We woke up early and went on Pike's Peak Cog Rail with the McDonalds.
We didn't feel comfortable accessing the area in the truck, so we rode our bikes there. It was a relatively short trip, but uphill all the way. The first 7 of the 21 gears on my bike didn't work most of the ride, so I fought against malfunction, gravity, and lack of endurance. It was a tough ride, but we pedaled all but the last three blocks - we got off and walked those.
We met up with the Josh, Jenn, and the boys (they weren't sweaty at all!) and boarded our train.
[caption id="attachment_476" align="alignnone" width="383" caption="Cog Rail tracks"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_475" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="Outside of Train"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_477" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="The seats on the train faced each other"][/caption]
It was a very scenic ride up the mountain with many things to view out the very large windows. Our conductor did a great job of educating and entertaining those on board.
Once at the top, we walked out to a rocky ledge to take a few more pictures.
Then we met up with Josh, Jen, and the boys, ate a doughnut, and re-boarded the train. It was a very pleasant morning and something we would definitely do again. Next time, I’d like to do one of those bicycle tours where you ride up on the train, and bike down the mountain. The bike ride back to camp was great! The first half we had to slow down because we caught up with the cars ahead of us (speed limit was 20 mph), but once the road widened, cars began to pass us.
We ate lunch and chilled for a bit until Jenn knocked on our door telling us they were going to Garden of the Gods. Did we want to join them? We weren’t sure at the time, but told them we’d call if we made it. They went on to the park.
After about fifteen minutes of talking about how tired we were from this morning, we decided to try to go. Even if it wasn’t possible to meet up with Josh and Jenn, we could see a bit of the park and get a map of the bike paths. We left our camp and rode a couple of blocks to Ridge Road. The minute we saw the road we knew we were in trouble. It was all steeply uphill as far as we could see. Being as tired as we were from this morning, we decided to keep going. ;) I quickly realized that my gear issue was still an issue and had to manually put my bike in gear. Then Trey found out that he had the same problem. He tried a little roadside repair and I took that opportunity to snap a few photos. The photo below shows us about 3/4 of the way up.
(You can see how the valley drops off below. I rode my brakes the entire way down.)
After about a mile, we made it to the top of that hill. There was an overlook and you could see most of the park from there. We could also see that it was pretty hilly the rest of the way. Without our first seven gears, we decided it was a good thing to return home. Trey worked on the bikes and put together our new grill. After a couple of hours, Josh and Jenn called we decided to grill dogs and brats for dinner. We ate, visited, got a dinosaur education, and came home so they could pack up. They leave Colorado Springs in the morning. This visit has been way too short. We barely got started.