside of Colorado Springs, but we got distracted by Cave of the Winds. It's just a short ride up, a look around, and then the very twisty road back down. Fun!




After that we are on our way to join up with Scott and Karin for a ride tomorrow to Mt. Evans and Independence Pass.