Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Suggestions for next epic ride

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Suggestions for next epic ride

Old 02-17-17, 01:08 PM
  #1  
alan s 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,916
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1464 Post(s)
Liked 148 Times in 104 Posts
Suggestions for next epic ride

Thinking ahead to the summer, anywhere from June to August, and trying to come up with an "epic ride in an awesome location" list. OK, that's a bit of a joke, but you know what I mean, hopefully. East coast of the US is my starting point, and the farthest I really want to fly is Europe or anywhere in North America.

The main constraint is time, which allows for about 9 days of riding, plus time to get there and back. Also, I don't really want to spend much time in urban areas, and prefer most of the time riding in beautiful surroundings (who doesn't, right?). Also, not into roughing it, dealing with bad weather or critters, or seeing some obscure locations. Easy to get there and back is a must. Cost is not a factor, but I do like camping, so at least an opportunity to stay in campgrounds some of the time would be ideal.

So far, I'm thinking about, in no particular order:

- going back to Switzerland and riding the eastern portion; rode in the western portion last summer
- riding from Munich to Bratislava along the Isar and Danube and taking the train back
- hill towns in Italy
- Loire Valley/Paris
- Erie Canal (a bit less epic, but on my list nonetheless)
- Ireland or UK
- somewhere out West?

I know that's a lot to choose from, and surely there are many other places that fit the criteria. What are your thoughts or suggestions?
alan s is online now  
Old 02-17-17, 01:18 PM
  #2  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 35,964

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4361 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 15 Posts
I'd add a ride in the Ardennes area including eastern Belgium, Luxembourg, and the surrounding area depending on your capabilities for miles and hills. Also Northern England and Scotland. Also, maybe something in the Po valley pr Plain of Venice, starting in Milan, and riding to Venice or Bologna.

Skip the Erie canal for when you have a bit less time, it's nice riding but won't be epic.

As for out west, plenty of beautiful countryside, but distances are long, and it boild down to what you look for. Europe is about food, museums, and culture. The west is about scenery, if that's your thing, add the Canadian rockies, starting in or near Calgary as one to consider.

FWIW - Of those you've listed, I'd do the Munich/Bratislava ride, or one along those lines. That's on my list, but I'm looking at something either longer or farther downstream, maybe all the way to the Black Sea, or breaking off and ending in Istanbul, (sort of an Orient Express" ride). So,you might hold back on that until you have to time for something more Epic.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

Last edited by FBinNY; 02-17-17 at 01:22 PM.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 02-17-17, 01:27 PM
  #3  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 27,008
Mentioned: 192 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11417 Post(s)
Liked 3,055 Times in 1,698 Posts
Dirt/gravel capability? If so, maybe the Black Hills including the Mickelson Trail. Definitely no culture in SD. But the scenery is pretty darn nice. And Rapid City is easy to fly into. There is a bike shop in the center of town (Cranky Jeff's) that will assemble your bike and hold your box for you then box it up for you for shipping back home.


BTW...Bad weather in the form of thunderstorms (or worse) can strike at any time most places out west.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 02-17-17, 01:47 PM
  #4  
alan s 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,916
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1464 Post(s)
Liked 148 Times in 104 Posts
I would most likely take the World Troller, which is coupled, and can pretty much be ridden anywhere. Don't mind the occasional thunderstorm or even a day of rain, but multiple days of bad weather would put a damper on things.

The Ardennes/Benelux sounds intriguing, but would require a bit of research because I've never been there other than Amsterdam, nor do I know much about the area, other than seeing shows about WWII battles. Probably a lot of history in the area. Maybe flying into Amsterdam, riding south and taking a train back would work. Or a loop from Paris.
alan s is online now  
Old 02-17-17, 01:50 PM
  #5  
Squeezebox
Banned.
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 2,077
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 760 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
The Loire valley was easy riding and very pretty. Ireland was also very scenic and fairly easy riding. A lot of light rain, west coast quite windy. Do consider Wales a bit more difficult, but not tough riding, very scenic. Switzerland was tough but worth it. maybe. Northern Holland was nice in it's own kinda way. I enjoyed western Holland also.
These opinions are from 30 yrs ago.
A piece of the Great Divide?
Tough decision.

Last edited by Squeezebox; 02-17-17 at 01:54 PM.
Squeezebox is offline  
Old 02-17-17, 02:23 PM
  #6  
bwgride
Slow Rider
 
bwgride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 1,041
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
So many options and you have identified many, but costly options. Someone recently posted a route from Montreal to NYC: Western New England Greenway | Bike Route | CT MA VT

If you are in DC, you can fly one-way to Montreal for <$150 + bike flying cost, then ride back as far as you than take train or flight back to DC.

Calgary to Banff to Jasper along Bow Valley and Icefields Parkway also nice. Many camping options along the way (and you can ask to share a space if camps are full). Use Brewsters bus service to ride back to Calgary from Banff, Jasper, etc.
bwgride is offline  
Old 02-17-17, 02:27 PM
  #7  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 17,065

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 140 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4531 Post(s)
Liked 843 Times in 592 Posts
Given the amount of time you have (9 days plus travel), I'd be thinking about going out west or perhaps Canada (Quebec?) to maximize bike time and minimize travel time. I'm not entirely certain I'll make it out to the Black Hills this summer (post no. 3) but that's on my short list of places to visit.
bikemig is offline  
Old 02-17-17, 03:03 PM
  #8  
Doug64
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 5,817
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 890 Post(s)
Liked 212 Times in 132 Posts
Originally Posted by bwgride View Post
........................................................................... Calgary to Banff to Jasper along Bow Valley and Icefields Parkway also nice. Many camping options along the way (and you can ask to share a space if camps are full). Use Brewsters bus service to ride back to Calgary from Banff, Jasper, etc.
+1

If you can figure out how to swing this ride, it is definately worth it!

Icefield Parkway, AB



Doug64 is offline  
Old 02-17-17, 03:07 PM
  #9  
axolotl
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,851
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
Liked 30 Times in 24 Posts
Some ideas:

A loop in Colorado
Montana + Canadian Rockies
SF->LA
SW France (e.g. Bordeaux to Toulouse via the Dordogne/Lot valleys, then south from Figeac to Toulouse)
Corsica
Pyrenees

Personally, I found the flat Po valley in northern pretty boring relative to the rest of non-flat Italy. I also didn't find the Ardennes particularly exciting.
axolotl is online now  
Old 02-17-17, 04:00 PM
  #10  
alan s 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,916
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1464 Post(s)
Liked 148 Times in 104 Posts
So many great ideas. Just checked out the Loire Valley route from CDG-Paris-Chartres-Orleans-Tours-Nantes which according to Google Maps is 328 miles. That would be just about right with plenty of time for exploring and side trips. Terrain looks pretty easy. Just a note, rode the Pacific Coast route this past December from SF south. Beautiful area.
alan s is online now  
Old 02-17-17, 04:38 PM
  #11  
shelbyfv
Senior Member
 
shelbyfv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 6,880
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1685 Post(s)
Liked 982 Times in 575 Posts
Katy Trail?
shelbyfv is online now  
Old 02-17-17, 04:50 PM
  #12  
DXchulo
Upgrading my engine
 
DXchulo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Alamogordo
Posts: 6,208
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 122 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
How about Alaska? The weather can be an issue, but I got pretty lucky when I went a few years back. Only got to ride one day, but it seemed perfect for a bike tour.
DXchulo is offline  
Old 02-17-17, 05:59 PM
  #13  
alan s 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,916
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1464 Post(s)
Liked 148 Times in 104 Posts
Originally Posted by DXchulo View Post
How about Alaska? The weather can be an issue, but I got pretty lucky when I went a few years back. Only got to ride one day, but it seemed perfect for a bike tour.
Not likely for a short trip. Way far away, plus they have lots of critters, including small ones that eat you (bugs) and large ones that eat you (bears).

Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Katy Trail?
Some day, but not now. I live right next to a towpath and rail trail (C&O/GAP), so a bit too familiar.

Also thinking about Amsterdam to Paris and train back. I could time the trip to see the TDF Stage 2 finish in Liege, Belgium on July 2. It was a blast last year in Switzerland to see a couple stages. Through the Ardennes and then onto Paris, with a bit of time to explore cities on both ends and in between. About 400 miles in all.
alan s is online now  
Old 02-17-17, 06:54 PM
  #14  
nycphotography
NYC
 
nycphotography's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,637
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1104 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 15 Posts
bike tour colorado

its 6 days riding, one day rest, lots of scenic riding, lots of climbing, supported tent camping with hot meals, and you can upgrade to hotels if you want.

tons of riders at just about any pace.

i did it once (went alone and met people along the way) and had a great time. i would definitely recommend it.
nycphotography is offline  
Old 02-17-17, 07:01 PM
  #15  
nycphotography
NYC
 
nycphotography's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,637
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1104 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 15 Posts
also colombia cycling. i just got back from a week in colombia and not only would i go back, but i will be going back. it was an amazong place to go ride, especially in january when nyc is miserable.

tomas molina is a former pro cyclist and former minister of tourism in medellin, and when you ride with him you definitely get the best of both. colombia didnt sound safe from here in the us, but within a day i was 100% at ease, and i can assure you colombia is 100% cycling as a sport crazy and you are 100% safe riding with tomas anywhere he decides to take you.

hit me with a pm if you want
nycphotography is offline  
Old 02-17-17, 07:08 PM
  #16  
Jim from Boston
Senior Member
 
Jim from Boston's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 7,376
Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 799 Post(s)
Liked 203 Times in 159 Posts
Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Thinking ahead to the summer, anywhere from June to August, and trying to come up with an"epic ride in an awesome location" list. OK, that's a bit of a joke,but you know what I mean, hopefully. East coast of the US is my starting point,and the farthest I really want to fly is Europe or anywhere in North America.

The main constraint is time, which allows for about 9 days of riding, plus time to get there and back. Also, I don't really want to spend much time in urban areas, and prefer most of thetime riding in beautiful surroundings (who doesn't, right?). Also, not into roughing it, dealing with bad weather or critters, or seeing some obscure locations. Easy to get there and back is a must. Cost is not a factor, but I do like camping, so at least an opportunity to stay in campgrounds some of the time would be ideal…

What are your thoughts or suggestions?
Personally. I'm very happy cycling in Metro Boston, and have posted an informal Cycling Guide to Metro Boston that would make a nice hub and spoke tour of nine days (and is easily accessible from Washington, DC). It may seem parochial, but I think the cycling around here is great. One can be in scenic countryside within about one hour from downtown, while passing through an interesting, compact urban and suburban scene. Furthermore you can extend your range with a convenient Commuter Rail that allows fully-assembled bikes during off-peak hours. In Spring through Fall it’s a temperate climate.

Besides the cycling, Boston is such a popular tourist destination that there will always be something interesting to do off the bike…culture, nightlife, sports and so forth.

I know you would like to avoid the urban experience, and further out into New England could satisfy that condition. Camping near Boston too would be problematic, but not impossible. If you’ve never been here before, the experience may be even more…epic.
Jim from Boston is offline  
Old 02-17-17, 07:47 PM
  #17  
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,891

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 138 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3119 Post(s)
Liked 341 Times in 217 Posts
Another vote for Canada!
Machka is offline  
Old 02-17-17, 07:59 PM
  #18  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 35,964

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4361 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Another vote for Canada!
Is it OK to say that you're biased?

OTOH - I did suggest the Canadian Rockies earlier. I just wonder if there's enough time given the distances, and that out of 9 days the OP will lose the first and last to travel.

One of the reasons I like Europe is that there's more to see in less distance, and from the east coast, you fly overnight, departing in the evening and arriving early in the AM ready to hit the streets running. That's like a free day (assuming you can get by on little or no sleep).


BTW - it it weren't halfway around the world (with no polar flight shortcut) Tasmania would be very high on my bucket list.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

Last edited by FBinNY; 02-17-17 at 08:06 PM.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 02-17-17, 08:24 PM
  #19  
L134 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: San Diego
Posts: 399

Bikes: 1978 Bruce Gordon, 1978 Lippy, 199? Lippy tandem, Bike Friday NWT, Trek 720(stolen-frame recovered), Rivendell Atlantis

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 196 Post(s)
Liked 29 Times in 20 Posts
Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
+1

If you can figure out how to swing this ride, it is definately worth it!

Icefield Parkway, AB



A must do!
L134 is offline  
Old 02-17-17, 08:35 PM
  #20  
Squeezebox
Banned.
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 2,077
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 760 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Katy Trail?
I wouldn't call the Katy trail epic. But a possibility anyway.
Squeezebox is offline  
Old 02-17-17, 08:38 PM
  #21  
shelbyfv
Senior Member
 
shelbyfv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 6,880
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1685 Post(s)
Liked 982 Times in 575 Posts
Was a joke, sorry if too subtle.
shelbyfv is online now  
Old 02-17-17, 08:51 PM
  #22  
mev
bicycle tourist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Posts: 1,777

Bikes: Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 251 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 38 Posts
Canadian Maritimes, e.g. Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick or Quebec's Gaspe Peninsula. A bunch of different possibilities here including starting with ferry to Yarmouth and then making a loop from there...or flying via Halifax, Quebec City, etc.

Your "critters" constraint might rule it out, but one of my favorite one week loop rides was to fly to Juneau AK, take the marine ferry to Haines, AK and then cycle to Skagway, AK before taking the ferry back to Juneau. Stunning scenery and beautiful riding.

Overall, my favorite riding in Canada has been on the "edges", either out west (YT, Icefields Parkway) or further east into Atlantic Canada (NS, NF, NB). Given the travel constraint the eastern parts aren't too far away.
mev is offline  
Old 02-17-17, 08:59 PM
  #23  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 35,964

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4361 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 15 Posts
let's face it.

It's a big world and there are more potentially epic rides than anyone can do in a single lifetime.

So, choosing and ranking epic rides depends on what you're looking for. After all, we haven't mentioned Iceland, where someone who likes scenery and off road or rough on road riding could lose himself and have a very tough time getting back on a flight home after only a week. Then there's plenty or potentially epic rides in the Pyrrennes and Spain. Brittainy, Normandy, the Rhone valley, Cote d'Azur, .......oh crap, I need to open up some time this summer.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 02-17-17, 10:27 PM
  #24  
boomhauer
Senior Member
 
boomhauer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 713
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 199 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 12 Posts
salt lake city to Spokane, WA
760 miles
9 days
boomhauer is offline  
Old 02-18-17, 12:10 AM
  #25  
alan s 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,916
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1464 Post(s)
Liked 148 Times in 104 Posts
Just to be clear, 9 days of riding with time on either end for travel, sightseeing, bike assembly/disassembly. 400-500 miles is probably the maximum distance. @Jim from Boston two summers ago I rode from Boston through Cape Cod, and my sister lives in the suburbs, so I've spent plenty of time riding in your area. It is very nice there, but not quite what I have in mind.

Going to have to look into Canada further. Sounds like many nice rides there. Never heard of Icefields Parkway. Looks stunning. My mother (rest her soul) was Canadian, and I have many relatives in Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia that may be due a visit.
alan s is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.