Mountain Biker Dies on Palisade Plunge Trail After Running out of Water

File photo: Matt Miller

Update: Fox 21 in Colorado Springs has identified the victim as 53-year-old Jeffrey Higgins.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s office reports that a 52-year-old mountain biker died on the Palisade Plunge trail on Saturday after suffering a “heat-related illness.” A release says the man, from Colorado Springs, was riding alone and ran out of water.

“The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Mesa County Search and Rescue, Palisade Fire Department, and Careflight’s helicopter immediately responded to the remote area and began life-saving measures. The person did not survive. “

The man was discovered by a group of three bikers and they also ran out of water about ten miles from the end of the 34-mile trail. Temperatures in the area reached 102 degrees on Saturday, and the three men who survived started the ride with a gallon of water each. Still, the Mesa County Sheriff’s office advises Palisade Plunge riders to carry two and a half gallons if attempting the trail this summer.

Unlike some of the other shuttle routes in Colorado, as Matt Miller noted in his Palisade trip report, the Plunge involves 2,000 feet of climbing, and much of the ride is a traverse that requires significant pedaling.

We’ll update this story with additional information as it’s available.