Peak to Peak #bikelove

Sunday morning, the Iron Hippie, Allen and I rode from Raymond, CO to Ward, CO via the Peak to Peak Highway. I don’t recall ever having #bikelove quite like this…don’t get me wrong, I’ve had MANY rides that I’ve truly loved, but this one beat them all hands down!!

We drove from Estes Park to Raymond (~23 miles), where we parked at the Raymond Store. After unloading the bikes and preparing to ride, we were off.

Raymond, Colorado is where we started the Peak to Peak Highway trek.
Raymond, Colorado is where we started the Peak to Peak Highway trek.
The Raymond Store has an AWESOME owner who treats cyclists right!! Stop in if you make it to Raymond and say, "Hi" to him!!
The Raymond Store has an AWESOME owner who treats cyclists right!! Stop in if you make it to Raymond and say, “Hi” to him!!

We immediately started climbing our way out of Raymond, but it wasn’t anything too taxing just yet. There was no traffic on this rode and lots of people walking their dogs right down the middle of the road. Perfect for cycling πŸ™‚

The boys climbing out of Raymond toward the Peak to Peak Highway.
The boys climbing out of Raymond toward the Peak to Peak Highway.
Happy girl on a bike made for some serious #bikelove
Happy girl on a bike made for some serious #bikelove

At almost 2 miles, we turned onto the Peak to Peak Highway. Early Sunday morning, the Peak to Peak HighwayΒ had very little traffic and nice wide shoulders for cyclists. I was pleasantly surprised by the motorists who did pass us and how respectful they were. We did pull over a couple of times on the shoulder of the rode on our ascent to Ward, but these stops didn’t last long.

Climbing, climbing and more climbing.
Climbing, climbing and more climbing.
I pulled us all up the mountain.
I pulled us all up the mountain.
Climbing on the Peak to Peak Highway
Climbing on the Peak to Peak Highway

When we arrived in Ward, we were shocked to see SO MANY other cyclists!! We knew this was a popular stretch of road for the locals to ride, but we didn’t realize just how popular it was.

Ward, Colorado was our turn around point for the Peak to Peak Highway ride.
Ward, Colorado was our turn around point for the Peak to Peak Highway ride.
We were at the top of the hill looking down through the trees to the town of Ward. Climbing out of Ward was a 10+% grade at one point.
We stoppedΒ at the top of the hill looking down through the trees to the town of Ward. Climbing out of Ward was a 10+% grade at one point.
Utica Street Market in Ward loves it's cyclists. If you are in the area, stop in and support this great little shop!!
Utica Street Market in Ward loves it’s cyclists. If you are in the area, stop in and support this great little shop!! Be sure to bring cash…they don’t accept debit/credit.
The Utica Street Market has bike pumps for cyclists if needed.
The Utica Street Market has bike pumps for cyclists if needed.
Utica Street Market has Skratch and water ready for cyclists to refill their water bottles.
Utica Street Market has Skratch and water ready for cyclists to refill their water bottles.

We chatted it up with some local cyclists for a bit before climbing out of Ward…10+% climb was challenging, but fun! Once we made it out of town, it was all downhill (with a small bump at about 4 miles from Ward) back to Raymond.

On top of the world...or maybe just Colorado at elevation 9200+ feet.
On top of the world…or maybe just Colorado at elevation 9200+ feet.
All smiles as we made it to the top...the mountains in the background were beautiful!!
All smiles as we made it to the top…the mountains in the background were beautiful!!
The boys starting their 10 mile descent back to Raymond.
The boys starting their 10 mile descent back to Raymond.

We climbed just over 2000 feet with climbs ranging between 7 and 10%. It is just over a 10 mile climb from Raymond to Ward. Many of the locals have a 60 mile loop that they ride from Boulder and they pass through Ward and Raymond. With Ironman Boulder right around the corner, we decided 60 miles might be a bit too far and opted for the shorter ride. We are thinking of possibly riding the out and back stretch of the Peak to Peak Highway from NederlandΒ to Ward later this week…if we do, I’m sure there will be another #bikelove post πŸ™‚

Ward (green) to Raymond (red)
Ward (green) to Raymond (red)

When we returned to Raymond, we transition to a short 20 minute run. By this time, the Raymond Store was open, so we chatted it up with the owner who does his own woodworking to keep himself busy. The Iron Hippie was wearing a sweatshirt that just had an “I State” on it in cardinal and gold. The store owner immediately knew it was Iowa State. He was a super nice man and if you are ever in the very small town of Raymond, CO, you should definitely pay him a visit!!

I absolutely LOVED this bike ride and hope to definitely do it again sometime!! If you are ever in this part of Colorado, I would highly recommend riding the Peak to Peak Highway!!

Have you ever been visiting someplace new and decided to ride a route that you knew nothing about? How did it turn out?

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27 thoughts on “Peak to Peak #bikelove

  1. That is fabulous that the local businesses and motorists were so friendly. It really does make a difference in your ride πŸ™‚

      1. The blog should be gone, but I kept the wordpress profile πŸ™‚ I need to be able to comment and support everyone else!

  2. You really need to come visit me in Oregon. During the summer months, there are as many cyclists out on the road as there are cars. It’s pretty amazing. I love exploring new places that are cyclist-friendly. I have definitely been in some areas that make me more nervous to ride and then areas that are super comfortable. I imagine CO as being a great place to ride because motorists are used to seeing them. Glad you are having such a wonderful time!!!

  3. Please tell me you got a cookie at the store in Ward. They’re soooo good.

    I did random cycling adventures in Idaho last year. We went up for Boise 70.3 (RIP….) and stayed at my mother in law’s house near Twin Falls and then neared north to McCall for a family wedding. I needed 3-4 hr rides that week, so I did a bit of exploring. Pretty remote, very pretty, and i got snowed on at the top of a hill.

    1. We didn’t get a cookie, because we didn’t know they only accepted cash and none of us had any on us. We are planning the Nederland to Ward route for Thursday (pending weather) and will definitely be bringing cash with us this time!!

      I can’t imagine getting snowed in on top of a hill while on my bike…that is definitely an experience to never forget πŸ™‚

      1. OMG…if I had ridden Raymond to Ward in 2012, I would have cried πŸ˜‚

        I will think of you on Saturday when we ride Ned to Ward πŸ˜‰

      2. I somehow didn’t include the most humiliating part of that ride. On the Cat 2, I had an Itty bitty spider make a freaking web on my front brake cables (on my handlebars) as I rode.

        So my “this is not the hardest thing you’ve ever done” bar is a ride where I was going so slow that my Garmin kept auto-pausing on me AND I had a spider form a web on my bike as I rode.

        It’s a good thing I have a strong sense of irony and can laugh about this. πŸ™‚

      3. Ha ha! The spiders wouldn’t have bothered me, but my Harmon auto pausing because I was going so slow definitely would have πŸ˜‰

  4. This reminds me so much of my time in Durango – I used to do a 30 mi ride to the nearest pass from town (4000′ of climbing) all the time, with a stop on the way to a great little store that was friendly to cyclists, much like the ones you show. Oh Colorado… I really must move farther west or to some mountains some day πŸ™‚

    Looks like your vacation is going great! So fun to follow.

  5. What an awesome adventure! It sounds like you had some really tough climbs, but the full experience sounds really cool! I think I need to visit there…anyplace that is super bike friendly sounds like a great place to me!

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