by Kirk Woundy
For those of a certain cynical mindset, summertime challenges on our local 14er can seem a little ... played-out. Hikers do the Pikes Peak Challenge; runners have the Pikes Peak Ascent and Pikes Peak Marathon and Barr Trail Mountain Race; drivers can do the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Hell, virtually anyone can take the Cog Railway to the top.
So it's probably good to be reminded every once in a while that, you know, it's actually a pretty rare thing to have such an accessible and gorgeous mountain in our midst. Hence our reason for noting that Bicycling magazine has named the Assault on the Peak, scheduled this year for Sunday, Aug. 28, a "Perfect Ride" in its July 2011 issue.
The write-up is short, but here's a snippet:
The toll road tops out above 14,000 feet—one of only two paved roads in the nation to do so—in the realm of mountain goats and views that inspired "America the Beautiful."
Yes, it's the obligatory Katharine Lee Bates reference. Don't let it ruin the moment.