Mountain biker from Colorado Springs dies on trail after running out of water

A section of the Palisade Plunge trail, which opened in 2021 and has already become wildly...
A section of the Palisade Plunge trail, which opened in 2021 and has already become wildly popular with mountain bikers. Though well-trafficked, the trail is remote and can become dangerous if a rider lacks experience or is not prepared with water, food and emergency supplies.(Natasha Lynn)
Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 9:04 AM MDT
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MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - A mountain biker from Colorado Springs died during a ride Saturday afternoon after running out of water.

Fellow riders found the man suffering from a heat-related illness on the Palisade Plunge, a popular mountain biking trail in Mesa County.

“The 52-year-old ... was riding the mountain biking trail alone and ran out of water. A group of three other riders stopped to help him and called 911,” the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Sunday.

Despite life-saving efforts by first responders, the rider did not survive. He has not been identified at this time.

The Palisade Plunge is 32 miles long and is located in a remote part of the county with very little shade and no available water. It starts on top of the Grand Mesa at 10,730 feet and plunges riders more than 6,000 feet. Despite the downhill trajectory, those familiar with the trail say it’s still a strenuous trek that requires a great deal of exertion to complete and offers no alternate routes for riders in trouble. Bikers are strongly advised to bring at least 2 and a half gallons of water during the summer.

According to the sheriff’s office, the three good Samaritans also ran out of water on the ride and were suffering from dehydration when they found found the biker in distress.

“They started with a gallon of water each and ran out about 10 miles before the end of the trail. They were rescued and treated for dehydration.”

It’s unknown how much water the deceased had taken with him. He was just 4 miles from the end of the trail when he collapsed.

It’ll remain a scorcher this week across Colorado. If doing activities outside, the CDC recommends drinking at least 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes.

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