Peak to Peak #bikelove – Part 2

Sunday we rode the Peak to Peak Highway from Raymond, CO to Ward, CO and back. You can experience this part of the Peak to Peak Highway through my eyes by reading my blog post.

Yesterday (Thursday), we decided to ride a different section of the Peak to Peak Highway…Nederland (or Ned as the locals call it) to Ward and back. This was a slightly longer ride (only by 2 miles each way), but some of the steeper climbs in this section of the highway were MUCH longer.

Peak to Peak Highway is a great place to ride your bike :)
Peak to Peak Highway is a great place to ride your bike 🙂

We started at the Park and Ride in Nederland, which is a perfect place to start if you are driving to the Peak to Peak Highway and not doing the loop the locals do that starts/ends in Boulder (a ~60 mile loop that includes part of the Peak to Peak Highway).

This is where we started from.
This is where we started from.

When you leave Ned, you IMMEDIATELY start a rather STEEP climb!! Most of the climbs on this ride were either 4-5% grade or 8-10% grade. There wasn’t much in between. There was 1500+ feet of climbing in the first 12 miles (Ned to Ward), with the last 600 feet of climbing occurring in the return trip. Just for comparison, the section we rode from Raymond to Ward was mostly around 7%, with a few steeper sections and 1800+ feet of climbing in those first 10 miles.

Elevation profile from Ned to Ward and back...2146 feet of climbing overall.
Elevation profile from Ned to Ward and back…2146 feet of climbing overall.

Around mile 4, we had a very LONG climb at a 10% grade. This one mile stretch took us 9:19 to climb (I’ll let you know how quickly we descended this same mile in a little bit)…long, slow slugfest. There were a few sections of the climb that appeared to be descents, but were actually false climbs instead…so misleading.

The boys agreeing that this is a challenging ride...especially when we come from flat land.
The boys agreeing that this is a challenging ride…especially when we come from flat land.
Just a small glimpse of the easier grade behind me.
Just a small glimpse of the easier grade behind me.

The views along the way were magnificent!

Off in the FAR, FAR, FAR distance between the peaks, there is what we know call the "flat land" in Colorado...where Ironman Boulder will take place.
Off in the FAR, FAR, FAR distance between the peaks (in the hazy area), there is what we know call the “flat land” in Colorado…where Ironman Boulder will take place.
One of the many beautiful views during our ride.
One of the many beautiful views during our ride.

We stopped in Ward at the Utica Street Market for a quick break, a snack and some mid ride fun…

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.
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 cards and have no ATM.
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 cards and have no ATM.
We stopped in Ward at the Utica Store and Vitali greeted us...she was so sweet!!
We stopped in Ward at the Utica Street Market and Vitali greeted us…she was so sweet!!
Some of the BEST cookies around are at the Utica Store in Ward, but be sure to bring cash...they do not accept cards and have no ATM.
Some of the BEST cookies around are at the Utica Street Market in Ward, so be sure to bring cash!! It is definitely worth the $$
Taking a break from the riding and doing a little core work in Ward!!
Taking a break from the riding to do a little core workout in Ward!!
The Iron Hippie getting his shot at the hula hoop
Because who doesn’t hula hoop mid ride on their birthday?!?!?!?! Yes…today was the Iron Hippie’s birthday!!
Allen taking his turn with the hula hoop. It is amazing the difference having the correct size hula hoop can make...it is so much easier than using a child's hula hoop!!
Allen taking his turn with the hula hoop. It is amazing the difference having the correct size hula hoop can make…it is so much easier than using a child’s hula hoop…right Allen?!?!?!

After our break, we hopped back on the saddle for a much easier return trip to Ned. We of course had to stop along the way and take some pictures of the view…

We were high above the trees!!
We were high above the trees!!
Another view looking out over the trees.
Another view looking out over the trees.
High above the trees!!
High above the trees, with a lot less oxygen and we are still smilin’!!
High above the trees with the mountains in the distance.
High above the trees with the mountains in the distance.

Oh…that mile climb that took us 9:19 to ascend…it took us 1:43 to descend WITH the breaks on…so much fun, but definitely a challenging ride!!

This section of the Peak to Peak Highway had a few more potholes than the stretch of highway between Raymond and Ward, but it wasn’t anything you couldn’t successfully avoid. If you ride this stretch of road later in the day, be careful…the winds REALLY pick up through the valleys and on top of the mountain, so be sure to keep both hands on the handlebars!!

Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend this bike ride if you get to this area of Colorado!!

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14 thoughts on “Peak to Peak #bikelove – Part 2

  1. Omg, that place is GORGEOUS!!!! I wanna go! Bonus would be lack of humidity as we all suffocate here on the coast 🙂
    I don’t think I could handle those hills the way you all are killing them!! My heart rate elevates when I go over a teeny bridge :):) Way to go!!

    1. It is BEAUTIFUL here!! You’d love it!! The lack of humidity is a huge bonus!! Everything dries so quick out here!! The hills were a great challenge and the climbing made the descent so worth it!! 😊

  2. Belated Happy Anniversary! Great ride, and hula hooping is great exercise-you should’ve counted that as a brick workout 😉

  3. More fun adventures for you all! So awesome! I really love how it seems to be so cyclist friendly. I wish more places were that way! So, you mentioned the “flat lands” of Boulder where the race takes place. I am unfamiliar with the course, so it sounds like it is not terribly hilly? You are certainly getting in some solid hill training, regardless!!!

    1. It is super cyclist friendly here!! I wish we had the same environment back home, but it just isn’t the case. There is some climbing on the IM Boulder course, but only about 4400 feet over the 112 miles. Considering we climbed 2200 in 24 miles, 4400 in 112 seems minuscule 😉

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