Bicycling in Wyoming: Wide Open for Two-Wheel Adventure
Wyoming's iconic national parks, forests and historic areas, including Yellowstone, Devil's Tower, Grand Teton and the Shoshone National Forest, as well as nearly three dozen state parks, also offer countless riding opportunities for cycling enthusiasts.
Wyoming offers wide open spaces, natural beauty and a bounty of outdoor recreation options, from fishing and hunting to skiing, golf and river rafting on some of the nation's most challenging rapids.
The state's iconic national parks, forests and historic areas, including Yellowstone, Devil's Tower, Grand Teton and the Shoshone National Forest, as well as nearly three dozen state parks, also offer countless riding opportunities for cycling enthusiasts. Evan O'Toole says there are several good reasons why Wyoming is an ideal state for bicyclists.
“First of all, Wyoming doesn’t have a large population like most other states, so the back roads aren’t very busy,” he says. “And drivers on those roads seem pretty friendly toward cyclists.”
O’Toole, president of the Laramie Bicycling Network, points out that Wyoming is graced with open spaces that provide a variety of riding opportunities for cycling enthusiasts. Not only is the state ideal for road biking, but for mountain biking as well.
“There are a lot of big-time riding events scheduled in Wyoming each year, with the largest for my club being the annual Dead Dog Classic,” O'Toole says. “It attracts a lot of top racers from Wyoming and Colorado because there are three separate events over the last weekend in June, whereas most biking events stage only one event.”
The Dead Dog Classic begins with an 87-mile Saturday road race that starts in Albany, climbs to the Snowy Range, and back to Laramie.
“Then on Sunday morning, a criterium short road race occurs in downtown Laramie and is great for spectators, followed Sunday afternoon by a time trial on the Summit between Laramie and Cheyenne,” O'Toole says. “That Sunday evening, a barbecue ends all the festivities. It's a great weekend for bicyclists who are really into the sport.”
Another major annual event is the Tour de Wyoming, a 360-mile bike ride through Wyoming and parts of Idaho. The six-day event (July 14-19 in 2013) takes riders from Jackson to Idaho and back to Jackson over the Teton Pass, and organizers have been forced to use a lottery system to fill the 350 spots because there is such overwhelming interest.
Curt Gowdy State Park, situated between Laramie and Cheyenne, has some of the area's most popular trails for mountain bike enthusiasts, while the Greater Cheyenne Greenway is a system of paved paths that utilize bridges and tunnels in many areas to bypass busy roads and streets, says George Anadiotis, owner of the Rock on Wheels bicycle shop in Cheyenne.
“No motorized vehicles are allowed on the Cheyenne Greenway, so biking along that stretch of concrete roadway is like a dream. The ultimate goal for the Greenway is to have a hub-and-spoke system that encircles the entire city of Cheyenne in one continuous loop,” he says.
A bounty of other outdoor recreation options are available throughout the state. For hikers, Wyoming has seven national forests, two national parks and numerous state parks, plus more than 18 million acres of public land with hundreds of trails.
Hikers can scale a mountain or stroll across the prairie, or choose trails that will access world famous sites such as Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Teton Loop. Expert hikers and climbers can also ascend Cloud Peak in the Bighorn National Forest or tackle the Glacier Trail near Dubois.