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Old 08-16-10, 10:58 PM   #1
VicM
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Vacation problem: where to go for some great rides?

I'd like to put my road bike in the truck and go to some new places to ride. Can someone recommend beautiful rides in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, or Wisconsin? The fewer cars the better - my happiest moments on the bike are when I've pretty much got the road to myself. I've googled "trails" in Michigan for some ideas, but I'm hoping some of you folks can tip me off to great places you've found. Many thanks.
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Old 08-17-10, 09:11 AM   #2
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I'll recommend the Little Miami Scenic Trail in SW Ohio (http://www.miamivalleytrails.org/miami.htm). My wife and I ride on the southern end of it regularly. The Rails-To-Trails Conservancy's TrailLink might help you find other trails (http://www.traillink.com/home.aspx).
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Old 08-17-10, 12:02 PM   #3
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How long is trip? Little Miami is good. If you stay in Xenia you have 2 addl trails.

Elroy-Sparta trail grandfather of them all there are numerous other trails

the state of wisc web site has lots of reco's for bicycle tours on the road or on trails

want hills? Brown County, IN home of hilly 100 stay in BC state park or artist town nashville, in
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Old 08-17-10, 03:06 PM   #4
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Every other year or so I go to France---With the family. I am the only one cycling so I have to think of the others out there with me. So what I do is choose a base town and stay there. I get my rides in the mornings while the others are lazing round the Pool. Get back have lunch- then the whole family do the tourist bits round the vineyards and other places of interest.

Only thing is that some areas of France and I will take up the whole day. I forced the Family out to Ventoux and that was where the problem was. They stayed in the town at the bottom of the ride for 2 hours and met me at the top. Only problem was on the way back they wanted to do the tourist bit again and all I wanted was a shower and a long lie down resting my eyes.

So unless you are on your own- Pick a base and work out from there- rather than touring. Keeps the rest of the family happier.
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Old 08-17-10, 04:51 PM   #5
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Root river trail in mn, Sparta Elroy 400 in wi, door county in wi (no trailsto speak of but lots of riding on roads), covered bridges in Indiana (google, can't remember the county).
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Old 08-17-10, 05:11 PM   #6
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I did a week long supported tour in the UP of Michigan in July. I highly recommend the area.
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Old 08-17-10, 06:20 PM   #7
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If I was driving from southern Michigan, I'd probably head north and ride the back roads. ridewithgps.com can search for routes. For instance, these routes within 50 miles of Traverse City.

I like stapfam's idea of morning rides from a base location.

For someone closer to southwest Ohio, there's a lot of interesting riding here.

I live near enough to the Little Miami Trail to ride it regularly. For peace and quiet, the section north of Loveland OH has far fewer walkers, skaters, kids on bikes, and road crossings. It follows the old train track route along a wooded valley. Loveland to Spring Valley map There's water stops every 7-10 miles.

I'd also suggest doing the 8:00AM Saturday Breakfast Ride from the Cincinnati Cycle Club. This route is marked with spraypaint, and can have over 50 riders in nice weather. So it breaks up into smaller speed groups as riders find compatible riders in the first few miles. It has a restaurant stop at the halfway point. Outbound map Return map

I had driven in the area, and all I had seen was flat cornfields. Boring. But the Breakfast Ride mostly follows obscure back roads with almost no traffic, and it's pretty scenic. There's stream valleys, woods, and historic brick farmhouses.

For any of our weekend rides out into the country, even just 20 miles from the city, we rarely see much traffic. Of course, we stay off the major highway routes.

I'm sure any place you visit will have some good bike routes. The locals have been riding and refining their choice of the best bike roads for years. Try to find the ride schedule for a local club.

- - - - - - - - - - -
For me, the best riding by far is 6-7 hours south on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's perfect for bikes.

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Old 08-18-10, 07:20 AM   #8
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Drive past Ohio to PA. Ride the Allegheny River Trail, Sandy Creek Trail, Justus Trail, Oil Creek State Park Trail. Or the Great Allegheny Passage. Or the Pine Creek Trail.
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Old 08-18-10, 12:17 PM   #9
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You might enjoy the Great River Trail in Illinois.
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Old 08-19-10, 05:02 PM   #10
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Thanks, Fellows. These look like some great places!
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Old 08-21-10, 11:50 AM   #11
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Nashville, TN has nice greenways. I've logged 25 miles on one route starting from Metro Center to Titans LP Field to Shelby bottom to 2 Rivers and back. It is mostly flat. They have 2 bike/pedestrian bridges across the Cumberland River. Very nice.

Eventually this route will go thru to Percy Priest dam, if it doesn't already. I haven't been to the dam greenway since spring. That could easily yield a 40 mile ride for down and back!

It is mostly along the river and very nice and quiet.

There are several more greenways in the area. http://www.nashville.gov/greenways/

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Old 08-21-10, 01:20 PM   #12
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Can't speak of the trails in the states you mentioned, but I've ridden many of the rail trails throughout PA, and would highly recommend them if you might think of venturing there. I've ridden several in Pa, including the North and South Youghiogheny River Trail (listed under Great Allegheny Passage)-good ride with good mileage. Check out the Rails to Trails site ( http://www.traillink.com/home.aspx ) - if you just put in the state, it will pull up the trails in that state. If other states are keeping theirs up as well as PA does, should be fine for a road bike.
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Old 08-22-10, 07:20 PM   #13
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Come on up to Canada. http://www.thebrucepeninsula.com/cycling.html

It is nice and close, in fact, you can see Michigan on a clear day!
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Old 08-22-10, 07:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdon View Post
Come on up to Canada. http://www.thebrucepeninsula.com/cycling.html

It is nice and close, in fact, you can see Michigan on a clear day!
Also the North Shore of Lake Erie is actually quite nice riding and close to the OP.
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