Mt Evans – The air is rare up there!
I would not stand at the edge of near vertical cliff without a barrier so what are doing riding a nearly half a ton of motorbike on a crumbling bitumen road less than a meter away from one?
Mt Evans, at 14,123 ft is the highest paved road in America and a ride not to be undertaken lightly or without an understanding of the challenges. Preparation is required as well as confidence in your riding skills.
Altitude sickness combined with dehydration can overwhelm you rapidly so lots of fluids as well sweet treats. Take things easy. Having said that we cheated and purchased a pressure pack can of oxygen and a couple of sucks of that cleared the head funk within about a minute. We could then spend more time at the top taking in the indescribable views.
We left our accommodation in Idaho Springs early to arrive at the start of the 24 kilometer ride to the top. A ride that would take the best part of 45 minutes one way.
The ride quickly broke out of the tree line into Alpine Tundra where the road narrowed and would give us a taste of things to come.
At 13,000 ft we arrived at Summit Lake and past that into Arctic Tundra the “road” became the most challenging and nerve testing we have ridden.
Vertical drops off to the left side were not too bad as the mountain was on our right, then a switchback, down to first gear, back brake as well as using the sweet point of the clutch the sharp turn back on yourself was completed.
Chris had to describe the views to me as I only had eyes for that three meter wide road and the track I had to follow, remembering the old maxim – you go where are looking.
Now the mountain was on the left side and the drop away a meter to our right. One hundred meters another switchback but this time the four meter u turn made with the fall away closest to us on our right.
We lost count of the switchbacks, but finally the top. Did we ever feel fantastic, on top of the world. We spent twenty minutes being intoxicated by the views and of course taking photos.
Now only one way down, the same way we came up!
Where Are We Now?
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