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-   -   Suggestions for next epic ride (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=1098131)

alan s 02-17-17 01:08 PM

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?

FBinNY 02-17-17 01:18 PM

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.

indyfabz 02-17-17 01:27 PM

Dirt/gravel capability? If so, maybe the Black Hills including the Mickelson Trail. Definitely no culture in SD. :innocent: 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.

alan s 02-17-17 01:47 PM

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.

Squeezebox 02-17-17 01:50 PM

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.

bwgride 02-17-17 02:23 PM

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.

bikemig 02-17-17 02:27 PM

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.

Doug64 02-17-17 03:03 PM


Originally Posted by bwgride (Post 19385356)
........................................................................... 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
http://i783.photobucket.com/albums/y...82_cropped.jpg


http://i783.photobucket.com/albums/y...40_reduced.jpg

axolotl 02-17-17 03:07 PM

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.

alan s 02-17-17 04:00 PM

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.

shelbyfv 02-17-17 04:38 PM

Katy Trail?

DXchulo 02-17-17 04:50 PM

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.

alan s 02-17-17 05:59 PM


Originally Posted by DXchulo (Post 19385665)
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 (Post 19385644)
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.

nycphotography 02-17-17 06:54 PM

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 02-17-17 07:01 PM

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

Jim from Boston 02-17-17 07:08 PM


Originally Posted by alan s (Post 19385179)
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.

Machka 02-17-17 07:47 PM

Another vote for Canada! :)

FBinNY 02-17-17 07:59 PM


Originally Posted by Machka (Post 19385940)
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.

L134 02-17-17 08:24 PM


Originally Posted by Doug64 (Post 19385431)
+1

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

Icefield Parkway, AB
http://i783.photobucket.com/albums/y...82_cropped.jpg


http://i783.photobucket.com/albums/y...40_reduced.jpg

A must do!

Squeezebox 02-17-17 08:35 PM


Originally Posted by shelbyfv (Post 19385644)
Katy Trail?

I wouldn't call the Katy trail epic. But a possibility anyway.

shelbyfv 02-17-17 08:38 PM

Was a joke, sorry if too subtle.:foo:

mev 02-17-17 08:51 PM

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.

FBinNY 02-17-17 08:59 PM

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.

boomhauer 02-17-17 10:27 PM

salt lake city to Spokane, WA
760 miles
9 days

alan s 02-18-17 12:10 AM

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.


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