Mt Evans – The air is rare up there!

by / Friday, 15 August 2014 / Published in America 2014, Travel Blog
Mt Evans motorcycle, motorbike, bucket list,

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!


One Response to “Mt Evans – The air is rare up there!”

  1. Joe says : Reply

    G’day Chris and Mel,

    how’re you guys doing ?, well I hope.

    I have just read your 2014 US trip stories as it was featured on the Morgan & Wackers Dec eNewsletter and could not believe the number of parallels with our trip we are planning for 2015.

    * We also plan on going for 3 month
    * We also plan to cross the US (from NY to LA)
    * We also plan to stop at Sturgis (naturally)
    * We also plan to do it on a American steel horse with your Harley being my 2nd choice (Indian Roadmaster is my first choice)
    * I also plan to buy a bike over there and then ship back, just as you had originally planned
    * Amazingly my wife also wants to fly the Aussi flag on the bike just as you did.
    * She also plans to buy a bag to sit on top of the topbox , just as you guys did.
    etc etc etc.

    As you can see we have very similar idea’s BUT unlike you guys we have never done any big bike trips before anywhere, let alone in another country. The longest bike trip I have ever done was 2 weeks in the Dolomiten (Italy) back when I wore a younger mans clothes.

    I assume that you are based in Brisbane and if that is the case we would love to meet you guys, perhaps invite you for a coffee and have a chat about your US experiences and ask a million questions.

    If you can’t make it its cool too, and we wish you many happy trips and perhaps one day our path will cross.

    All the best, and shiny side up

    Suzy & Joe

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