How big is Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak (4301 m)

From morgar- From Colorado Springs you can already see the summit of Pikes Peak, but the climb basically begins twenty kilometers west in the small town of Cascade at 2250 m. So you start at a significant altitude, almost at the level of the Pordoi Pass, but you have to cover another 31 kilometers, up to an altitude of 4,300 m.
The start of the driveway is well signposted so that you can't make a mistake. There is even a welcome bow to the Pikes Peak Highway; so the fun can begin. On the first kilometer there are incline peaks of 11 to 12% exactly up to the toll station, where it becomes flat and you can take a breath. Probably the flat piece serves to simplify payment processing, a car (up to 5 people) costs 40 dollars, a bicycle 12 dollars, an exaggerated price, but you have no choice.
After the wallet has been eased, the slope increases sharply to up to 11%. Then steep sections alternate with rest breaks until you arrive at the Crystal Reservoir. From there you take your time at the motorsport event Pikes Peak Highway Hill Climb, also known as Race to the clouds. As of 2015, the rally driver S├ębastien Loeb holds the course record with 8 min 13 sec ... I don't think any of us were faster on our bike.
Furthermore, the driveway is not overly difficult: ascending passages alternate with flat sections. Only when the first serpentines appear does the incline at 9 to 10% nestle and the suffering begins. Approximately in the middle of this steep section, at the level of the Glen Cove Inn (3940 m, there used to be a ski area), the vegetation disappears and the view improves. At that point there is some kind of brake control station for the cars leaving the summit. If the tire temperature is too high, the drivers are asked to park their vehicle in a parking lot. Conveniently, the restaurant was built there so that you can have a beer while waiting. There are no controls for bicycles, you just plunge down into the valley.
Now the most beautiful section of the route follows: various serpentines in a bare landscape with spectacular views. The incline stays at 10%, which is pretty hard at almost 4000m. Fortunately, you can take a breath at the Devils Playground, because there is a short downward gradient on which you can enjoy the landscape even more. But you haven't done everything yet, the summit is still a long way off, because three kilometers are still missing with about 10%. You notice the altitude with every pedal stroke, every effort is difficult and breathing accelerates enormously.
The few clouds in the sky are suddenly very close, you can almost reach for them, and the sky shines a deep blue. You arrive at the summit marveling at this natural wonder. Around you everything is deep down, because there is nothing higher in the area.
When we visited, we only had four degrees at the summit. Fortunately, there is a restaurant and gift shop to warm you up. Of course I bought a souvenir there. How often do you ride your bike to over 4000 m.

The elevation profile is unfortunately not displayed correctly from an altitude of approx. 3400 m.
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