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Old 02-22-11, 02:12 PM   #1
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biking vacation?

Here's the jig:

My mother-in-law has been dying of cancer this winter. She just passed and now my wife thinks I've earned lots of credit for being such a supportive husband.

HER SUGGESTION: "Why don't you get away for a week to someplace sunny and warm; you could take your bike and ride as much as you like."

So, I'd like your suggestions as to where I might fly to in the lower 48 that will have consistently sunny and mild weather. If it is too hot it will shock my system and I'll just get sick and waste the trip. I'd rather not rent a motel/hotel but I'm not totally ruling out that option. Perhaps you know of some place that rents out a room to visiting cyclists on a weekly basis.

Your suggstions please.
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Old 02-22-11, 02:26 PM   #2
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What time of year? Right now?
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Old 02-22-11, 02:30 PM   #3
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I'm in a similar situation. My wife's going to go to Sweden to visit her folks, so, if the weather looks promising, I'm going to drive to the Chico area of California and camp and bike for a week or so.

Coincidentally, our last camping/biking trip was to your area: the Coeur d'alene trail.
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Old 02-22-11, 02:41 PM   #4
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I'm thinking either the 2nd or 3rd week of March would be good. That will give me time to plan the trip, make reservations, plan cycling routes, and find any club/group rides I can join.

The Coeur d'Alene trail is great but is currently better for skis. In summer there is some excellent riding here, as in most parts of the country. At present it is snowing and the forecast is calling for sub-zero temps in a day or two - not the best weather for biking.
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Old 02-22-11, 02:48 PM   #5
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In mid March I can't really recommend WNC though we get lots of groups from up North on Spring Break getting a jump on the season. The weather is just too variable to bet on IMO. Since you are in the West I'd say drive south to Cali somewhere.
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Old 02-22-11, 04:25 PM   #6
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California, but post your question on that forum. Some areas can get really windy/rainy at that time. Solvang Century and half Century is March 12 if it's not filled. You could stay in Santa Barbara. http://www.bikescor.com/solvang/welcome.htm
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Old 02-22-11, 04:32 PM   #7
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You can also think about the Moab Skinny Tire Festival in Utah. It's an easy drive nfrom Spokane, and the festival is fun riding in Canyonlands, they get 600 to 900 riders. The road rides are 4 days, and other things to do are hiking in the National Parks and explorering the area. There is also a showing of the Banff Film Festival in Moab that week, an added bonus. It is March 12 - 15. http://skinnytireevents.com/content/section/4/141/
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Old 02-22-11, 06:05 PM   #8
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Solvang is beautiful place to ride. I did the Solvang Double last year while my wife went out and did 50 solo miles. We both had a great time.
http://ccorlew.blogspot.com/2010/03/...le-in-bag.html if it helps.

I'm also a HUGE fan of Bicycle Adventures supported tours. Here's their 2011 list
http://www.adventurecycling.org/tour...trix/index.cfm
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Old 02-22-11, 06:20 PM   #9
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You can also think about the Moab Skinny Tire Festival in Utah. It's an easy drive from Spokane, and the festival is fun riding in Canyonlands, they get 600 to 900 riders. The road rides are 4 days, and other things to do are hiking in the National Parks and explorering the area. There is also a showing of the Banff Film Festival in Moab that week, an added bonus. It is March 12 - 15. http://skinnytireevents.com/content/section/4/141/
I've done this event a number of times and love it. The scenary is spectacular. Weather can be iffy but that's part of the appeal.

March is a great time to ride in Southern California - specifically from Orange County down to San Diego. I can also recommend central coast, say Santa Maria up to Cambria. Paso Robles, where the Great Western Bike Ralley is held each year is a wondrous place to ride (plus to you can drive out to San Luis Obispo, Cambria etc). Same type of terrain as Solvang, but cheaper lodging and quieter roads. Check out SLOBC.org website for rides and information on the area.

I am fortunate enough to live in a resort destination. I am 45 minutes by bike from Newport Beach and 45 minutes by bike to the local Santa Ana mountains. The weather is lovely right now but in March can be hot, up to 80 - 90 degrees or cold (down to 50's - yes that's our cold!). The weather in San Diego is even better but I don't know the area as well. If you do decide on OC, check out the bike club of Irvine web site (bikeirvine.org) and get their route slips. Let me know if you want any other information.
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Old 02-22-11, 07:47 PM   #10
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Palm Springs



Though by the end of March it may be getting too warm.

You might also try Gulfport MS, or Myrtle Beach, SC.
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Old 02-22-11, 07:55 PM   #11
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San Diego. Or Palm springs (although the wind can get pretty stiff in the spring in the desert).
Or Santa Barbera. The Discovery team used to have winter training camps just north, in Solvang.

http://www.udctours.com/ runs some nice tours in Cailfornia.
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Old 02-22-11, 07:59 PM   #12
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I've done this event a number of times and love it. The scenary is spectacular. Weather can be iffy but that's part of the appeal.

March is a great time to ride in Southern California - specifically from Orange County down to San Diego. I can also recommend central coast, say Santa Maria up to Cambria. Paso Robles, where the Great Western Bike Ralley is held each year is a wondrous place to ride (plus to you can drive out to San Luis Obispo, Cambria etc). Same type of terrain as Solvang, but cheaper lodging and quieter roads. Check out SLOBC.org website for rides and information on the area.

I am fortunate enough to live in a resort destination. I am 45 minutes by bike from Newport Beach and 45 minutes by bike to the local Santa Ana mountains. The weather is lovely right now but in March can be hot, up to 80 - 90 degrees or cold (down to 50's - yes that's our cold!). The weather in San Diego is even better but I don't know the area as well. If you do decide on OC, check out the bike club of Irvine web site (bikeirvine.org) and get their route slips. Let me know if you want any other information.
Pam, were you there last year?? What bike were you riding??
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Old 02-22-11, 08:45 PM   #13
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I can't comment on CA, though I still want to live there for 6 months or so just for the biking. But if in late March, consider Fredericksburg, TX and Texas Hell Week............http://www.hellweek.com/

If you are confident cycling and being on your own, just go to....http://www.cycletexas.com/..print and plan your own routes. There are some routes where you need to bring your climbing legs. Think about where Lance learned to climb hills. But 1000' per 1s miles or so if easy to find.

If the weather and rain is right, the Hill County will be beautiful.





There is also a ride at LBJ ranch, if you want an organized ride or to enjoy the short history tour led by Lucy Baines Johnson, LBJ's daughter (regardless of your political leaning). http://www.lbj100bicycletour.org/

As LBJ said...."all the world is welcome here."

We'll be there the week of March19th on our orange Burley Tandem. Maybe we'll see you.

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Old 02-22-11, 10:07 PM   #14
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If you don't want it too warm, I'd suggest something in northern CA. Not much rain from late March on, especially in a La Nina year, and the grasses are still green on the hillsides. There's lots of fun riding to be found in Napa and Sonoma Counties. You can head on out to the coast for a change of scenery or cruise into the Central Valley for a day of total flatness (at least once you get there).

If you like hills, don't miss Oakville grade in Napa and Gates Canyon and Mix Canyon between Winters and Vacaville. Oh, and of course you will be required to go to the top of Mt. Diablo and take a picture. Nothing like double-digit grade percentages to get the blood flowing. The good folks on the Northern California sub-forum can give you a lot of route suggestions and may join you for a few.
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Old 02-23-11, 09:17 AM   #15
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I'd echo the recommendations for riding in the San Diego area. I was in the motorcycle business there for many years and there are some terrific roads to ride there. You can sort of create your own climate there; if it's too warm you ride towards the beach and if it's not warm enough you head inland.

I can't speak to room rentals but you might look into the Warm Showers organization where folks offer lodging to transit cyclists.

I rode my bike here in Spokane for the first time since October this weekend . It was only 40 miles but it sure felt good!
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Old 02-23-11, 09:25 AM   #16
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Tucson, of course.

But those other suggestions sure are good too.
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Old 02-23-11, 11:59 AM   #17
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Lots of enticing suggestions here, Thank you.

One of the criteria is that I don't want to have to rent a car. Also, being a single-car household I would not want to leave my wife without by taking our one so that I could go cycling. So, the idea would be rent a bike case from my local club and fly to a "destination", take a taxi to a "base" where the case could be stored, and either do day-ride loops or do a multi-day tour. For the day rides from a base it seems likely I would have to rent a place, which has its advantages. For a multi-day tour I'd carry everything with me except the travel case and either camp (more gear to carry) or make use of the WarmShowers hospitality network.

California climate is appealing but I'm severely daunted by the traffic and rather aghast by the number of bike vehicle collisions on the so. Cal. region forum. I do have friends in the S.F. area where I could store the travel case for a few days. Austin area of TX is also appealing because I could visit family there, and stash the case, while also getting time out on the bike in the hill country. (On second thought, I've been doing so much family all winter this would not be the break I seem to be needing.) Also on my radar is Tucson. It has been more than three decades since I spent any time there. I have good memories, and it seems to be quite a hotbed for biking. One last option I'm considering is Mexico. I have friends in Mexico City who could store the case and provide some logistical support, i.e. drive me out of the city so I don't have to brave 11+ million other road users.

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Old 02-23-11, 02:52 PM   #18
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Pam, were you there last year?? What bike were you riding??
Haven't been for 3 years... hoping to go next year maybe. I got sick and then out of shape. From experience I know in shape is better than out. Some tough climbs here and there.
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Old 02-23-11, 02:56 PM   #19
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I can't comment on CA, though I still want to live there for 6 months or so just for the biking. But if in late March, consider Fredericksburg, TX and Texas Hell Week.
OK I did Hell Week in 2006 or 7 or 8? When we had that last huge wildflower bloom across the southern states. I love riding in the Hill County and I enjoyed the organized rides but I didn't see flowers like that until after we started to drive home. That was fantastic. Over Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California... wall-to-wall wildflowers!!!!!!

We stayed in Fredericksburg for the week... lodging was reasonable and great food!!! Good people. Had fun!!!

BTW Old people are getting hurt in So Cal because well they are taking unreasonable and unnecessary chances. Alot of the fatalities were at night or dusk, during rush hours. Sad for everyone involved but you won't see me out on a street at night. They are tons of bike trails and quiet streets to ride. I avoid busy streets at all costs.
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Old 02-23-11, 03:28 PM   #20
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.

I'm also a HUGE fan of Bicycle Adventures supported tours. Here's their 2011 list
http://www.adventurecycling.org/tour...trix/index.cfm
+1

Hard to beat an Adventure Cycling Tour.
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Old 02-23-11, 03:50 PM   #21
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+1 Texas Hell Week. Fly in to Austin. Get the relatives to drop you in Fred and pick you up.
Ride for a week where there's no snow.
I'm heading down for Hell Week from MN.
Never done it but several in my club have and loved it.
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Old 02-23-11, 04:07 PM   #22
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I was also thinking Moab. I've done 10 days there, but only mountain biking. The two national parks are just great. The town is very nice. The problem is it's very difficult to get any rooms during a festival. They get booked up like a year in advance for some places. Ran into that the last time I called some.

I prefer quieter times in popular places. Don't care for crowds and higher prices.

My wife was not up to the trails in Moab, so every other day we hiked in the parks. She often shuttled for my rides. She enjoyed it immensly.

Al
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Old 02-23-11, 10:51 PM   #23
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I've chosen a destination. After sending out multiple inquiries to friends, family, and others the choices were mid-California, Tucson, Albuquerque, Austin, and Mexico.

Family in Albuquerque said they'd rather I come in Oct. Family in Austin did not respond in time, nor did friends in San Francisco. Room renters in Tucson did not reply either. Only friends in Mexico City said "Yes, Great, come on up." So I'm headed to Mexico for 12 days.

I'll only be in the city the first day and the last 2-3. The rest of the time I'll be east of Cuernavaca (lower and much warmer than Mexico city) and will have a modest hacienda to myself. Including this lovely 10m pool. Word is that the papayas and limes are ripe and ready to be picked.



Temps. have been around 90F so I won't be doing any biking. Rather, just laying in the hammock and swimming to my hearts content.

Bye bye winter!
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Old 02-23-11, 10:55 PM   #24
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Odd. I thought your loving wife was giving you a bike vacation because you are a great guy and she doesn't bike.
Why would you want to go not-biking and leave her behind?
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Old 02-23-11, 11:09 PM   #25
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She wants me to have a vacation where it is warm and sunny because she thinks I'm a great guy (at least after the last few months). She has to work; I'm retired. She bikes, just not as much or when it is cold and snowy, or rainy, or windy... Also, she has had a lot of family these last few months, including me. The time alone will be good for her to process stuff that I'm just not able to help with. Also, we have a date scheduled in Seattle for when I get back. So all in all she gets a happy husband back; whether I've been biking or swimming makes no difference to her.
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