16 August 2012

Over the Edge

The Lizard's Medal
Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis is familiar with my Pikes Peak obsession. I had realized during Ride the Rockies this year I could not push my bike to 14,110 feet in three hours or less, so I had already decided to save my money this year and not participate. And then my back put the final kibosh on any afterthoughts just a few days later.

Nevertheless, my heart was there the day of the bike ride, even though I was drugged and mostly motionless in bed. Even though fires had scorched the forest north of the peak, the Pikes Peak Cycling Hillclimb saw more than 150 cyclists reaching for the summit. The entire road is paved this year, and record times were expected.

Thirty-seven-year-old pro Leroy Poposki ascended Pikes Peak in an hour and eight minutes. Ironically, his optometry business was threatened by the Waldo Canyon fire just a week earlier.

Pro Katie Compton of New Zealand won the women's division with a time of 1.5 hours. She opened her home to Colorado Springs friends who were evacuated due to the fire, and they took her up on the offer.

Last Sunday was the rescheduled 90th annual International Hill Climb, initially slated for June 27 and postponed due to the Waldo Canyon fire. Car and motorcycle speeds were expected to smash all motor-powered records on the all-paved course. Rhys Millen took top honors with a time of nine minutes and 46 seconds.

Not every vehicle made it to the top, though. Jeremy Foley missed one of the 154 turns and rolled his Mitsubishi Evolution 10 times. Fortunately, he and his co-driver were not seriously injured. Foley later posted on Facebook, "...a little beaten up, but nothing major..." No, I was not there; the video below came from Youtube.

Regardless, the motorized event has become so popular with the new pavement, the Race to the Clouds is under consideration for expansion to two days next year.

Maybe one day they'll let bicycles go up at their own pace.


  1. My boyfriend and I were recently on vacation in Canon City and flew in and out of Colorado Springs. Before leaving he wanted to drive up Pikes Peak. You have my admiration, I had trouble once we left the tree line. I know there was no way I could walk that much less ride my bike. I hope you get to next year.

  2. gosh, how the h-l could they get out of that incident alive? It seems to be only bits and pieces left of the car. I´m glad you were in your bed. Even if that is not fun. :)

    Glad you liked my new header. It comes from my Scotland trip. :) I´m psoting about that on my Travel blog. If you´re still in bed you can pass some time reading. :)

  3. Did I hear people cheering as the crash was underway?

    Since the drivers got out okay from that crash, let me say that I absolutely cannot believe that "they" are allowing such an event on Pikes Peak. Expanding it to 2 days? And, they won't give you more than 3 hours to climb on your bike? That's just plain unfair.

  4. Ouch, ouch, ouch. What must it have been like to be IN the vehicle?

    Bikes are much kinder to roads than motorized vehicles. What's with the discrimination?

    Hope the back continues better and your mileage keeps going up! :)


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