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Cycling the Western States

Living in Colorado and having visited many western states, there are a few significant considerations when cycling or traversing the territory.

Water

Although towns and stations are increasing in number, in many areas they are extremely infrequent.  You may need to travel long distances for up to several hours to reach the next water, food and shelter.

Weather

On March 6, 2012, the temperature in Denver, Colorado reach the low 70s.  On March 7, 2012, temps were only in the mid 30s. So, what is typical Colorado weather?  Whatever it decides to be!  Our state "unofficial motto" is "if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes."  

There may be a snowstorm, low temperatures at high altitude, lightening storms and extremely high temperatures at lower altitude ... ALL encountered in a single day of cycling.  Thunderstorms are common on summer afternoons and it is usually cooler at higher elevations.  It is important for you to be prepared. 

Start with a light jersey and good cycling shorts; add water-resistant, warm layers as necessary.  Arm warmers, leg warmers, long-fingered gloves and a balaclava or other head covering are good additions to your kit.  You'll probably need a large seat pack, map bag or backpack (e.g. hydration pack) to haul your gear.

For specific towns, find daily weather history at www.weatherunderground.com.

Road Conditions

Snow covered roads are rare between May and October although there are exceptions.  Also, roads such as Independence Pass, Trail Ridge Road and the road to Mt. Evans are closed during winter months and are usually "opened" in late May.

Mountain trails can be muddy through June and some may not be passable until July.

Colorado Road Conditions (construction information at same site)


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