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  1. #1
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Where to go for a winter getaway?

    As the riding season in Minnesota winds down (though it ain't over yet), I'm contemplating escaping to go riding for a few days in early January. What I'm seeking requires:

    a) high expectation of good riding weather
    b) a place that rents decent road bikes
    c) not too far from a major airport.

    Good scenery and a high likelihood of finding group rides would be strong pluses.

    Right now, I'm thinking Tucson. There's a place that rents what I need (www.cycletucson.com/) and I think the other requirements are also met. Does anybody have any experience riding there? Are there other places that I should consider?

  2. #2
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Living/riding in Tucson since 1978.
    It's all they say it is . . . and then some, especially in 'winter'!
    Have known Gary and Jesse for a couple decades.
    Great folks/enthusiasts!
    Pedal on!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  3. #3
    tsl
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    I've got this one bookmarked: Hawaii Bicycle Tours
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  4. #4
    Member Trundlecreak's Avatar
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    Not sure how far you want to go, what you're prepared to spend or what you define as a decent road bike. However, down here summer's on the way. In New Zealand there's http://www.naturalhigh.co.nz, and in Australia there's https://www.cyclingtours.com.au. (I suspect that the second of these wouldn't hire what you'd consider 'a decent road bike'. You could, of course, take your own - plenty of people do).

  5. #5
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    I rode the Fl Keys last winter around December. Nice weather, roads are a little beat with small "bike lanes" .

    7 mile bridge is an experience. Nice little side roads to quiet places such as No Name Key, Key deer that come right up to you. Never too far from a bar and restaurant.

    Better than winter up in your neck of the woods!

    Mike
    "ready to navigate"

  6. #6
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    My wife and I went to Panama City Beach last winter. Saw several "older" cyclists who go there for the winter. One guy I spoke with was from Iowa. He said he vacations in Fort Walton Beach every winter. He was doing a short 65 miler the day we saw him. He said there's a great network of bike paths and bike lanes all over that area.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

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  7. #7
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    There are some high-end bike stores in the Ft. Myers/Naples area that would be happy to rent a good road bike to you, and although everything is board flat there, it seemed like a nice place to ride. Southwest Airlines might get you right in and out.

  8. #8
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    My theory - embrace winter. If you can't ride then cross country (or down hill) ski, but that's just me. I am still working so I can't take an extended vacation from home, I will spin during the week and ski on the weekends. I have to work with what I have.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Island hopping in Hawaii. Do the Maui, Haleakala climb. Then to the big island Kailua Kona where they do the Iron Man. Both have places to rent bikes. At Kailua Kona, try doing the Iron Man century on a rented tri bike. Kona has the bike shops.

    Economy is really hurting in Hawaii, so you should be getting some good deals on condo rentals.

  10. #10
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trundlecreak View Post
    Not sure how far you want to go, what you're prepared to spend or what you define as a decent road bike. However, down here summer's on the way. In New Zealand there's http://www.naturalhigh.co.nz, and in Australia there's https://www.cyclingtours.com.au. (I suspect that the second of these wouldn't hire what you'd consider 'a decent road bike'. You could, of course, take your own - plenty of people do).
    That's too far for this winter, but in fact, I'll be spending all of next winter (2011-2012) in Canberra. I'm very much looking forward to it! I can't figure out if I"m going to ship my bike there and back or if I'm just going to buy one there and sell it before I leave.

  11. #11
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    Living/riding in Tucson since 1978.
    It's all they say it is . . . and then some, especially in 'winter'!
    Have known Gary and Jesse for a couple decades.
    Great folks/enthusiasts!
    Pedal on!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
    Thanks for the info. And for the testimonial for the cycletucson people.

  12. #12
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Suggestions of Hawaii and places farther afield are appealing, but I don't have the time to make a big trip this January - it's just going to be a long weekend. So far, it sounds like it's AZ or Florida, but personally, I prefer topography.

    Well, that's not entirely accurate - I am making a big trip in December/January - to Morocco - but doubt I'll get any riding done there (has anybody tried?), in part b/c I'll be with my (non-riding) family.

  13. #13
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Tucson is a great choice unless you are looking for summer riding conditions. In January, typical daytime highs are in the 60's with the nights downright chilly. Skies are typically clear so you do benefit from solar heating.

    You may want to start thinking about lodging reservations. January is a high season month. Most house and condo rentals have been reserved for months. Hotels and motels fill to capacity. Our favorite (albeit not cheap) Arizona Inn still has some January vacancies.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  14. #14
    Broom Wagon Fodder reverborama's Avatar
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    For a quickie getaway, go to Vegas. McGhies rents bikes. Ride the Red Rock Canyon.

    I've done it twice. The first time I stayed on the strip the second time I stayed downtown. It's an easy ride to the canyon from the shop and and easy ride back to downtown (all downhill all the way) but you'll want to throw the bike in the rental car for the trip from downtown or the strip back to the canyon the next day. Avoid the fee for parking in the canyon by parking along the road outside of it; bikes get in free. The loop is short enough to do it a couple of times. Very beautiful, cheap airfares, good for a long weekend.

    http://mcghies.com/

  15. #15
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reverborama View Post
    For a quickie getaway, go to Vegas. McGhies rents bikes. Ride the Red Rock Canyon.

    I've done it twice. The first time I stayed on the strip the second time I stayed downtown. It's an easy ride to the canyon from the shop and and easy ride back to downtown (all downhill all the way) but you'll want to throw the bike in the rental car for the trip from downtown or the strip back to the canyon the next day. Avoid the fee for parking in the canyon by parking along the road outside of it; bikes get in free. The loop is short enough to do it a couple of times. Very beautiful, cheap airfares, good for a long weekend.

    http://mcghies.com/
    Thanks for the tip - that looks like a great option. And it seems that there are lots of interesting rides and lots of information available for visitors:

    http://www.bikinglasvegas.com/

  16. #16
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    How about a Mountain Bike trip to Chile?

  17. #17
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    I've got this one bookmarked: Hawaii Bicycle Tours
    I'd like to do one of those, but isn't it awkward to ride a bike in a grass skirt?
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


    Rule #12: The correct number of bikes to own is n+1

  18. #18
    Senior Member Terex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
    Thanks for the tip - that looks like a great option. And it seems that there are lots of interesting rides and lots of information available for visitors:

    http://www.bikinglasvegas.com/
    And don't rule out mtn. bikes while there. I've rented a high end bike and ridden in the Red Rocks area. I used http://www.escapeadventures.com/our-...as-tour-center

  19. #19
    Member Trundlecreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
    ... I'll be spending all of next winter (2011-2012) in Canberra. I'm very much looking forward to it! I can't figure out if I"m going to ship my bike there and back or if I'm just going to buy one there and sell it before I leave.
    Great news. I think you'll love riding in Canberra and surrounds. Not sure what to suggest abut the take bike/buy bike conundrum. Have a great time - get in touch if you want to.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
    As the riding season in Minnesota winds down (though it ain't over yet), I'm contemplating escaping to go riding for a few days in early January. What I'm seeking requires:

    a) high expectation of good riding weather
    b) a place that rents decent road bikes
    c) not too far from a major airport.

    Good scenery and a high likelihood of finding group rides would be strong pluses...
    Think outside of the box and go to Australia or New Zealand. Been there, done that..

    Northern OZ has the rainy season, but if you bike on pavement you will be fine. New Zealand has incredible island scenery and excellent food/drink/accommodation.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
    Suggestions of Hawaii and places farther afield are appealing, but I don't have the time to make a big trip this January - it's just going to be a long weekend. So far, it sounds like it's AZ or Florida, but personally, I prefer topography.

    Well, that's not entirely accurate - I am making a big trip in December/January - to Morocco - but doubt I'll get any riding done there (has anybody tried?), in part b/c I'll be with my (non-riding) family.
    The islands off of southern Spain, the Canary Islands. Its kind of near Morocco. I met a bike tour guide who does business on the Islands. Its a winter getaway for the Brits and the rest of the Continent.

    I recall his name is Ray Leddy (Irish) and he resides on the Islands.

  22. #22
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    I'm with you on the winter cycling escapes. If I lived somewhere with nasty winter weather, I'd do the same thing.

    Check out the rides on this list:

    http://www.bbcnet.com/ridecalendar/default.aspx

    It's in February, not January, but the Tour de Palm Springs is nice. They get a huge number of riders and it's no wonder. The weather is typically warm and clear. There is also some great golfing, lots of great restaurants, sightseeing, gambling. I think there is usually a 10K the same weekend, if you're into that kind of thing.

    The Borrego Springs and Stagecoach centuries also would have a good probability of warm clear weather. I'd also give a thumbs up to rides in Las Vegas ... Red Rock is pretty sweet.

    The Death Valley Century/Double Century is also a good winter ride, especially if you've not been there before.
    Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
    www.photo395.com

  23. #23
    Senior Member capejohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdon View Post
    How about a Mountain Bike trip to Chile?
    Nice.
    Bike riding New England gentleman.

  24. #24
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Costa Rica?

  25. #25
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    I've been going to Moab Utah for the last 6 years, I go for the Moab Skinny Tire Festival. Nice rides and great people, usually between 500 and 800 riders show up. Usually sunny, temps can vary.

    http://www.skinnytireevents.com/content/section/4/31/
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

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