What better mountain in Colorado for TORQ Fuelled Mike Cotty to start with than the 14,115ft / 4,302m high monster known as Pikes Peak? Plus, The Col Collective team couldn’t resist; not only do you have a climbing video to enjoy, but you also have a descending video.
Ever since he had seen legendary Manx TT racer, Guy Martin, thrash his motorbike up to the summit to win the International Pikes Peak Hill Climb a few years back, his bike coughing and spluttering due to the lack of oxygen, Mike knew it was going to be a challenge he couldn’t resist.
Starting from the Pikes Peak Gateway, winding your way deeper into the Pike National Forest the spectacle of the mountain starts to unfold before your eyes. Crystal Reservoir gives a moment of respite before the road pitches up once more and you join the Hill Climb course, and the 156 bends that lie ahead from here to the summit. The gradient may only average 6.5% but that’s not what this climb is all about. The oxygen starved atmosphere makes the going much harder. Pacing is crucial, as is staying well fuelled and hydrated over its 19 miles (30.5km).
The summit of Pikes Peak makes you feel like you’re on nothing but the top of the world. The lack of oxygen and lower air pressure doesn’t just make it harder to breathe, it means you accelerate far quicker than normal which, if you’re not aware, can catch you out. Descending through every layer of vegetation, from the unique pink Pikes Peak granite, through the ‘Devil’s Playground’, on towards the famous switchbacks and then deep into Bigfoot territory, this is a descent like nothing else on the planet.
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