Before hauling The BillyBob(tm) up there, I decided it would be prudent to explore the route.
I wanted to get an idea of what the terrain was like, and look for camping spots to be used in contingency; just in case, for whatever reason, I'm not able to make it all the way to the lake with BillyBob in one day.
FYI, the blue blob in the background is Pike's Peak.
I also wanted to get a feel for the elevation gain.
The altitude at the crest of Rampart Range Road approaches 10,000 feet and this will be the highest I've ridden in over 20 years; my last two-wheeled trip above the tree line being in 1985, to the summit of Mt. Evans.
So I go slow and steady, trying to keep my heart rate below my LT, which is somewhere close to 145bpm these days - ensuring plenty of reserves for the return trip.