With less than a month to go before the 2021 Pikes Peak APEX presented by RockShox, we’re happy to report strong registration numbers for the race and that entries are still available if you want to get in on the fun! If you’re on the fence about doing a 4-day mountain bike stage race in Colorado Springs on September 23-26, here are some ideas that might help you land on our side of that fence.
Ride epic routes with comprehensive support
Some of The APEX routes feature long loops to remote areas of the region’s trail system. Stages 2 and 3 are single 40-mile loops that locals love, but to ride them you normally have to wear a pack weighed down with a lot of water, food, and tools. With staffed aid stations on course for Stages 2, 3, and 4 of The APEX, you can lighten your load to climb unencumbered and flow nimbly through the descents. You’ll still want to carry some tools, but rest assured you’ll be able to replenish your fluids and food along the way.
The length and remote nature of the routes for Stages 2 and 3 can also be intimidating for solo riders or small groups. With course marshals, directional signs, medical personnel, fellow racers, and aid station staff out there with you, there’s no safer way to experience these challenging and rewarding routes.
Customize your experience
If four days of mountain biking doesn’t match with your schedule or desires, there are plenty of other ways you can participate in The APEX. You can mingle with the outdoor community and our sponsors during the Outdoor Festival & Expo on Saturday, September 25, including instructor-led rides and skills clinics for kids and food trucks and a beer garden for big kids. There are also one-day options for riders who want to experience the APEX courses. Entries are still available for one-day options on Thursday’s event in Palmer Park and Saturday’s Gold Camp stage.
Enjoy the high country before it snows
Late September is a great time to enjoy Colorado’s high altitude trails. The aspens will be bright yellow, the temperatures are likely to be warm but not scorching hot, and the thunderstorms that frequently punctuate afternoons earlier in the summer are only a rare occurrence in September. From mid to late October to June or even July, large areas of Stages 2 and 3 are snow covered, so The APEX could be your last opportunity to rip around the high country before winter sets in.
Take advantage of that summer fitness
As much as we all hope we could keep our summer level of conditioning all year long, that’s not the way it works out. The natural fluctuations of training, weather, and life mean your fitness in September is likely to be the best it’s going to be for the rest of the year. You worked hard all spring and summer to build that strength and power, so take it for a spin, push yourself on some big routes, and take advantage of your summer fitness.
Great fall training block
In addition to being a great way to enjoy the fitness you already have, our friends at CTS want to remind you that 4 big days of racing are both a goal event and a training block! With the fall and winter coming up, along with the holidays and the end of daylight savings time, your opportunities for 4-day, big volume, outdoor training blocks are going to get scarce pretty quick. Use the The APEX to jump start your training for cyclocross season or put some miles and hours in the bank as you head into a period of reduced training time.
Above all, the best reasons to ride The Apex are to have fun, spend time with your friends, and make new ones. We work hard to create the perfect race-to-party ratio!