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A couple of Colorado rides...(5 posts)

A couple of Colorado rides...amflyer
Jul 25, 2001 12:31 AM
Hey,

Headinf to Colorado first week in August, and I am of course taking my bikes. Any thoughts on ridinf hwy. 36 through Rocky Mtn. Nat. Park? Is there shoulders? Too much traffic?

Also wondered about the road up Pikes Peak. I know it's not paved all the way, but it seems like I remember someone saying something about not being able to ride it unless you were part of some outfitters group ride or something like that.

Anyone have any good info on either ride? Alternatives for the Leadville and C. Springs area?

Thanks

Steve
Have done Rocky Mountian National Parkpmf
Jul 25, 2001 4:47 AM
Did it last month on Ride the Rockies. They had parts of the road closed off for us which was necessary considering there were 2000+ riders on the road. There is not much in the way of shoulders on the road, but the cars go slow and its doable by yourself. It is really beautiful, but hard. The top is over 12,000 feet above sea level. It can also get cold and nasty up there. I was freezing at the top, but pretty comfortable 20 minutes later on the way down the other side. The grade is not that steep, it just goes on and on and on. Do it starting from the western end of the park rather than the eastern end. The grades are more managable that way. Make sure to take a camera, its very scenic.
re: A couple of Colorado rides...Peetey
Jul 25, 2001 6:31 AM
South of Leadville (about 12 miles), check out Independence Pass. I would advise doing that on a weekday. It can get crazy during the weekends. Use caution going over the summit and into Aspen. The road is narrow in places and can get filled up with tourists. In the Springs, check out the Air Force Academy.

Have fun.
hwy 36ColnagoFE
Jul 25, 2001 7:07 AM
hwy 36 from boulder to lyons has a really good shoulder to ride on. i'd take the allenspark route at lyons rather than riding 36 straight to estes park (RM Nat'l park). it will get you to the same place, but the scenery is better and the roads are safer that way. riding back is ok on 36 because your speed will be high enough to keep up with traffic.
re: A couple of Colorado rides...jtolleson
Jul 25, 2001 7:09 AM
DO NOT ride Hwy 36 to Rocky Mtn Nat'l Park. It is one thing to go to the park and ride Trail Ridge Road (still an iffy proposition during the high tourist season when you aren't with a supported tour). But Hwy 36 is the primary highway access to Estes Park, has no significant shoulder, and is not bike friendly. If you want to ride into Estes Park (and then into RMNP) go from Loveland (north of Denver) out Hwy 34 to the little town of Drake. Hang a right, and follow a quiet, peaceful, mountain road the entire back way into Estes.

From LEadville, it is 17 miles south to the turn off for Independence Pass, and an out and back to the top is 80 miles with plenty of climbing. If that's for you, it is a classic. An easier but spectacular road ride in Leadville is the loop around Turquoise Lake, which you can combine with an out-and-back to the top of Tennessee Pass.

The riding around Colo Springs is pretty hot right now, but the loop through the Air Force Academy is a classic, and by exiting the Northgate you can combine it with a ride up Roller Coaster Road into the Black Forest.

I think that the ride over Squaw Pass to Echo Lake (from Bergen Park, just west of Denver) is one of the prettiest road rides in Colorado.

Good luck.