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Best cycling culture in America

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Best cycling culture in America

Old 01-04-05, 09:26 PM
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SkiesAzure
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Best cycling culture in America

What are some areas that have the best cycling culture in America, such as great roads, decent number of riders, etc?

One of the best places I've ridden in is outside of Boone, NC. Excellent roads, great climbs, and lots of other riders on the road as well. They have a nice century there in June too, Blood Sweat and Gears.
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Old 01-04-05, 09:36 PM
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i'm quite a fan of greenville, sc. lots of riders, loads of good rides, including easy access to the mountains, in and outside of the city, organized and not. a couple of strong local clubs and locally-based teams. kinda cool to have hincapie living here, too. plus, it's a damn cool town. best of all worlds, really.
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Old 01-04-05, 09:40 PM
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Davis CA.

More bikes than people. Really.

Flat (but you can ride 20 miles to some real hills.)

Abundant routes that are low-traffic, and/or wide just outside of town. You can easily find 40+ mile loops in any direction that are less than 5 min of "city riding" away.

Many bike paths. Some are even useful for cycling.

Recumbants and tandems are big here for obvious reasons.

Two big events -- Foxy Fall Century and the Davis Double Century. I've ridden neither.
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Old 01-04-05, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by MrCjolsen
Davis CA.

More bikes than people. Really.

Flat (but you can ride 20 miles to some real hills.)

Abundant routes that are low-traffic, and/or wide just outside of town. You can easily find 40+ mile loops in any direction that are less than 5 min of "city riding" away.

Many bike paths. Some are even useful for cycling.

Recumbants and tandems are big here for obvious reasons.

Two big events -- Foxy Fall Century and the Davis Double Century. I've ridden neither.
There's a lot of rides not that far from Davis, all over the Bay Area and Central Valley. Davis Bike Club even sponsors some randoneuring events, and a 12 and 24 hour ride. If you checked within a two hour drive, you might be able to do an organized century almost every weekend from May-October every year. Foxy's is one of my favorite rides. I haven't done the century, but have ridden the metric century twice. The Tour of Napa Valley is the "absolute must" for me every year. On this year's Foxy's, the wind got up to about 30 mph, so it made it fairly challenging. Guy on the left: http://www.photocrazy.com/2004/1016F.../FOX30022.html. My older Trek 420, my "First Love".
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Old 01-04-05, 10:54 PM
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Austin's good. I like Austin. Not that I've had lots of experience with other cities.

Occasionally TxDOT does something rather idiotic, and nobody here can drive, but it's fun. Lots of good folks -- the only thing better in Austin is the frisbee.
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Old 01-04-05, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by MrCjolsen
Davis CA.

More bikes than people. Really.

Flat (but you can ride 20 miles to some real hills.)

Abundant routes that are low-traffic, and/or wide just outside of town. You can easily find 40+ mile loops in any direction that are less than 5 min of "city riding" away.

Many bike paths. Some are even useful for cycling.

Recumbants and tandems are big here for obvious reasons.

Two big events -- Foxy Fall Century and the Davis Double Century. I've ridden neither.
And four bike shops in town, with most brands covered.

And drivers that notice a cyclist on the road, and try not to hit you.

And good weather most of the year (well, when the north wind is down, and when it's not raining for days on end like this week and last).
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Old 01-04-05, 10:58 PM
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I'll put in a plug for the S.F. Bay area, especially the Peninsula ('cause I live near there!). Lot's of good climbs (Mt. Hamilton, Mt. Tamalpais, Mt. Diablo, the Santa Cruz Mtns.), riders (Freddy Rodriguez (Emeryville), Levi Leipheimer (Santa Rosa), bunch of Sierra Nevada riders (including Eric Wohlberg), Webcor, many Masters racers, good number of local races (including SFGP, Sea Otter Classic), clubs (racing and touring), velodrome (Hellyer Park), centuries and double centuries (Tierra Bella, Sequoia, Grizzly Peaks, Wine Country, Devil Mountain Double, Terrible Two, throw in the Davis rides, Santa Cruz Mtn. Challenge, Strawberry Fields, Cinderella (for the ladies), and on-going regular rides that have developed a life of their own (The Noon Ride, The Valley Ride, The Spectrum Ride, The Morning Ride).
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Old 01-04-05, 11:39 PM
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Montreal's great, discounting the weather.
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Old 01-05-05, 07:55 AM
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America?
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Old 01-05-05, 09:15 AM
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Well I can't speak for the Entire U.S. But I can speak about NJ. I live in Allentown, NJ (borders on Monmouth and Mercer county) when the whether is nice it becomes an absolute Mecca for riders.........much to the chagrin of the folks that live in the "active adult" community (including my father-in law) who dont like to have to negotiate their way around us.
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Old 01-05-05, 09:35 AM
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Hey if you European/other county guys wanna share too, go ahead!
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Old 01-05-05, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by RedHairedScot
Austin's good. I like Austin. Not that I've had lots of experience with other cities.

Occasionally TxDOT does something rather idiotic, and nobody here can drive, but it's fun. Lots of good folks -- the only thing better in Austin is the frisbee.
I'll second Austin, not because of good roads or lots of bike lanes, but because the amount and quality of the riders. I moved from Thousand Oaks Ca in May, an area that is roadie heaven. However the riders I met in So Cal are not nearly as friendly as those that I have met here in Austin. Also this is a very fit town with some very good athlets, runners, tri, and roadies.
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Old 01-05-05, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by SkiesAzure
Hey if you European/other county guys wanna share too, go ahead!
Well, then I'd have to say Gerona, Spain, where I trained for a week last March. The entire area puts cyclists first. They rules the road. Trucks pull over...cars clear a path...it was wonderful there.
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Old 01-05-05, 10:45 AM
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I second Austin.
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Old 01-05-05, 01:10 PM
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Portland, Oregon. We have great weather (riding all year round), excellent climbs, bike lanes and bike trails all over the city. But wait, there's more: we have more local frame builders and bike shops than you can shake a stick at. And we have sooo many different types of cyclists: hard core roadies, mountain bikers, cyclocrossers, messengers, track riders, serious commuters. I moved here specifically because of the bike culture and I am continually surprised at how great it is each day. Go Portland!
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Old 01-05-05, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Hipcycler
Well, then I'd have to say Gerona, Spain, where I trained for a week last March. The entire area puts cyclists first. They rules the road. Trucks pull over...cars clear a path...it was wonderful there.
No kidding? That's very cool. Any Lance sightings?
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Old 01-05-05, 01:57 PM
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Portland? Doesn't it rain too much there?

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Old 01-05-05, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Hipcycler
Well, then I'd have to say Gerona, Spain, where I trained for a week last March. The entire area puts cyclists first. They rules the road. Trucks pull over...cars clear a path...it was wonderful there.
Geez....that sounds like the Montrose ride in Pasadena every Saturday morning.....
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Old 01-05-05, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 55/Rad
Portland? Doesn't it rain too much there?

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Doesn't it? Are all the anecdotal stories urban myth? I always thought that you folks got A LOT of liquid sunshine every winter/spring. If this isn't the case - spill it, I won't tell. Promise.
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Old 01-05-05, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Steelrider
Doesn't it? Are all the anecdotal stories urban myth? I always thought that you folks got A LOT of liquid sunshine every winter/spring. If this isn't the case - spill it, I won't tell. Promise.
It's not that it rains a lot, it's that it rains a lot of the time. We might only get an inch or two out of a storm, but it'll stretch out over a solid couple weeks of non-stop drizzle. It's the constant overcast that drives people nuts.

It's totally worth it for the summers though.
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Old 01-05-05, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by superstator
It's not that it rains a lot, it's that it rains a lot of the time. We might only get an inch or two out of a storm, but it'll stretch out over a solid couple weeks of non-stop drizzle. It's the constant overcast that drives people nuts.

It's totally worth it for the summers though.
I have heard jokes about Portland having a "reverse chamber of commerce" by telling everyone how crappy it is here. But superstator is pretty much on target. We often have days on end of light drizzle, but it is definitely not a problem to ride in. But then again, it has rained only about three times in the last few weeks. Right now, for example, it is clear and sunny. And summer is absolute paradise--sunny and about 80 every day for months.
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Old 01-05-05, 03:25 PM
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Boulder used to be the center of U.S. pro cycling.
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Old 01-05-05, 03:51 PM
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What little5guy and Superstator wrote about Portland is true to a point. But it is nowhere near as bad as it is in Seattle. I lived there for 7 years and here for 3, the weather is far better here in Portland. Those long stretches are far more bearable here.

I remember one year in Seattle - '97 I believe - when there was 91 consecutive days of measurable precipitation. Grueling.

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Old 01-05-05, 05:51 PM
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Thanks guys. Was seriously curious. Went up to Crater Lake, then over to the coast with the family this past summer over a 7-10 day trip. Only made it as far north as Winchester/Florence. Seriously beautiful part of the world and will make it farther north next time. Have never spent much time in the Portland area, but have in the Seattle/Longview/Redmond area and spent majority of the time too cold or too wet.

When driving around Crater Lake though, there was some event going on because all around the rim, there were a large number of cyclists with bib numbers making the circuit. Didn't have a bike with me on the trip, but that was the only time I really envied anyone I saw riding...
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Old 01-05-05, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Laggard
Boulder used to be the center of U.S. pro cycling.


SSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
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