Pikes Peak is just outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado. This is normally  1040 miles and 16 hours away from my front door. The few times that I have made this trek have all been approached the same way – hit the 4-lane-interstate-superhighway set the cruise control as much over the legal limit as you dare and stop only when absolutely necessary. After all, it is just Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas we’re talking about. This is “fly-over-country”. Meant to be overlooked and passed by as mindlessly as possible. 

The “Long Way to Pikes Peak Adventure” is completely different. You see, we started off this plan with the intention to make the trip on mini bikes. This changes all the math.

Constraints of Road Tripping on Mini-Bikes:

  • Max Speed: 45MPH
  • Maximum Daily Riding Time: 6 Hours
  • Maximum Daily Miles: 250-ish
  • Must avoid traffic
  • Must avoid major highways & fast roads

So what traditionally would be a 15 hour straight through drive on interstate highways, is now going to be a 6 day trek on small farm roads through countless small towns and wide open country.

While some of us have moved away from the “purist” mini-bike origins of the plan, the constraint on the route and the type of trip it makes is still very much part of the attraction for this adventure.

Using the Furkot.com mapping tool we have initially planned our route as follows:

(These routes will certainly be updated / modified / altered / changed and then changed again right up to the day of the ride. So stay tuned and follow along as we work out the path for the trip.)

FromFromToTotal Driving TimeTotal Distance
SundayNewburgh, INKaskaskia River Project, Modoc, IL3h 50m173
MondayKaskaskia River Project, Modoc, ILBennett Spring State Park, Lebanon, MO5h 21m241
TuesdayBennett Spring State Park, Lebanon, MOSquaw Creek, Cherryvale, KS5h 56m267.1
WednesdaySquaw Creek, Cherryvale, KSLake Coldwater, Coldwater, KS5h 4m228.5
ThursdayLake Coldwater, Coldwater, KSJohn Martin Reservoir State Park, Hasty, CO5h 56m267.1
FridayJohn Martin Reservoir State Park, Hasty, COPike Peak, CO4h 13m190.4

Some of the things you will see about the trip plan.

We are Camping
We will be sleeping in tents under the stars each night. If you have recommendations or comments about the chosen campgrounds please let us know.

Ride Time is Limited
We are “only” riding about 5 or 6 hours a day and covering only about 250 miles. This is both because we are deliberately taking back roads and we want to give plenty of time to be off the bike exploring and site seeing. The Furkot Mapping tool has been great for planning this way.

Back Roads Only
We are really intent about taking the smallest, most unused roads we can find. Probably not doing much (if any) off-roading, but getting as close as possible every chance we can get while staying on some sort of pavement.

No Trip Home
When asked if we’ll be riding the bikes home, we answer “Of course not! We’re not crazy!” We’ll be loading the bikes on trailers and heading home the quickest route possible to be back by Saturday night.

We are looking for feedback and input on the route and places to stop along the way. Please let us know in the comments if you have suggestions.