So, I was vacationing up in the mtns and spent a couple of days in Estes Park. One of those days I drove to Boulder along hwy 36. Noticed after Lyon that cyclists were streaming back and forth over the shoulders of Hwy 36 between Boulder and Lyon. Is this standard training ground? Seems kind of wicked w/65mph traffic right off your ear.
Most definitely the standard training ground. The Boulder area is a mecca for cyclists and US 36 is always heavily traveled. It is very dangerous because of the speeds....and there have been a lot of accidents/altercations on that stretch. But considering the sheer volume of cyclists it would seem ironically that many who drive that section between Boulder and Lyons are more aware because of the cycling numbers. Doesn't mean they will necessarily slow down, but it becomes part of the landscape and so there are no surprises when one comes across several bikers riding abreast. There is ample room on the shoulders, but it seems there is always (or used to be) a group that will take up a good portion of the lane in order to converse as they ride. Definitely a risky proposition with a 65 mph limit. There is a two abreast law now, but it never seemed to stop riders before when it was supposed to be single file.
I read something before where it said most of the accidents with motorists on that highway were from cyclists riding on the wrong side of the road. You would think someone doing that would get an earful from the local cycling contingent......but evidently that doesn't always dissuade people.
Down 36 is where most training rides starting from Boulder go. From 36, you can hit most any canyon/mountain climb by simply heading west on one of the canyon roads, going as far as you want. Alternatively, if you want a flatter day, just turn east off 36 and you'll find yourself in a maze of "country" roads with nice rolling terrain.
You really can't ask for a better training ground than Boulder.