It’s no accident that Australian legend Chris Legh makes Lyons his April through December home. Legh bases his Penny’s Peak Performance Camps here, taking full advantage of the quad- and calf-busting trail runs and road rides that emanate in every direction. Nestled north of Boulder’s endurance athlete Mecca, this picturesque Rocky Mountain hamlet serves as a high-altitude training retreat for numerous pros, including Ironman champion Belinda Granger and Team Sky’s Tour de France stage winner Simon Gerrans. July marked the inaugural Lyons-based Centurion Cycling event, which offered all-ability rides of 100, 50 and 25 miles.
Tough training days in Lyons are rewarded with a dip in the icy cold St. Vrain River, gourmet goodies from the newly refurbished St. Vrain Market or a beer at local brewpub Oskar Blues. With 242 sun-drenched days each year and only 34 inches of snow on average, winters in Lyons are milder than one might imagine. The tiny town’s only drawback is its lack of a swim facility, but that’s easily remedied with a short 17-mile drive to one of Boulder’s many community recreation centers.
Love it if: Music is your fourth passion. The annual Folks Festival delights with the laid-back likes of John Prine and The Swell Season.
Leave it if: The occasional rattlesnake, bear or mountain lion traipsing through the backyard sends your heart rate soaring.