Challenge Unlimited
Challenge Unlimited
5

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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles210 reviews
Excellent
197
Very good
4
Average
4
Poor
0
Terrible
5

ice2
Waldorf, MD
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Challenge Unlimited's* Pike's Peak by Bike is THE up-close and personal way to experience one of the most beautiful landmarks in Colorado.

The day starts in the humble surroundings of the bike shop, where a table of bagels, peanut butter, fruit, coffee, etc await after you check in and place your lunch order. A guide fits you for a helmet and then you load up in one of their vans for the ride up. On the way the guides pointed out landmarks such as Garden of the Gods, answered questions ranging from altitude sickness to the annual race up the mountain, and even provided some extra sunscreen.

My trip was in early June, but the temp up top had to be no more than 20 degrees; with the howling wind it was MUCH colder than that. No need to pack for this as the company had at least a half dozen bags of clothes to borrow for the ride down.

Novice on the bike? No worries. Safety is the primary concern with this group. Once we were at the top and layered with the warm clothing provided, one of the four guides for our group of 18 gave a very clear and concise explaination of how to operate your particular bike.

We made MANY stops on the way down for the vans' breaks to cool, which gave me a chance to rest my hands (from braking constantly). The views are priceless, although on this trip we didn't really see any wildlife. It is 1% uphill which is a challenge (especially the little hill at 13,000 feet), but if you can't make it the patient guides will help you into the sag van or you can walk with your bike. Snacks about 1/2 way down consisted of various types of cookies or granola bars. Oh, they provide you with a "Pike's Peak by Bike" water bottle which you can refill at will on the way down.

My favorite section was the relative straightaway after the "dam" hill ; ). Way fun letting go of the brakes and just flying.

The post-ride meal at a place called Wines of Colorado was underwhelming and some of our group had to wait a while for their food. The setting, however, is beautiful - next to a wooded creek.

The price was $110, worth it to me for this one-of-a-kind experience. Individuals are not permitted to ride the Pike's Peak highway; you must travel with either of the two tour organizations.

Almost forgot: the road is paved for a portion and hard-packed dirt/gravel for the rest. On the day of my ride, there was a lot of work being done grading the dirt part of the road and the guides said that it will all be paved eventually. It really made little difference to me.

Overall, I highly recommend this experience.

*I chose this group over the other since they had more information on their web site.
Written June 12, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DLee308
Winder, GA
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2014 • Couples
My husband and I read about the cog up, bike down ride on the internet while planning our trip to Colorado. Even though I thought it would be fun, I am terrified of heights and questioned being able to actually make the twenty mile ride. Determined to face my fears, we signed up for the ride and I must say it was the highlight of our week long vacation. Our guides made sure we comfortable with operating the bikes and took every precaution to keep our group safe. As an added bonus, FOX 21 News rode with us and filmed a segment for their newscast. The ride was absolutely fantastic and I've realized I'd heap rather go down the mountain on a bike than in an automobile. If this 57 year old, overweight, out-of-shape flat lander can do it, anyone can!!
Written September 15, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2012 • Couples
Previous reviewers have done a good job of explaining the details of the day. I signed my husband and me up for this adventure ( we are in our 50s) and then wondered what I had gotten us into! It was incredible, wonderful and fantastic! The scenery and feeling like you are on the edge of the world (road) with the wind in your face is more than memorable.

Yes, a little scary coming down 150 switchbacks with mostly very steep parts. BUT, This is run by very professional guides. I never felt pushed even though I was in the back of the pack. The rear van always protected us. We stopped numerous times for everyone to gather and take photos. The bikes are top of the line. The guides are there to adjust brakes etc... if needed. Wear multiple layers. They give you helmets, gloves, coats, pants at the top if you need them. Take layers off as you descend and put them in the van. We were in shorts and short sleeves by end of trip and lunch. ( I changed from my jeans to shorts in the van on the way down!).

We had not been on a bike trip in years, and this was not physically demanding. This is mostly coasting and braking ( I continuously alternated using rear and front brakes most of the way down the mountain ). There are 3 uphills which are mild to moderate--short in distance.

They give good instruction on the bikes and good instruction on the way down of what the next stretch will be like. The lunch at the bottom is at a good restaurant. Food is average, but nice atmosphere and guides serve you.

Tip well!! These guides are awesome! They are happy, fun, knowledgeable, and very encouraging!

The cograil up is a nice trip. Scenery is forest and rocks. Saw some marmots. Saw big horn sheep at a distance. You can shop and go to bathroom as well as take beautiful photos at the top before getting your bike and accessories. Be sure to arrive hydrated and give yourself at least a couple of days in the high altitude before you do this trip.

We would not hesitate to do this trip again. It was fabulous!
Written August 20, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Janet J
Broomfield, CO
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2015 • Couples
I planned a Bike trip with this company several months before my vacation. I received a call at 4:30 PM the evening before our next morning ride down Pikes Peak and was told that she had to cancel the ride. NOT due to weather. The other group (4) was delayed in getting to CO and would not be there in time for the ride. She continued to tell me that she could not take us (2) because she "would not make money" When I explained that it was the last day of our trip and we could not delay she promptly disconnected my call. I would not use this company EVER! They are unprofessional. The least she could have done was helped me to book with another tour group. She offered no help, just goodbye I can't make money. At the last minute I called Pikes Peak Mountain Bike Tours and they were more than accommodating.
Written September 15, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pasdao
Land O Lakes, FL
1.0 of 5 bubbles
The trip down Pikes by bike is great. Only one company to use Challenge Unlimited. The company has poor customer service and very rude employees but they have the only permits to alow this trip. The guides( if you want to call them that) are kids with a "WOW MAN LIKE RADICAL" attitude...who think riding a bike is some sort of lifelong career.They are more interested in telling stories of their perfect rides and bleeding to the mountain gods than explaining what you are experiencing on your adventure.These individuals are rude and have no concept of customer service. They should not be put in charge of a hot dog stand let alone an adventure like this one.
We can only hope someone else begins to offer this experience to put this company out of business..... but for now if you want to do this once in a lifetime ride.......you will have to pay top dollar and put up with this horrible company.
Written June 27, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ZanyZany
Denver
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2012 • Couples
We are from Denver and had never heard of this tour before Groupon, and weren't sure what to expect. My husband bikes regularly and im a full figured girl so we were sure if either he would be bored or I would have a hard time. We have nothing but great things to say about it! We had a very easy time booking the tour, the lady was very responsive. We got to the top and they had water bottles (that we got to keep), gear for us to wear, helmets and Jamis bikes (a great brand for those of you that don't know). The guides were very knowledgeable about the mountain and were eager to help with anything. I was having problems making it up one hill and the guide stayed with me the whole way. My husband got to go in front with the fast riders so he had a lot of fun. If you got tired, you could throw your bike in the van and ride a section or two to rest for a bit (although the ride is 95 % downhill). They had snacks along the way and lunch at the bottom was delicious. First class all the way. Great job, guys!!
Written August 26, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2011
Our oldest son is a cadet at the Air Force Academy and we took this tour over the Labor Day (Academy Parents) Weekend. Our party consisted of my wife and I, our cadet, and our youngest son, who is 17 years old. We took the tour where they take you up in vans (hr and a half drive) and you bike all the way down to the restaurant where they serve you lunch (included). We loved every minute of it, the staff is friendly and they think of and provide everything, from warm clothes/gloves, to suntan lotion, water, snacks, multiple stops/bathroom breaks, etc. Also, safety is heavily stressed. The tour is great, and the views and experience is fantastic!!! We would highly recommend this tour!
Written September 6, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roseana W
Philadelphia, PA
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Family
We found out about this great experience quite by accident, while surfing the internet for things to do after a business trip to Colorado. We could not be luckier and experienced an adventure that we will talk about for the rest of our lives.

Tini Campbell and her team run this business in Colorado Springs and offer the best of service to their visiting bikers. in the summer time, when the Pikes Peak ski season is over, Challenge Unlimited takes cyclists to the top of this 14,011-foot-high mountain and help them bike down safely and with a great deal of fun.

Our trip started early in the morning with a visit to their headquarters in Colorado Springs. We had a very healthy breakfast waiting for us while the crew readied our bikes and loaded them on top of the chaser van. Earlier that day, they had already taken a group of cyclists to the cog train station so that they could ride up by train and meet the van-load on the summit of the mountain. At approximately 9:00 a.m., we got into the van and the guide (Tim) explained a bit about what to expect, while driving the group to the rendez-vous place (Wines of the World restaurant) parking lot.

At the restaurant, we met the second guide (Cory) who had driven the second van to bring back the 'cog-train' crowd after arrival at the base. Off we went to the top.

On the way up, we noticed that the scenery was changing very rapidly. Temps started to fall as we ascended. Tim explained that the Pikes Peak mountain administration was getting ready for an uphill car race the following week. We could see several signs of the barriers that would eventually offer security to the race cars.

After we arrived, we were directed to the mountain lodge, for bathroom breaks, and delicious donuts and fudge, famous in Colorado Springs.

Then, we all gathered around the chaser van and got our safety instructions. Tim and Cory provided all warm gear, water bottles, bicycles, helmets, sun screen, and a very helpful hand taping our pant legs, so that they would not rub against the bike chains. They also collected the riders who had arrived by train so that everyone could practice on our bikes before starting.

Note on the weather - while the temperature was 85 degrees at the base of the mountain, the peak provided 40 degrees of cold weather and a lot of rare-air effects. This temporary feeling of nausea would disappear as soon as we descended but it was felt by all.

The bikes were great and had excellent hydraulic breaks. Tim and Cory explained about the gear-changing settings to the group, which comprised of people of all ages, gender, origins and sizes. The bikes had been pre-selected based on the height/weight that the group had provided at the time when we registered for this trip.

Note on instructions - Tini Campbell provided all the documentation in advance. She explained what to expect, what to bring, what to do well in advance. All the release forms were ready by the time we arrived, which made the start very easy. Basically, the idea is to dress as if we were going to ride at the base of the mountain. All the necessities were going to be provided by this group.

Well, back at the summit, we were ready to go. A guide would be in front of the line of cyclists while the chaser van (with the second guide) would follow the group. This served two major services. The lead guide would make sure that he spotted any possible danger (such as oncoming cars, unexpected road condition, etc) and the van provided some relief to the cyclists who needed to take a break during the descent.

And what a descent!!! First off, I started yelping with delight at my first mile!!! I felt like I was flying!!! The hairpin turns required lots of breaking power, but there were straight stretches when we could let go!

The view was incredible. As we descended below the timber line, we started to see some wild life - marmots and prairie dogs.

The cyclists quickly became friends - everyone was feeling like kids again. We had some teenagers and some middleagers in our group and everyone was happy.
Every 1.5 miles, the guides would stop at a safe spot by the side of the road and Tim would explain what to expect for the next 1.5 miles ahead.

There were three stretches when we had to pedal uphill, but 85% of the trip was exhilarating downhill. I was in heaven! I didn't know whether to look ahead for the road or sideways at the snow-peaked mountain views. Breathtaking!

This trip lasted about 2 hours. We stripped layers of clothing every 5 miles and ended up sweating at the base. The vans were great as a depository for the extra gear. I kept my camera on my neck and snapped away.

It turns out that on that day, the city of Colorado Springs was filming our trip for a documentary to be posted on the Colorado Springs Tourist Website! So, a second car was ahead of us, with the camera crew on the tailgate shooting our descent. We all took turns coming near the camera to be in the shots!!!!

As we arrived at the base, we all went to the Wines of the World Restaurant - to deliver the helmets, extra clothes, bikes, etc. We kept our water bottles as gifts from this outfit. Lunch was included in the package and served at the restaurant, which also sold great wine and gift items.

I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures as much as we enjoyed taking them.
Written July 11, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brian H
Kiowa, Colorado, United States
1.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2013 • Solo
Not impressed with the attitude and manners of the guides. Got to remember that potential customers are all around you and when you are rude to 25-30 car loads of families it doesn't send a good message.
Written May 18, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CoachSr
Atlanta, Georgia
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2012 • Friends
Made the trip down about two weeks ago with a small school group of 18 year olds. All the preliminaries went fine the weeks leading up to the planned trip. Good communications back and forth as we worked to make the trip work for us. We did not use the cog portion of the trip to save money this time. (Did do the cog a few years ago and it was so-o-o s-l-o-w.) Beautiful weather day! Rode vans up and rode bikes back down. Of course cold at the top but they have coats, gloves, mittens, earmuffs, etc for you. You shed them as you descend. Van protects you from traffic as you proceed. They are safety conscious and help a lot to keep you safe from traffic that is traveling up and down also. Guides were great to work with - Steven and Harvey, you rock! Good equipment, occasional stops for brake checks, water, restroom, pictures. Actually it is about 98% downhill and they help you with the uphill part if needed. Recommend this company and this trip! Lunch included at the conclusion at Wines of Colorado after the about 20 mile downhill journey. Delicious meal after a great 3 hour plus trip. Scenery makes the trip worthwhile, biking can't be beat, the total experience astounding! Plenty to talk about when you get home.
Written May 28, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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