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Old 09-17-09, 02:36 AM   #1
jppe
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What bike rides do you recommend?

I have a habit of doing longer rides (100 mile centuries). I've been riding enough to where I've done most of the centuries in my neck of the woods repeatedly. I like to incorporate a ride I have not done before into my planning calendar every so often. I find it fun traveling to new places and riding roads I have not ridden before-and meeting different cyclists along the way. It helps to keep my interest in cycling at the current level.

What rides have you done or are aware of that you would recommend I take a look at putting on my riding calendar for 2010 and beyond?

If you should happen to have a link to a website that provides ride details that would be most helpful-otherwise I can do a search.

Here's a list (with starting location) of those that I can recall doing in no particular order:

Assault on Mt Mitchell-Spartanburg, SC
Blood Sweat and Gears- Valle Crucis, NC
Bridge to Bridge-Lenoir, NC
Brutal Blue Ridge 100- West Jefferson, NC
Issaqueena's Last Ride-Walhalla, SC
Mountains of Misery- Blacksburg, Va
Civil War Century-Thurmont, Md
Six Gap- Dahlonega, Ga
Tour de Moore-Southern Pines, NC
El Tour de Tucson-Tucson, Az
Marquis de Sade-Tigerville, SC
Carolina Classic-Hanging Rock St Park, NC
3 Mountain Madness, Pilot Mountain, NC
RAIN-Terre Haute, In
Cheaha Challenge- Piedmont, Al
Ruby Ride-Franklin, NC
Hilly Hellacious
Fletcher Flyer
3 State 3 Mountain


Thank you for any ideas you might have!

Last edited by jppe; 09-17-09 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 09-17-09, 05:51 AM   #2
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Tour de Tuck

Hilly Hellacious

Cherohala Challenge

3 State 3 Mountain

Hot Doggett 100

Just a few local rides not on your list. Of course there are more.

There are others, like the Brasstown BaldBuster but it's a point to point ride and I don't like the logistics of those anymore.

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Old 09-17-09, 08:02 AM   #3
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I have not done these because they are too tough but you may like them.

Everest Challenge, Bishop, CA (Sierras)
Death Ride, Markelyville, CA (Sierras)
Mount Tam Century, Marin, CA

Did these.

Marin Century - Marin, CA very nice, great food, tough
Napa Century - Napa, CA

Our local Hill Climbs which can all include a century and there is the ride climbing Diablo to Hamilton that will test your legs.

Mount Hamilton - 19 miles
Mount Diablo - 12 miles
Tunitas Creek - 9 miles with much in the redwoods
Sierra Road - 3.6 miles very tough...Even Lance commented it was steep.
Mount Tam - 12 miles Located on the coast in Marin with beautiful ocean views

Any ride from Silicon Valley to the coast over Skyline through the redwoods, along the coast and back. We do this a couple of time per month. Can be tough.

Any ride along the California coast from San Diego to the Oregon border.
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Old 09-17-09, 08:25 AM   #4
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A couple other century rides in my area that are coming up in Oct.

The Tour de Franklin (Halloween Hunard) They change the route for this ride every year. I like this years route, some of which you did on the Ruby Ride (Standing Indian) but it also includes the Buck Ck climb which is one of my favorites in the area. There is a great descent down the Cullasaja Gorge too.

Tour de Nantahala (Nantahala Nightmare) This is another good ride through the mountains and includes the Wayah Gap climb you did on the Ruby Ride.

These two rides used to be on the same weekend, Sat/Sun, which made for a nice weekend of riding. Last year we did both metrics. Well the TdN metric is 72 miles while the TdF is 66. Unfortunately, these have been split and are now on consecutive weekends. The TdF ride is always the last Sunday of Oct. which is Halloween this year. Expect very cool starts and wonderful afternoon temps for these.
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Old 09-17-09, 09:23 AM   #5
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Sounds like you're ready to take the next step beyond centuries: Become a randonneur! It's a whole different ballgame from centuries: the short rides are 200k (125mi) and go all the way up to 1200k (750mi).

Randonneurs USA (RUSA.org) shows two active "chapters" in NC: Raleigh and High Point. Looks like there's only one more brevet on the calendar in NC for this year, a 300k on 9/19. But there's always next year. And the next Paris-Brest-Paris (the mother of all randonnees) is in 2011. Just enough time for you to get the hang of it and qualify. Go over to rusa.org and check it out.

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Old 09-17-09, 10:51 AM   #6
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I almost forgot the Tour de Cashiers.
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Old 09-17-09, 11:05 AM   #7
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Well, I noticed a couple of notable rides that you left out. One is the climb up Mount Washington. It is not that far, but I hear that it is challenging. There is also a ride to the top of Mount Evans and it is the highest paved road in the US.

But why must all your rides be really painful? There are plenty of very enjoyeable rides out there that are not hideously strenuous. A ride around Jekyl Island is nice. The ride up the Bow Valley is very scenic. Shoot you could ride the Icefields Parkway. It has some climbing but nothing terrible. There is the million dollar highway ride in Colorado which is Durango, Silverton, Ouray, Telluride, Doloros and back to Durango. Shoot if you want unpaved road the ride from Ouray over Imogene Pass to Telluride would be fun. You could start and Taos and ride around Mount Wheeler by way of Red Mountain. Riding Yellowstone National Park is fun. You could ride the Enchanted Staircase in Utah which goes from Torrey through Escalante and Boulder.
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Old 09-17-09, 12:27 PM   #8
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jppe, there is an *excellent* calendar of West and Pacific Northwest rides at this great blog, Biking Bis. Here is the link to the Washington calendar of rides; look on the right hand side and you'll see links to Idaho, California, Oregon and British Columbia --

http://www.bikingbis.com/blog/_WebPa...ecalendar.html


Rides in the state of Washington I've done and would recommend:

- Tour de Blast (up Mt. St. Helens) - June
- High Pass Challenge (up the other side of Mt. St. Helens) - September
- Native Planet Classic (over the North Cascades Highway) - June
- Skagit Spring Century (Chuckanut Drive - Lake Whatcome ) - May (?)

Other big rides out here I haven't done:

- Seattle to Portland (STP) - 200 miles in a day, or 100 miles over two days (this ride is too scary for me, too many riders, too many crashes)
- RSVP - Seattle to Vancouver, two days
- RAMROD - Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day - entrance by lottery only

Also, the Seattle International Randoneers do many great rides around the area. Their brevet route maps are on their website -- a lot of their one- and two-day rides would make great two to four day trips if you skip the sleep-deprivation part of randoneering.




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Old 09-17-09, 01:16 PM   #9
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You really ought to try the Mountain Mama Challenge. I found this harder than Mountains of Misery. Lots of long steepish climbs, and some realllly fun descents. Hardly any flats on the whole ride. You're either going up or going down. Most of the climbs are 5+ miles, plus there are some killer steeper short stuff. The last 2-3 miles cruising into the finish were some of the most rewarding miles I've ever done.
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Old 09-17-09, 06:26 PM   #10
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Tour de Tuck

Hilly Hellacious

Cherohala Challenge

3 State 3 Mountain

Hot Doggett 100

Just a few local rides not on your list. Of course there are more.

There are others, like the Brasstown BaldBuster but it's a point to point ride and I don't like the logistics of those anymore.

Thanks! I made out the list when I was unable to sleep and forgot a few that I've done including Hilly Hellacious, 3 State 3 Mountain and also Fletcher Flyer. I'll go back and add those....
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Old 09-17-09, 07:42 PM   #11
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A couple other Virginia rides to consider are;

The Tour de Valley out of Waynesboro, Va. Its a nice trek through some rolling farmland and along the Maury River to Goshen Pass. Its always held on the Sunday before Labor Day. Stay over to Monday and you have some nice recovery ride options on and around the Parkway.

The Heart of Virginia Bike Festival is another nice event, hailing out of Ashland, Va. Its a beautiful century route especially along the historic Washington-Rochambeau highway. Sunday's route heads to Lake Anna and returns on back roads.

One of the problems with so many events is there are conflicts with other really nice events. Decisions, decisions. The life of a cyclist is not an easy one.
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Old 09-17-09, 07:49 PM   #12
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A whole bunch in CO if you want to go that far.
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Old 09-17-09, 08:15 PM   #13
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Oregons' Crater Lake Century held in August is well worth travelling for.
http://www.craterlakecentury.com/
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Old 09-18-09, 05:02 AM   #14
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I didn't see Skyline Drive in Shenandoah N.P. on your list- highly recommended. Not aware of any supported versions though, have to wing it.

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Old 09-18-09, 06:20 AM   #15
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I didn't see Skyline Drive in Shenandoah N.P. on your list- highly recommended. Not aware of any supported versions though, have to wing it.
Thanks! I have on my list a weeklong Skyline/BRP ride! Appreciate the reminder!

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A whole bunch in CO if you want to go that far.
You know I will travel-I was hoping someone would list some of those in and around Colorado Springs!

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Oregons' Crater Lake Century held in August is well worth travelling for.
http://www.craterlakecentury.com/
Terrific!! My family spent the night in the lodge there a couple years ago. One of the prettiest places I've ever visited. This one goes on the list for sure!!

In fact my college roomate has just moved to north of Seattle so I'll definitely have to look into the rides BengeBoy posted.

Keep 'em coming!! This is most helpful.
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Old 09-18-09, 06:46 AM   #16
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The famous Elephant Rock, just north of Colorado Springs
http://www.elephantrockride.com/

Pikes Peak Classic
www.pikespeakclassic.com

Red Canyon Century
http://www.redcanyoncentury.com/

Stonewall Century - may or may not happen in 2010
http://www.spcycling.org/stonewall-century.php

Santa Fe Century
http://www.santafecentury.com/

All Colorado and related rides
http://bcn.boulder.co.us/transportat.../bike.cal.html
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Old 09-18-09, 12:28 PM   #17
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Sounds like you're ready to take the next step beyond centuries: Become a randonneur! It's a whole different ballgame from centuries: the short rides are 200k (125mi) and go all the way up to 1200k (750mi).

Randonneurs USA (RUSA.org) shows two active "chapters" in NC: Raleigh and High Point. Looks like there's only one more brevet on the calendar in NC for this year, a 300k on 9/19. But there's always next year. And the next Paris-Brest-Paris (the mother of all randonnees) is in 2011. Just enough time for you to get the hang of it and qualify. Go over to rusa.org and check it out.

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Could be your next challenge.

We have plenty of Randonnees over here run by the C.T.C. and they have a great following. Only done a couple but that was on the MTB. Just make certain the eyesight is good enough to read a map or follow the Route plan.
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Old 09-18-09, 01:57 PM   #18
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Since you are an East Coast person, not certain if you would ever have an opportunity to do these West Coast rides but they are awesome:

The Wildflower Century - In April, out of Paso Robles not Chico although the Chico ride is nice as well. Best Event Jerseys around. Classic central California landscape - steep climbs, rolling hills, tons of spring wildflowers. Good sag stops!

Same Club also sponsers:

The Lighthouse Century. In September. See http://www.slobc.org/Home.html. Can't beat staying in San Luis Obipso and then riding along the Coast for 50 miles and then back. Brutal headwinds though.

My personal favorite: Cool Breeze Century in August. Here is the bike club's website - look for Cool Breeze tab: http://www.cibike.org/ From Ventura to pass Santa Barbara and back. Cool ocean breezes and popicles! Good first century.

Another favorite - best sag stops ever! Cruising the Conejo in May. Club's website:
http://www.cvcbike.org/?page_id=35
The boy scouts work the sags - they are so cute! Very tough climbs but well worth it.

Hard but obsolutely one of the most beautful centuries out there:

High Sierra Fall Century (Sept). Check out the photos on the website: http://www.fallcentury.org/
This rides out from Crowley Lake, pass Mammoth to June Lake and then into the back country. The climbing and attitude are brutal but its so beautiful who cares!

And my favorite for funkiness and because the bike club does such a wonderful job:

The Spooktacular (Oct.) Club addressed: http://www.kernwheelmen.org/spooktacular-alone.php
This ride goes East out of the Bakersfield countryside into rolling CA hills. The Hidious 100 climbs 34 miles without a break - brutal! I proudly wear all my Spook jerseys - they are favorites!
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Old 09-18-09, 06:34 PM   #19
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Remembered another I'd like to do:

Enchanted Circle Century that starts in Red River, NM. We drove the loop and it looked like some beautiful country. It was held just a week or so ago so looks to be a September ride.
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Old 09-18-09, 07:54 PM   #20
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How about the Hotter'n Hell Hundred in Wichita Falls, TX in August. This year had 14,200 riders. Just the sight of those riders makes it interesting along with the fact the riders come from all over the country. This year the high temperature was only 92 degrees. Most years the temperature is around a hundred. The greatest challenge of the ride is the crowd. The course is actually fast, but then that adds to the crowd challenge. Lots of fun.
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Old 09-18-09, 08:30 PM   #21
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See http://www.planetultra.com/

Any of the centuries look good to me.

Our club century here in NJ is tomorrow and the weather is perfect - 70F and low humidity. Last year at this time the heat index on the day of the ride was about 112F. I really would like to get down to NC to do those rides in October.
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Old 09-18-09, 08:33 PM   #22
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Last year I did the seagull century.
This is not a hill climb and can be done as a speed run. I good team can complete this in 4 hours.

If you want hill climbs - try BUMPS

Or if you can try the 6-gap challenge - 11,700' over 131 miles.
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Old 09-18-09, 08:50 PM   #23
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You really ought to try the Mountain Mama Challenge.
+1. Low traffic, miles of climbing, awesome scenery.
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