Cycling Down from Bear Lake

      by Gordon S. Novak Jr.

Cycling down from Bear Lake is a wonderful trip that requires little effort: except for two hills in the Moraine Park area, it is downhill all the way into Estes Park. Cycling this road is a different experience than driving: you can see the old mine shaft beside the creek, spot the hidden picnic sites, see and hear the owl in the top of a tree -- all things that those in cars will miss.

Because the road is steeply downhill and the speed limit is low, a bike can go as fast as a car; this allows the cyclist to take the lane and improves safety. Be careful on curves to watch for wildlife in the road; you don't want to collide with an elk. Sometimes I make some noise as I approach a curve to let any animals in the road know something is coming.

If you find yourself at Bear Lake with your bike in the car, get it out and tell your companions you'll meet them at the bottom!

Rocky Mountain National Park: The High Peaks