This past Sunday I did the “tourist loop” from Boulder out 36 to Lyons then on to Estes on Rte 7 then Trail Ridge down to Grand Lake over to Winter Park and back to Boulder. It was a different perspective to view fellow cyclists as I took on the role of “motorist”. I must admit it is the first time in a long time I actually drove done 36 in a car and not on my bike. It was a Sunday morning and there were numerous cyclists on the road. It appeared to be some kind of organized ride was heading down 36 to St Vrain and the being pointed eastward. A few observations. I actually saw at least 3 cyclists without helmets.
I was quite surprised on a busy road like Hwy 36 that anyone would venture out without a helmet! I must say as I drove along I could see how some motorists could feel uneasy with the large number of cyclists on the road, especially if you’re not from here. On another note, I saw a cyclist pass 2 other cyclists in front of me and swerve out onto the highway. Once again I could see how that could really effect some motorists in a negative way. I’ve made a mental note to stay as far right as possible and to be thinking in terms of safety especially on a busy route like Highway 36. Once we passed St Vrain the amount of cyclists dropped off dramatically. Heading out of Lyons up Rte 7 I was struck with how beautiful this canyon is and how much easier it is to drive up it! Definitely a far superior route to take then going up Hwy 36 to Lyons. Very little traffic and usually good visibility. I saw a few cyclists up on Trail Ridge road and had to shake my head in admiration. When it started to rain and lightning I shook my head in disbelieve that someone would continue on and not pull over and try and wait it out. I am newly impressed now when I hear of cyclists that actually ride bikes ion the route it took us 8 hours to cover in a car! Only in Boulder as the saying goes!