Pikes Peak by Bike: It's All Downhill

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COLORADO SPRINGS -- Bikers who hate to pedal uphill can get the ride of their dreams here.

The Pikes Peak by Bike excursion offered by Challenge Unlimited gives visitors a chance to coast down one of America's most famous mountains without the grueling ride uphill.

Offered for the past eight years, the ride begins here at Challenge Unlimited's office.

Groups are transported eight miles to the mountain's toll gate and then travel up Pikes Peak by van. At the top, participants explore the summit and get adjusted to the change of altitude from 6,400 feet in Colorado Springs to 14,110 feet at the mountain's top.

The firm provides safety gear such as helmets as well as all-weather gear such as fleece shirts, headbands and mittens to keep riders warm at the summit, where the summer temperature generally is between 30 and 40 degrees.

Before heading down the mountain, guests are fitted to their bikes, then given a safety lesson and instructions on how to use the brakes and gears on the 21-speed and 24-speed bikes provided by Challenge Unlimited.

During the ride, the support vans drive ahead of and behind the bikers; guides travel with the groups, providing information about the area and pointing out scenic spots.

"We do stop a lot, especially above the timberline," Challenge Unlimited's Tini Campbell said.

On a clear day, you can see seven states from the peak, she noted.

The 19-mile ride takes about two-and-a-half hours to complete, she said, and is suited for inexperienced bikers over age 10.

"If you can sit on a bike you can pretty much do this ride," Campbell said.

At the bottom of Pikes Peak, the group stops at a restaurant.

The season runs mid-May through about mid-October, depending on the weather.

The morning ride, which includes breakfast at Challenge Unlimited's office and lunch at the bottom of the peak, is $85 per person or $75 per person for groups of three or more.

The afternoon ride costs $66 per person and includes snacks.

The firm also offers a ride along the lower gold camp road between Colorado Springs and Cripple Creek, at a cost of $45 per person with a snack at the end of the trip.

During the summer, guests should book the Pikes Peak by Bike excursion a couple of weeks in advance.

The outings are commissionable at 10%.
Challenge Unlimited
Phone: (800) 798-5954; (719) 633-6399

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