Author Topic: Keeping bike on a rack.  (Read 1815 times)

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Offline drfloog

Keeping bike on a rack.
« on: February 10, 2012, 06:31:07 pm »
I am going to be camping in Rocky Mtn Natl Park at the end of the month and I am getting there by bike. Is it ok to trust my bike locked up to the racks there?

Offline John Nelson

Re: Keeping bike on a rack.
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2012, 07:29:33 pm »
RMNP attracts visitors from all over the world. It would be impossible to vouch for them all. I'd be quite comfortable locking my bike there for two hours, but probably not for four days. Even locked for four days, your bike would probably be okay, but the risk would rise above my tolerance level.

They'll still be a lot of snow there at the end of the month, although you stand a pretty-good chance (maybe 75%) of having clear roads. But you'll only be able to get about eight miles up Trail Ridge Road at best. Even then you'll likely start to see snow on the road not far up from the visitors center.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 07:35:12 pm by John Nelson »

Offline drfloog

Re: Keeping bike on a rack.
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2012, 12:15:00 am »
How about down Bear Lake Rd?

Offline valygrl

Re: Keeping bike on a rack.
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2012, 10:12:09 am »
March is usually the snowiest month of the year.  We've had a very snowy February.

I assume you are planning on back-country snow camping?  I don't think any of the regular camp sites will be open.  Pay attention to the avalanche forecasts.

Also, looks like Bear Lake Road will be in for some improvements this year and will be closed starting in February (?).

It would be a good idea to call and talk to someone on site before committing to your plan.

http://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/road_status.htm
http://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/camping.htm
http://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/backcountry.htm
http://avalanche.state.co.us/pub_bc_avo.php?zone_id=1

Offline valygrl

Re: Keeping bike on a rack.
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2012, 10:19:34 am »
Hey, I've seen a couple of your threads - do you live in Longmont?   (I do - well, between Longmont and Boulder.)

I'm really not sure how to respond to you, as you are asking pretty basic questions, yet contemplating doing a trip that is pretty well outside of what makes sense with the weather/seasons around here.  Just curious, knowing a little about you might help people make more informed replies.  LIke, do you know all about winter camping already, and realize it's still winter here, vs. thinking that March = Spring and it's going to be nice weather and green grass and dry roads.

:)

Offline John Nelson

Re: Keeping bike on a rack.
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2012, 02:24:57 pm »
Although Bear Lake Road is open year-round, it is often snow-packed in the winter. If you plan to go on foot from this road, certainly anywhere on the upper half of the road, you'll need snowshoes. Furthermore, the trails will be mostly obscured, so you'll need to be able to determine where you're going from the terrain, or by following other snowshoe tracks. The winter trails used are different than the summer trails used, so be sure to pick up a winter map.

The planned construction is on the lower part of the road.

Can you tell us more precisely where you're going? What trailhead will you be using and where will you be heading? We might be able to offer more specific advice, and we promise not to steal your bike.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 04:12:01 pm by John Nelson »

Offline drfloog

Re: Keeping bike on a rack.
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2012, 06:22:26 pm »
I live in Houston. I am wanting to try and get to the continental divide trail a bit. the end of Feb and beginning of march is when I have off. Glacier gorge trailhead is my plan. I have done some winter camping. 

Offline drfloog

Re: Keeping bike on a rack.
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2012, 06:23:38 pm »
or take Flattop Mtn trail.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Keeping bike on a rack.
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2012, 07:10:16 pm »
It will almost certainly be possible to get to the Glacier Gorge or Bear Lake trailheads by car at the end of this month. It will also be possible to get there by bicycle if you're okay riding on some snowpack. The road is plowed, so you won't run into deep snow unless it has snowed recently. If it gets bad, hitch a ride the last miles. You might also run into some snow on highway 7 getting to Estes Park--call the DOT for road conditions before setting out.

Personally, I'd probably take my bike down the trail a bit and hide it in the trees well off the trail, locking it to a tree. It'll probably be safe there. You could even bury it in the snow.

Change your plans if a winter storm is in the forecast, and take snowshoes. The Flattop Mountain and Glacier Gorge trails are both pretty steep in spots, so you'll need the snowshoes for traction even if you don't need them for floatation. Stop at the visitor's center and let them know your plans. Know how to build a snow cave and how to avoid avalanches. Take your cell phone. Surprisingly, I've gotten a signal pretty deep up Glacier Gorge. Mills Lake and the keyboard of the winds up Glacier Gorge are gorgeous in winter--you can walk right across the lake. The normal winter trail bypasses Alberta Falls and is shorter. And the views from Flattop Mountain trail are spectacular, particularly when you get directly above Dream Lake.

Have a blast and don't die.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 07:13:17 pm by John Nelson »

Offline valygrl

Re: Keeping bike on a rack.
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2012, 08:24:00 pm »
Thanks for the reply, drfloog.

I echo what John Nelson said "Have a blast and don't die."  -- and also, if it was me and I had some time off in the beginning of March, I would go to San Diego or Tucson and save the continental divide for a warmer time of year.  I'm not going to belabor the point any more, but I do want to make it.

Peace.