Pikes Peak Downhill Race Guide
Detailed track guide for the Pikes Peak Downhill longboard race. Including Pikes Peak track maps, speed and corner info, photos, event dates, parking, weather, hotel, and camping information.
Pikes peak downhill: Sept. 12-13, 2015
Everything you need to know about Pikes Peak downhill longboarding is right here. Most importantly, you should know this event is truly world class and one of the best events to attend. The Pikes Peak Downhill is an International Downhill Federation "World Cup" event for 2015! The race takes place on America's highest toll road, the Pikes Peak Highway. Pikes Peak sits just outside of Colorado Springs, CO at a towering height of 14,125 feet!
The event was held for the first time in 2013 with 85 riders, including some of the biggest names in the sport from all over the world. For 2014, the race attracted 151 riders and was an IDF World Cup Qualifier event! This year is expected to be even bigger for the 2015 World Cup! The event is sponsored by Riviera Skateboards and is expected to have 160 registered riders. The race takes place over 3 days including setup, practice, qualifying, and racing along the following schedule:
Friday, Sept 11th, Set Up Straw Bales (No Skating): 6:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Saturday, Sept 12th, Road Opens/Practice: 5:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Saturday, Sept 12th, Practice/Qualifying: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday, Sept 13th, Race Day: 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
The Pikes Peak Downhill is held on the same road as the legendary motorsports race The Pikes Peak International Hillclimb. The highway is a toll road that climbs its way to the top to an elevation of 14,125'. The road is maintained by the City of Colorado Springs and the pavement is amazing. The downhill race course is a portion of the road starting at the Glen Cove lodge parking area, next to the brake check station. At 11,550 feet, the starting line is just below the treeline in the Alpine zone of the mountain and continues down 1.4 miles of perfect pavement with gnarly, jagged sprayed concrete ditches along most of the inside turns. The corners are super smooth sweeping turns of various degrees with great banking and smooth center lines. There can be a bit of sandy/pebbled debris on the track after a crash due the shoulders being 100% sandstone with very few trees and no grass.
- Run Time: 2:11 (Zak Maytum), 2:11 (Calvin Staub), 2:13 (Ville Hietala)
- Top Speeds: Radar verified 55-58 MPH just before the left kink after the big left sweeper
- 7 full turns (3 Right Pre-Drifts, 2 Left Pre-Drifts), 1 narrow S-section
- Wide, well protected corners
- Racing line is very important for a fast run at Pikes Peak
WHERE TO STAY:
We know longboarders like to camp and build bonfires. But, there is NO CAMPING on the Pikes Peak Toll Road. You seriously can't camp in the parking lot or at Glen Cove, or even at the giant Ski Area lot. The Pikes Peak Highway is a toll road, that's why it's so well taken care of... but, also why you can't spend the night on the side of it. The rangers will run you off, so please don't try it. Before mentioning camp spots, the Hotel Elegante in Colorado Springs has offered group rates to downhill skateboarders and spectators there for the event, there will also be a shuttle to and from the hill each day! The Lone Duck Campground is near the foot of the mountain and has tent sites, cabins, campers, wifi, showers, a pool, and all kinds of stuff. It's not a dangerous place if you want to do some urban camping. You can (not condoning it or saying it's allowed) sleep at the bottom of the hill. There is a large parking lot there just below the ranger station, where there are also spots. You can't really car camp in Manitou Springs, because the spots are frequently patrolled, it's a nice place, and they like to keep it that way. You can camp in the parking lot of the Barr Camp trailhead for $5/24hrs and the kiosk takes debit cards. There are plenty of stores down the road between Pikes Peak and Colorado Springs if you need food or a bathroom during the night. Most importantly, try to keep it clean and quiet wherever you end up crashing because the downhill longboarding scene needs to be welcomed back to Pikes Peak for years to come!
The weather in Colorado is generally awesome in September. The only thing you have to worry about is the fact that it can be 70F at the toll booth and 30F at the top! At last year's race, they temporarily closed the road above the starting line because it was sleeting, icing over, and getting dangerous for cars while everyone at the race was wearing t-shirts and sunglasses! You almost can't predict it. Layer up and plan to add and remove layers all weekend long.
WHAT TO BRING:
You don't have to bring anything really. There is food at the store near the starting line inside the Glen Cove lodge. But, it has a premium price being over 11,000 feet above town and 13 miles up a toll road. They have a gift shop with drinks, snacks, shirts, batteries, etc., a restaurant, and bathrooms. Bringing a cooler with wheels would still be a great idea! You can walk along the track's 1.4 miles at any time, but driving is limited to when heats are finished (10-15 minutes delays). The high elevation really takes a toll on a person hiking back and forth to get drinks and food all day and a place to sit would be nice. Also, a wide brimmed hat or an umbrella may come in handy, as well as extra phone/camera batteries. Bring some money (cash and card) for cool event shirts, posters, vendor items, and some of the donuts they make at the 14,125 foot high bakery at the top!
The Pikes Peak downhill is one of the best races for spectators! There will be a shuttle if you stay at Hotel Elegante. If you drive up, the first place to park is the Ski Area just uphill from the finish line. The Ski Area is the hub for all the action if you want to stay in one place. The parking lot has plenty of room, the event supplies portable toilets and it is a good place to see some fast riders and crazy crashes. The Ski Area will be full of sponsors/vendors and usually has an announcer and plenty of cheering fans to make the race super exciting. The race is friendly for all ages as there is plenty of hay to hide behind and tons of elevated land to get a good view. If you want to head up the hill and don't mind to walk, then snagging a spot at the Ski Area would be your best bet. Then, just start walking uphill corner by corner watching the action as you go.
There is a lot of action at every turn though! The top lot is a good place to meet all the riders, see the vendors, watch the drama at the timing/results table, and get some food at the lodge. The first couple of fast turns are just a short walk down the hill and the first one is shaded on the inside of the apex. If you want to see all the setups and talk to riders and crew, go up top. If you want to watch the fastest turn or walk up to the fastest point, park at the Ski Area.
That’s it, all you need to know about the IDF Pikes Peak World Cup! If you have any comments, suggestions, or pro-tips that weren’t covered send them to us through the Contact form!
- THREESIX DOWNHILL TRACK GUIDE: IDF PIKES PEAK DOWNHILL -
Written by Isaac Cogdill (@IsaacMTSU). This event guide is the first of many ultra-detailed race summaries from ThreeSix Downhill written to give readers all the information needed to be prepared and make it out to support an event! I go to as many events as I can to shoot photos of everybody, meet people, support riders on ThreeSix decks, and sleep in a car or bum floor space to bring you everything I can to spread the sport of downhill longboarding!