Where to go for a cycling vacation ???

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by gman0482, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. gman0482

    gman0482 Member

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    Hey everyone,

    Sometime this winter, I am taking a 1 week vacation. My plan is to purchase a nice bike luggage, and take a flight somewhere for a week and just ride.

    My question to you is, where is the nicest area/region/state, to do some good riding ?

    I would prefer to stay within the US (money-wise), and maybe find some nice elevations and scenery. Any suggestions or experiences would be great.

    Thanks,
    -Greg
     
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  2. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Northern California.

    You have a choice of:

    1. Lake Tahoe and surrounding areas down towards Markleeville. More 7,000ft passes than you can shake a stick at. Some of the passes such as Monitor and Ebbetts are the least travelled roads in the State. If you travel in June or July you could include the Alta Alpina Challenge or the Deathride - two big fully stocked and very well organised rides. Awesome scenery.

    2. Yosemite/Kings Valley/Sequoia National Park. I haven't ridden down there but I hear it's nice. Traffic on the weekends can be a bear though... Some of the best scenery on the planet but late summer can get really hot. If you're in that neck of the woods in June they have the Climb to Kaiser event - a beast of a climb on the outward leg with mostly downhill on the return. When was the last time you rode at 9,000ft after starting a only couple of hunfred feet above sea level?

    3. Napa and the surrounding wine country. Not that many really big hills, it's within reach of mount Diablo should a 10 mile climb tickle your fancy, but awesome roads for riding bikes on. You might want to avoid late July and August as it can get very hot. You also have excellent wineries and a few nice breweries should beer be your drink of choice. San Francisco is pretty close by too... The neighboring Marin county is very bike friendly.
     
  3. gman0482

    gman0482 Member

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    Sounds good, thanks S. I'm trying to gather up some other people to come along for this, so that I'm not riding solo, since my girlfriend doesn't ride as much and I wouldn't even ask her to come :p.
     
  4. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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  5. BigUgly

    BigUgly New Member

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    Well I am Canadian and I do get sick of winter and being an executive on our cycling club I get a lot of invites, one that really sticks out for me is Cuba but if I had to stay in the States it would be Arizona. If it could be anywhere I'd head to southern Italy and some of the Med Islands.
     
  6. konasunset

    konasunset New Member

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    I would highly recommend a trip to Hawaii if it is feasible financially. I lived in Kona for about 10 years and the cycling there is epic. Lots of hills and lots of flats with panoramic views everywhere you look. It is a cyclists dream. Maybe that is why they hold the Ironman World Championship there. You can get round-trip tickets for about 300-400 bucks usually if you look for deals. Also yes... Northern California is very beautiful as well. Lots of cooler weather for longer rides to keep you cool... and lots of greenery and beauty. I live in San Diego now and I love it. I can ride almost anywhere. It is very bike accessible with plenty of beaches and canyons and hills and all kinds of cool stuff. And not too much rain so it's very bike friendly and very people friendly. Maybe that's why they call it America's finest city. So my top recommendations... Kona, Hawaii... San Diego, California.. and Northern California (particularly Marin and the Bay Area). Good luck and happy travels.... Aloha... - J.:cool:
     
  7. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    In favor of Tucson, it's always rideable in the winter. Tucson really isn't flat, especially when you leave town. We're surrounded by mountains on all four sides. There are long climbing slogs, and then there are not-so-long, thigh crucifying 25% climbs Most of the area outside of town is rolling landscape. We have two national parks, one to the east (This one has an 8 mile paved loop that is perfect for laps, especially if you're into gruesome.) and one to the west (more climbing). If you feel like testing your metal, you can always ride the The Shoot Out, a 60 mile romp that starts at 7:30 AM each Saturday. Oh, by romp, I mean guys like Tom Danielson, Phil Zajicek (Team Fly V, Australia), Gord Fraser (ex pro from Europe and Team Health Net) ,and other pro's spice up the pace. Ok, it's really a a race, with the winner getting bragging rights and a jersey to wear the next weekend. You can have bragging rights by saying you didn't get dropped right away. 5 of the other 6 days of the week, there are rides leaving from Fairwheel Bikes. Oh, and that's the other reason for going to Tucson: Fairwheel Bikes. Do you want to see the über light, über cool, and über cool stuff that you only seem to see in Eurobike or Interbike pictures? FWB's got 'em. They've got cool frames for sale, and maybe the best bike mechanic staff around. They're the only people I would trust to work on my bike. After the visceral stimulation of FWB's stock, you can cross the street and relax by walking about the UA campus and looking at all of the scantily clad girls.
     
  8. gman0482

    gman0482 Member

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    Nice... My list is looking much better, thanks everyone. Just talked my uncle into hopefully meeting me from Poland, since he has the same winter as I. I looked at some websites that organize cycling vaca's, nothing special, and I think I could do it myself better and cheaper.
     
  9. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    I'd agree with Tahoe, but not for a winter trip.

    I'd save up for Tenerife. :)
     
  10. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Arizona for a winter trip in the US that won't break the bank. If it were late spring, summer, or early fall....the Great Smokey Mountains are perfect for what you want. If you don't mind spending the money, Hawaii is great but pricey. Most anywhere overseas is fun but can be dangerous due to different traffic laws, language barriers, etc. Where ever you end up going, have fun and be safe. And don't forget to let us know where you went and how you liked it once you get back.
     
  11. unclemaui

    unclemaui New Member

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    MAUI

    As Kona said Hawaii...

    On Maui there are so many awesome rides, you will have hills flats wind, sun, ocean, mountains

    Going around west Maui is a workout but you forget the struggle because of the views. Then there is the ride to the winery and beyond. Going all down hill, return all uphill. You will get, a muscle burn as well incredible views. I'd say leave your bike behind and rent. South Maui bikes and Maui cyclery have Fantastic rental bikes the later having slightly better. What it costs to ship your bike as opposed to renting. And you don’t have baggage handlers checking the tolerances of your bikes travel case and for that matter your bike


    Even climbing Haleakala, 37 miles from ocean to 10,500 ft or starting half way up and going 20 miles it is a rush.

    In 5 days you could put on nearly 400 miles of different geography and weather. Sun to clouds winds to rain. 10MPH into winds 28-35mph with them on your backside.

    Then let’s talk food or should I say fuel. It will break your mouth (tastes so good )

    Well there you have it my first post :D
     
  12. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Screw Hawaii, its expense, and the tacky tourist chic. Majorca would be infinitely better. It's generally considered a cycling/training paradise, and it would leave Hawaii weeping.
     
  13. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Yeah, last time I was in Tahoe area in March, a snowstorm dumped 5 feet over a 36 hour period. Required about three days and a set of snow chains for the rental car to get me back over the pass from CA to the Reno airport.

    Tucson/southern AZ sound like the place to me for great sunny and dry winter riding. With the rain and overcast we've had here in the Southeast for the last month, I'm ready to go now:)
     
  14. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, and you might even get to meet alienator:eek:!!! Does that go in the pro or the con column?
     
  15. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the day of the week.
     
  16. lanierb

    lanierb New Member

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    I lived for 11 years in northern california and have biked throughout the whole area. Tahoe is OUT for cycling in winter. There will be 10 feet of snow there. Yosemite/Kings/etc will also be too unreliable. Napa is beautiful but will be cold (30s) in the morning and generally hit or miss with weather. You could get 7 days of sun, or you could get 7 days of rain (and I mean steady rain). I actually like the riding on the peninsula better anyway, but there's the same weather concern there. There must be somewhere with more reliable weather in winter?
     
  17. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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  18. Feltski

    Feltski New Member

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    North Carolina Mountains!! Fall is about the most amazing time in the Blue Ridge Mtns! I try to make it out every year
     
  19. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Yeah fall in the Smokies is nice for color, but as I'm sure you know, it can be cold and wet, and the OP did say winter. I'll be there next weekend on the club's semi-annual campout in Natahala NF, near Robbinsville. We do a 62 mile loop thru town, climb up Stecoah Gap, around Fontana Lake and then return through the "world famous" Deale's Gap moto stop. On nice fall Saturday's, it's packed with dozens of racer wanna-be's who come out to scare themselves on the twisty section of US 129 called "Tail of the Dragon".

    All things considered, I'm sticking with Tucson as the best place in the US for winter cycling.
     
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