Eschewing the sometimes awkward "rules" of most previous Colo 14ers speed attempts, and also the whole support thing, Justin Simoni kicked off at 4:13a.m. on July 25, 2014, at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden to do the Colorado 14ers completely self-powered and self-supported, bicycling between trailheads, camping, and resupplying in towns. Simoni biked roughly 1600 miles and hiked about 350 miles to tag all the summits (actually 57 of 58) and returning to his starting point in Golden at 4:40 p.m. on August 28, for a time of 34d12h27m, setting a new FKT for doing the Colorado 14ers in this pure style (the old record appears to have been set in 1995 by Roy Benton, 37d12h, see Simoni's site for more discussion). Simoni had many crazy adventures along the way, dealing with the summer’s particularly rotten weather (strong monsoon storms) and twice having his camp ransacked by bears! He had an epic final push, tagging Bierstadt and Evans on Aug. 27, then grinding out 84 miles on his bike through the night to the Longs Peak TH where he started hiking at 4:00am on Aug. 28. He reached the final summit (Longs) at 8:45am, then hiked 7.5 miles back down and biked another 62 miles in the rain to finish in Golden. When asked if he had experienced any injuries along the way, Simoni said “Nary a blister.” The trip was followed by the 14ers community on 14ers.com, and documented on trackleaders.com. A nice interview with Simoni appears on bikepackermagazine.com.
I asked myself which route would be more fun, rather than which would be faster. – Justin Simoni