Looking for a long ride with a good bit of elevation gain? Look no further than Mt Evans. The 55 mile ride covers almost 7,000' of elevation gain, taking you up to 14,000 ft. In my opinion, Mt Evans is a ride that every CO road biker needs to get under his/her belt at least once. Nowhere else in America can you ride this high. As far as climbing 14ers goes, Mt Evans is a great introduction. Bicycles are the most efficient way for man to travel (3-5 times more efficient than walking), and you get to save your knees from a long decent.
September is a great time to ride Mt Evans. Expect cooler weather at the start and at the top, with warmer temperatures mid climb (while you're below treeline, and on the later part of the decent). Temperatures were in the high 30's and low 40's through most of the ride. I've done Evans once a bit later in september, and at that time the fall colors can be amazing, but you need to watch out for snow and ice on the road later in the year.
This trip we had perfect weather. Sunny, and not too windy, 6 of us set out from idaho springs around 730, and made it back to the car around 130. There's not much to say about the ride, you just keep spinning those pedals uphill trying to keep up with Dave C. and William S. (When did they get so fast?). The decent is super fast and fun, but you have to keep an eye out for the many potholes in the road. Some of them are wheel busters for sure.
When packing for Mt. Evans, there are a few essentials I'd recommend. Remeber, you'll be flying downhill in cold (Close to freezing):
- Hat or Ear warmers.
- Winter gloves or glove liners (or both)
- Wicking base layer (Be careful not to get your layers to sweaty on the climb).
- Wind-proof shel or warm outer layer.
- Booties or toe Covers to keep your toes warm
- leg warmers or tights.