The road surfaces on this ride were fantastic! Despite the fact that there was still lots of snow on the grassy areas, the roads were remarkably clear and dry. (We barely got dirty- and that is quite unusual in the winter months!) Very few washboards or potholes either.
The views of Pikes Peak and Longs Peak throughout the ride were stunning.
So few cars passed us on this route, we could count them on two hands. The drivers we did encounter were courteous and friendly- slowing down and passing wide.
This ride felt like a real escape from the city. It was quiet, remote, beautiful and spirit-restoring.
This route is simple and easy to follow. Having the map pre-loaded on our Wahoo bike computers made navigation something we barely had to think about.
If you are waiting for a long, sustained downhill to catch your breath and rest on this ride, it never really happens. Sure, there are downhills, but the route is constantly going up and down and has a surprising amount of elevation gain for the plains.
Do this ride if you want a challenging gravel ride with lots of punchy hills (some have inclines of 10-13%), fantastic dirt roads and awesome views. It could be a great training ride and is especially enjoyable with a few friends.
These roads in El Paso and Douglas County are worthy of a five-star rating especially on a day with 50º temps and mild wind. (We’ve been out there before on windy days and not had nearly as much fun.)
There are no services or bathrooms on this route. As usual, make sure you are prepared with enough water and calories to keep you going for nearly 50 miles.
We recommend doing this in the winter, early spring or late fall. It is exposed and dry, so doing it in heat and sun could be quite brutal.
We parked at the Palmer Ridge High School guest parking lot. It took us about an hour driving from Denver.