Colorado’s oxygen-starved peaks offer riding you simply could not imagine when tackling the mountains of Europe.
You start climbing Pike’s Peak, for example, at an altitude only a few meters lower than the top of the Stelvio.
Having brought us some of the best climbs in Europe, Alpine adventurer Mike Cotty’s latest ascent for the Col Collective comes from Pikes Peak – which tops out at 4,302m above sea level.
But this isn’t just a climb to experience high altitude – winding roads (156 bends in total), stunning vistas and the Crystal Reservoir offer plenty to enjoy as you climb.
Fitness, and pacing, is king at that sort of altitude but Cotty insists making the trip is worthwhile.
“It’s crazy to think that this road has only been open to cyclists since 2013,” he says. “It’s a sensory overload from start to finish, definitely one of the best climbs in North America and, if the truth be known, I’d say it’s one of the best in the world.”
Check out the video above, or see more from the Col Collective here.
Start: Pikes Peak Gateway
Length: 19 miles / 30.5km
Summit: 14,115ft / 4,302m
Elevation gain: 6,315ft / 1,925m
Average gradient: 6.5%
Max gradient: 13%