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The best bike ride you ever did - just one!

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The best bike ride you ever did - just one!

Old 11-24-20, 09:26 AM
  #26  
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Great topic....and a tough one to answer.

I think it would have to be my second time at CAMP (Cycle Across Missouri Parks). CAMP was a cross MO ride put on by the St Louis AYH and the MO DNR which was limited to 350 riders. It was a week long ride which started near Kansas City and finished somewhere close to St Louis - every year it was a different route. We camped in State Parks every night and everything except lunch was furnished. They had a deal with Amtrak from St Louis so most of us did that - they had trucks to take our bikes and gear to KC. After handing my stuff off, I saw Craig, who I had met the previous year and had ridden with on one day. Once on the train we were sitting together and couldn't help but overhear a couple of women in the seats in front of us talking about the ride - it was obviously their first time and they were nervous. We started talking to them and letting them know what to expect. The four of us ending up hanging out all week, our tents next to each other and we had a great time, constant jokes and escaping from the world with nothing to do except ride and eat. IIRC that year the route was sort of along the KATY trail - there was a road or KATY option most days - so Craig and I did the road and the women mostly did the trail.

I did CAMP four times and Craig and I rode together every year except the first. It was the only time that we ever saw each other. Every CAMP was a great time but I think that year was the most fun. I don't have any pics at all, this was before digital cameras existed and I didn't bring a film camera along. I do have this pic from a different ride the previous year, the bike and I looked pretty much the same that year.


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Old 11-24-20, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
+1 (I ride to leave the phone behind). Like the olden days.
I have a point and shoot camera that is solely designated for rides, nothing else. Cheap. Tiny. Power button. Shoot button. Great pcs. Nothing like a phone as it is easy to use. Like the olden days, just digital.
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Old 11-24-20, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Choke View Post
Great topic....and a tough one to answer.
Yes. Maybe I should have phrased it, "best bike ride, tell us about just one"

As for your ride, I have only done one-day rides. A tour is definitely on my bucket list, but I have to find a companion for that. I'm too old if something happens.
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Old 11-24-20, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
(...)

My older son had a blast!
.... as did about 17 million Dutch watching that same rider.

Talk about epic rides.

His name is Johnny Hoogerland, and he'd been driven off the road by a TV crew car in 9th stage of that TdF and landed in a barbed wire fence.


Such an accident would probably have ended anyone else's race, but he got back on the bike, got 33 stitches later that night and proclaimed that "a Zealander doesn't give up that easily". He became a national hero, and I'm sure the Dutch Curve was rooting for him that day on Alpe d'Huez.



That same afternoon on the podium:

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Old 11-24-20, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
.... as did about 17 million Dutch watching that same rider.

Talk about epic rides.

His name is Johnny Hoogerland, and he'd been driven off the road by a TV crew car in 9th stage of that TdF and landed in a barbed wire fence.

driven off the road by a TV crew car

Such an accident would probably have ended anyone else's race, but he got back on the bike, got 33 stitches later that night and proclaimed that "a Zealander doesn't give up that easily". He became a national hero, and I'm sure the Dutch Curve was rooting for him that day on Alpe d'Huez.

That same afternoon on the podium:
Oh yeah, that’s one of the classic stories of pro cycling toughness.We followed that story closely that year. Here’s my son waiting to get his autograph a couple of days later at the TT in Grenoble.


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Old 11-24-20, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
Oh yeah, that’s one of the classic stories of pro cycling toughness.(...)
Maybe we should have a separate thread on that subject ...



Sorry for the deviation. Back to the main program.
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Old 11-25-20, 01:52 AM
  #32  
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Our 3-col day.

2 July 2008, the valley of the Ubaye south of Barcelonnette, France. One of the "rest" days on an Erickson tour in the Maritime Alps. (Ha. A rest only in the sense of a respite from packing up every morning.)

120 km, 10,500 feet of climbing. On the tandem. Could we even do it?

Departed alone, just the two of us, at first light (can't remember what we did for breakfast, but ate lots of pasta as a first course the night before. And dessert, always dessert.)

First climb is to the Col d'Allos above tree line, not so bad, grind away in the 28 x 32, then descend a narrow one-lane road, but ribbon smooth, not classic hairpins, more like a pearl necklace thrown across an unmade bed. Road widens at the ski village which, seven years later, would be the Sapeurs-Pompiers ops base for the recovery effort for the German Wings murder-suicide flight that flew into the mountain wilderness nearby. Doing OK for time, not hungry so pressed on to Colmars. The left turn for the road to the Col des Champs looks like it has to be a farmer's lane. The D2 directional sign must surely be indicating a road further on, like in the centre of the village. Nope, this is it. Climb steeply, steepest so far, on broken, rutted chip-seal that is no longer sealed. Glad we're not descending it. Dense woods after several hairpins and much toil open above tree line again and some residual snow in the shadows over the top as we face north.

Very steep descent now on a proper wide French-smooth road but still scary fast. Brakes working hard. Long tiring descent to Saint-Martin-des-Entraunes and lunch at a little restaurant. The chef was pulling greens out of the garden for salad as we rolled up. Shared a table with two Swiss cyclists who had been thwarted by thunderstorms in two previous attempts to ride this loop. Just as we were finishing, Steve and Tim from our tour group arrived, having left hours after us, no doubt. They live in Colorado, superbly competent and always equipped for survival above 5000', where they do most of their riding. By this time everyone in our group had affectionately dubbed them "the Mountain Men" -- and this honour was bestowed by a group that largely hailed from the U.S. west coast where they know a thing or two about mountains themselves (unlike us flat-landers.) With one eye on the sky and the other on the clock they told us not to wait for them.

One more col to go. I think we're going to be able to do this. A long steady climb up toward the Col de Cayolle. Hot and humid now, and far below/behind us we can see, and soon hear, a thunderstorm making its leisurely way up the valley. As we climb, we realize that if it catches us, we're going to be up in it, not just under it. We can survive a cold rain but getting electrocuted would wreck our day. The storm is slowly gathering in the valley, rather than racing up it the way our familiar squalls do, so we think we might get over in time, "on the rivet". Back down into it doesn't seem sensible. Progress near the top is slow and tantalizing because of the lacets in which you win a few metres at a time, but still mostly treed for shelter. Is the storm gaining on us? Steve and Tim pass us, making sure we have rain and cold gear -- we do -- and wish us luck.

Rear-Adm Mrs. C. never quits or quavers, churning out the revs on the back. She's more of a natural athlete than I am. And then we're over the top into the wide expanse of the pass. Brilliant sunshine, the mountain cirque sweeping up in both directions into blue sky. But two hikers coming down from higher up warn us, "Il va pleuvoir." Do tell. Orage, too, sans doute. But not yet. We beat it. The road descends steeply at first, then settles down as it crosses the first major stream. And there are Steve and Tim, waiting for us making sure we got over OK. Bless their hearts. We ride together for a while but they are better descenders than we are, and so faster into the lovely densely forested valley on a small road as we roll back into Barcelonnette in time for 3 o'clock coffee.....just before the skies did open up with lightning, hail, and torrential rain.

The most rewarding riding day ever. I'm sure we'll never again do a ride like that. 120 km is no sweat, but the climbing was hard! Ten years later, we reprised that tour for Glenn's retirement -- likely our last European bike tour -- and decided that even though we still enjoyed the climbing at our own pace and never felt exhausted, 10,000 feet just wouldn't be fun. We did climb the Col de la Bonnette, the highest paved through road in Europe, but that's not that hard because Barcelonnette is already so high to begin with. And to remind us that the mountains do make their own weather, we got caught in a thunderstorm (again fortunately when we were almost home) just for old times' sake.

With such a demanding ride, we didn't dally to take any photos that day. But our route out of Barcelonnette to our next destination two days later went back up over the Col de Cayolle in the reverse direction. So some pics of that day to remind us that it really did happen:


Setting the stage. "The Gendarme's Hat", from Barcelonnette


Threatening weather the day before.

Mrs. C. shoots from the stoker seat. Early in the climb to Col de Cayolle when the singles haven't dropped us yet.



Vertical country


The pass is to the left of the gray mountain, behind the trees.


Getting there. This bridge is where the Mountain Men were waiting for us.



The "bournes des kilometrage" have lots of useful information even though they're made of plastic now.. Two days earlier there was a mess of ugly weather just over and below that ridge in the background.


Two days earlier we were pointed in the opposite direction, and hadn't bought the "3-col" jerseys yet.


Thanks Tim and Steve, Knights of the Mountains, wherever you are.


Not looking too much the worse for wear the next day I think. (Souvenir jerseys from the bike shop in the plastic bag!)

Last edited by conspiratemus1; 11-25-20 at 02:47 PM. Reason: misspelled "Ubaye"
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Old 11-25-20, 06:27 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
+1 (I ride to leave the phone behind). Like the olden days.

But.... 172.2 miles, at least 100 solo. nomadmax dropped me at 38 when the train came by. Significant 30 from about 100 to 130 with a person I met... Otherwise, 96 degrees and heat index of 106 from 10 am to 5 pm.

I mentally calculated how much I’d clear by selling them all, several times.



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This ride ^ was probably one of the best and the worst, all at the same time.

But as far as best "best", it would have to be the the Tour de France HC "Beyond Category" climbs in the French/Swiss Alps. The best of the best being Alpe d'Huez. I would have never donned a yellow jersey but my host had gone to the top and purchased it for me as a gift.





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Old 11-25-20, 09:25 AM
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Not epic. Not exotic. Not heroic. But.....pure magic. The eight-mile loop road through the East Saguaro National Park near Tucson during a full moon, after the road is closed, with no lights. I went to grad school at the U of A in the mid-eighties and a small group of us “lunatics” would do moon-lit rides when we could. A fun empty road through a tranquil and dimly silhouetted landscape like no other place on earth. Stopping occasionally, laying out on still warm rocks to listen to the night sounds of the desert and embrace the solitude. I don’t know if people still do that but, after nearly forty years, my most unforgettable ride.





https://www.arizonahighways.com/expl...onal-park-east


.

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Old 11-25-20, 11:31 AM
  #35  
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Wow -- epic thread! I see lots of shared passion for riding hills, something I used to do regularly when I lived in west Los Angeles and explored Malibu, Topanga Canyon, etc. frequently.

This is not necessarily my favorite or "best" ride, but my single athletic achievement in life remains a 12:18 double century with the Los Angeles Wheelmen in 1972.

The bicycle was not C&V at the time: 1971 American Eagle Semi-Pro upgraded to a tensioned leather saddle, tubular tires, and 2x5 54-44/14-24 gearing copied from the recently-introduced Nishiki Road Compe. I put about 40K miles over 20 years until the seat tube lug broke away from the rest of the BB shell. Too many hills, I guess.
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Old 11-25-20, 11:54 AM
  #36  
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Wow, tough choice. There is one ride I would do again if I had a time machine. Way back when, my racing friends and I would always try to get one last epic road ride in before snow. So for several years we would ride in late Oct/early November from Plain, WI over the Baraboo Bluffs and then back, preferably when the colors were full. This particular year (probably 2000) we had a perfectly calm and sunny day, but maybe 35 degrees tops. The colors were vibrant, the climbs were quite enjoyable because they warmed you up and we all had leftover fitness from the season. There is a long climb on Denzer road in Sauk County that goes up into the bluffs and looks spectacular in fall color. You didn't really want it to end so you rode piano all the way. We stopped for a lunch in North Freedom where I would always call ahead so this small cafe could reserve their large table for us. On the way back we would stop at every apple orchard and stand for hot cider and snacks. And, we had hot cider, brandy, and brownies waiting in my truck back in Plain. Unfortunately this was in the days before camera phones, but our friend Larry carried a small digital camera and I still have this one photo remaining. Here's to Ken, Deb, Muriel, Doug, me, Terry, Grant, and our photographer Larry not in the pic.


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Old 11-26-20, 09:11 AM
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Across Washington state w/ SAG

Neah Bay to Spokane. About 500 miles in a week.

Neah Bay to Sequim

Follow the purple line west to east. One night in a motel, mini-van camping the rest.







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Old 11-27-20, 01:55 PM
  #38  
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My best ride was the 2019 El Tour de Tucson, mostly because it was my first-ever century ride. It was a lot of fun until about the last seven or eight miles, at which point I just wanted to toss my bike in a ditch and be done with the whole thing. I set a goal to finish in under seven hours, and managed it by about five minutes. At the finish:

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Old 11-27-20, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by majmt View Post
Not epic. Not exotic. Not heroic. But.....pure magic. The eight-mile loop road through the East Saguaro National Park near Tucson during a full moon, after the road is closed, with no lights. I went to grad school at the U of A in the mid-eighties and a small group of us “lunatics” would do moon-lit rides when we could. A fun empty road through a tranquil and dimly silhouetted landscape like no other place on earth. Stopping occasionally, laying out on still warm rocks to listen to the night sounds of the desert and embrace the solitude. I don’t know if people still do that but, after nearly forty years, my most unforgettable ride.





https://www.arizonahighways.com/expl...onal-park-east


.
I love that loop; have never done it at night. The main entrance is gated now, and I'm sure there are fines for trespassing after hours, but I'm intrigued...
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Old 11-27-20, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Fahrenheit531 View Post
I love that loop; have never done it at night. The main entrance is gated now, and I'm sure there are fines for trespassing after hours, but I'm intrigued...
It was gated back in the eighties too - sort of a swing gate they would lock at night. In fact, I ran into it once in the dark . No one ever stopped us back then but maybe things have changed now that it’s a National Park. It would be well worth checking since you’re a local and if you do, let me know.

added: congratulations on beating your goal for the el Tour - I remember when that started but I never did it.

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Old 11-27-20, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by majmt View Post
It was gated back in the eighties too - sort of a swing gate they would lock at night. In fact, I ran into it once in the dark . No one ever stopped us back then but maybe things have changed now that it’s a National Park. It would be well worth checking since you’re a local and if you do, let me know.
Just checked the website; pedestrians and bikes can enter 24 hours a day. Nice! Big thanks for turning me on to a ride idea I would never have come up with on my own.
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Old 11-27-20, 04:01 PM
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Glad to hear that. Thanks! Someday, I’m heading back to Tucson for that ride. Gates Pass and Mount Lemmon too.

Full moon coming up in a few days
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Old 11-27-20, 07:53 PM
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I haven’t done it yet!
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Old 11-27-20, 10:00 PM
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Everyone's got these big, grand rides... my best ride was that first ride in to work. I totally didn't think it was achievable for me.
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Old 11-27-20, 11:18 PM
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Definitely the last one - because one day it will be

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Old 11-28-20, 08:16 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Everyone's got these big, grand rides... my best ride was that first ride in to work. I totally didn't think it was achievable for me.
Why's that?
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Old 11-28-20, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
Why's that?
It's around 18 miles to work way I had it; I'd just taken up biking after quitting smoking, I wasn't in shape, but I was pretty sure I could do the distance- just not sure how serviceable I'd be at work afterwards... Riding 18 miles wasn't exactly a given back then, so all of it was an accomplishment.
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Old 11-28-20, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
It's around 18 miles to work way I had it; I'd just taken up biking after quitting smoking, I wasn't in shape, but I was pretty sure I could do the distance- just not sure how serviceable I'd be at work afterwards... Riding 18 miles wasn't exactly a given back then, so all of it was an accomplishment.
Excellent!

Glad you are on a roll.
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