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Old 07-05-14, 09:49 PM
Transportation Cyclist
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Location: Montana U.S.A.
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About Yellowstone and Glacier parks specifically my experience backs up what the others have been saying, when the roads are only open to cyclists, peds., and horse back riders and the snow clearing crews in the spring they are great (although you still have to watch out for some inconsiderate or worse moves sometimes by some of those operating the heavy equipment and/or driving their automobiles up to the work sites but they are few and far between) no worries.

But in the Summer when the roads are open the risk factor can be a lot higher, not so much from deliberate malicious territorial aggression but rather a "fail to care" situation. I wouldn't go so far as to say don't do it, I'll personally travel almost any road anywhere by bicycle and I wouldn't necessarily consider those two national parks to be the most risky propositions.

The one main exception I would make to that statement would be the "Going To The Sun" road in Glacier. Riding that road on bicycle going uphill is one of the last options I would take not just due to the risk factor but due to the fact that I actually do care about other people and in many areas on that road it is too narrow for a threesome so a cyclist must take the lane to be riding in a half-way safe and sane manner. That combined with its short sight-lines, heavy traffic, and steep grade means if I were to travel it uphill by bicycle in the Summer when its open to automobile traffic I would have a hug line of very, very, very angry automobile drivers backed up behind me crawling along at 10-mph or less for hours !!! I'm not mean enough to do that. There is a shuttle bus service that you can ride up to the top and they do have bike racks on the bus - I USE IT !!! Riding that road going down hill is not a problem provided you have a bike with excellent brakes and are a good rider, you can hold your position in traffic downhill no problem and if you ride like your a motorcycle keeping up with everyone else on the downhill automobile drivers rarely take issue. And of course when the road is closed in the spring to automobile traffic and they are still clearing the snow at the top then I'll ride it both up and down on a bike.

When its Summer and open to automobile traffic, don't ride up hill on "Going to the Sun" road you will either have to hug the edge with your elbow nearly rubbing up against a rock wall you could get squashed against or on the other side of the pass you can look down and see shear cliff drop offs a foot or so to the right of you with automobiles including buses and motor-homes and such trying to pass you with oncoming traffic trying to squash you up against the rock wall or push you off the edge of the cliff. Or you can take the lane and end up with a long line of automobiles crawling behind you unable to pass and mad as hell for hours while you climb the grade, even pulling off in the wide spots that still don't work either. Use the shuttle bus service with the bike racks its well worth it and then if your confident in your skill and your brakes you can ride down taking the lane.
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