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  1. #1
    Member motmcd's Avatar
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    Where in the world....

    I'm planning a big road-cycling adventure for next year, and originally had my heart set on cycling Ireland; not a tour, but a 7-day series of day adventures on the road bike to explore the country. Now I'm thinking the world's a big place, and I've been to Ireland, so maybe I should select another venue for my big adventure, but where?

    So i ask you. If I had the good fortune of cycling with one of you, where in your corner of the world would you take me cycling? Tell me about your favorite cycling places and why I should think about cycling in your hometown and surrounding areas.

    Advanced thanks for all the great ideas.

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    We live in the state of Victoria, Australia. During the 2.5 years I've lived here, we have travelled to many different parts of Victoria for weekends and long weekends to get to know the state a little bit better.

    We live just north of Melbourne, on the edge of the Great Dividing Range. We've got mountains right on our doorstep for some good climbing, and within easy driving distance we can go deeper into the mountains (in fact, that's our plan for the weekend after next). But within about a 45 minute drive we can also be out of the mountains and onto the flatlands.

    If mountains aren't your thing, then we've got beaches and more beaches not far from here (we spent 4 days at the beach during the last weekend of October). On the west side of Melbourne, we've got the Great Ocean Road, a beautiful ride with rock formations, and at the right time of the year, whale watching. On the east side of Melbourne we've got Wilson's Prom, a lovely area full of wildlife, beaches, and beautiful views of the ocean.

    We've also got flatlands and rolling hills, large lakes, forests, and temperate rain forests ... all a short drive or cycle away.

    There is also a strong goldfield history in this state, if you're interested in checking out museums and the history of an area.

    As for roads and traffic and things like that ... there are certain areas to avoid, of course, and some areas can be a bit busy, but most of our cycling is on decent quiet country roads.


    Here are a couple collections of photos, mainly of this state, and mainly of the area where we live:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/machka-...7602419256784/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/machka-...7625877711979/


    A shot of our immediate area, quite close to where we live on the edge of the Great Dividing Range ...

    (Click photo for more ...)

  3. #3
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Where do you live?

  4. #4
    Member motmcd's Avatar
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    Good question, Looigi. I live near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

  5. #5
    Member motmcd's Avatar
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    Howdy, Machka, and thanks for the great post. Makes me want to be boarding a plane heading your way today. The photos are fantastic, too. How do you feel about cycling house guests, lol?

    Cheers

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    Kirghizistan. I've never been there, and I don't know if I'll ever get there; but if I were young and wanted an adventure, that looks as far and remote as any place. Europe and the British Islands are nice, but I wouldn't call cycling there an adventure.

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    Ive been to Ireland cycling 3 times and still rate it as one of the best destinations.
    Slovenia is a lovely little country with really varied terrain within a short distance, classic Alpine passes, riverside ambles, rolling forested hills, off road trails, wine country, flatlands and even a ride through a cave system. Food and drink are good for cycling and there is a good network of rural accommodation (tourist farms) so you can travel light.

  8. #8
    Resident smartass. Fargo Wolf's Avatar
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    Close to home: The Yellowhead HWY from Kamloops (my hometown) to Jasper, then to Prince Rupert. From there the ferry down the inside passage to Vancouver Island and down to Comox, then another ferry to the Sunshine Coast. From there to Vancouver (BC), east to Hope, through the Fraser Canyon, before returning home.

    Internationally: Too many places to list, though the Netherlands is at the top of he list. In second place is Scandinavia.

  9. #9
    Unobtanium-Based Lifeform calamarichris's Avatar
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    Belgium/Netherlands/Luxemburg, (aka Benelux.)
    Especially southern Holland; Maastricht, Liege, Valkenburg. The roads, the beer, the cycling culture--brilliant!






    If I weren't already planning my vacation to Southwestern Colorado (Durango, Silverton, Ouray, Fruita) I'd be burning up the Rosetta Stone-Dutch.

  10. #10
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motmcd View Post
    I'm planning a big road-cycling adventure for next year, and originally had my heart set on cycling Ireland; not a tour, but a 7-day series of day adventures on the road bike to explore the country. Now I'm thinking the world's a big place, and I've been to Ireland, so maybe I should select another venue for my big adventure, but where?

    So i ask you. If I had the good fortune of cycling with one of you, where in your corner of the world would you take me cycling? Tell me about your favorite cycling places and why I should think about cycling in your hometown and surrounding areas.

    Advanced thanks for all the great ideas.

    Cheers
    I don't know about you. but the Barkleys have probably already been there: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/bikingbarkleys

    If you didn't want to leave the U.S., I'd wait until next August/September and do some day riding around here (Portland, Oregon). This is about 20 miles from my house:
    http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/HCRH/...CRHbikemap.pdf

    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  11. #11
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    Have you exhausted all the possibilities in your home state? Check out the Velo-Orange blog,www.velo-orange.com, for a brief account of a trip down the East Coast. One of the beauties of bicycle touring is that you can start from your front door and discover things nearby that you never knew existed, or you can go all the way to the most remote places on an expedition. And everything in between.

  12. #12
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    I live in Central Florida. We have some pretty nice cycling in Lake County, just off to my west. I think I would start in Mount Dora and take you up to Esmeralda Marsh which is a wild life refuge with a road through it. It is a pretty nice ride. We would swing back through Umatilla and then east and back by Thrill Hill. It is actually a sort of valley between 2 ridges. But you can hit over 40 mph if you let it go. Now I don't because the road is not very smooth at the bottom.

    Another nice ride is the Romp to Seville. You start just outside Deland FL. You ride north through housing and then into farm land interspersed by fern nurseries. I think they raise almost all the ferns grown for US flower arrangements round there. You continue north into a region which is all pine and nothing else. Finally, you get to the metropolis of Cody's Corners which is named for a general store which is now a convenience store. There is nothing there still. You head west through swamp and farmland until you get to Barberville. There is a convenience store there. You head south from there to Seville, there is no barber in Seville being a small town. There is a "pioneer village" there though. You go back through farmland. You pass Deleon Springs. Deleon Springs is supposed to have been the inspiration of the fountain of youth of Ponce de Leon. I don't know if it is true. I wasn't there. But hey, it might bring in tourists (it doesn't). Heading south, you go into the outskirts of Deland and go farther south and turn east. You then get to go through Cassadaga. Cassadaga is a STRANGE place. It is a community of spiritualists - you know palm readers, aura readers, and who knows what else. Kind of funky, weird and charming. The community will not let churches build there because they seem to think that it will pollute the neighborhood. Florida has some strange places. A bit to the north and you are back. The ride is scenic and it gives you a lot of looks at "Old Florida".

  13. #13
    Senior Member Rancid's Avatar
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    I haven't done it yet, but I really really want to ride in Jordan, if only for a day

    I'm headed to Jordan in a few weeks (its right next door) and dreaming i had a bike I could take with me. Instead I've been getting in touch with the cycling club over there to see if I can make friends to show me around and loan/rent me a bike. I'd ride from Amman to Petra, get my Indiana Jones on there for a day or two and then ride to Wadi Rum desert (think Lawrence on Arabia landscape) then into the Jordan Valley for a day by the Dead Sea and then to Aqaba for some diving in the Red Sea to finish things off or maybe cross the border to Israel for a trip to the Monastary carved in the cliff face and then to climb the hills out of the lowest place on land to finish it out in Jerusalem.

    The winter isn't too hot here even (its in the 50's during the day right now) so the terrain is less intimidating. Nights out in the middle of the desert around a campfire with good arabic food and company and some of the most unique environmental and heritage sites in the world.
    I've been here since 2004? I've never felt this old before.

  14. #14
    Unobtanium-Based Lifeform calamarichris's Avatar
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    +1 on Portland. Another place with great beer, terrific (and cheap) food, and a cool cycling vibe. And who knows? Maybe you'll get lucky with the weather.

  15. #15
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
    +1 on Portland. Another place with great beer, terrific (and cheap) food, and a cool cycling vibe. And who knows? Maybe you'll get lucky with the weather.
    True. Although we had 2" of rain... yesterday.
    Jeff Wills

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  16. #16
    Unobtanium-Based Lifeform calamarichris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
    True. Although we had 2" of rain... yesterday.
    Every pitcher of blessing contains a shotglass of curse, and vice-versa.
    Besides, maybe he'll get lucky and only get an inch and a half per day during his visit.

  17. #17
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
    Have you exhausted all the possibilities in your home state? Check out the Velo-Orange blog,www.velo-orange.com, for a brief account of a trip down the East Coast. One of the beauties of bicycle touring is that you can start from your front door and discover things nearby that you never knew existed, or you can go all the way to the most remote places on an expedition. And everything in between.
    The "home state" is for weekends ... if you've got more time than a long weekend, that's when you venture further afield.

    I've been living in the state of Victoria, Australia for about 2.5 years now, and right from when I first got here, I wanted to visit as much of the state as possible, so we take long weekends about once a month and go to different areas. This coming weekend we're taking a long weekend and going to the heart of the alpine area, two weekends ago we took a long weekend went further north on the edge of mountains, two weeks before that we took a 4-day weekend and went a bit further to a coastal town to do some cycling along the ocean ...

    But our big trip of the year was just over 3 weeks in Canada in August ... taking a break from the Australian winter.

    And at Easter we had 6 days off, so we went to the neighbouring state (South Australia).

  18. #18
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Arkansas has some fine riding. And Little Rock is right on the dividing line between the Ouachita Mountains and the Mississippi River Delta so you have your choice of almost any kind of terrain you want.

    The River Trail has been praised as one of the best bike trails in the country. And this summer the addition of two new bridges have extended the path to it's full intended length. It stretches down both sides of the Arkansas River offering nice vistas and you can cross the river on the Big Dam Bridge (longest bridge ever built for bicycles and pedestrians), the Junction Bridge or the newly opened Clinton Park Bridge next to the Clinton Library. The River Trail will also lead you out of town to Pinnacle Mountain and the loop around Lake Maumelle through Wye Mountain.



    You can do an overnight trip down to Hot Springs, America's oldest National Recreation Area. After a beautiful trip, you can pamper yourself in naturally heated spring water on Bath House Row and enjoy the sights of the town, the food or just go by where Al Capone used to stay.



    If you hate hills, you can take a trip to England... England Arkansas. Ride among the cotton crops and pick up that delta warmth. It's the route of the annual Tour De Rock.

    A little driving will let you get to the Talimena Highway which has some amazing bicycling, including one section on the Oklahoma border that gives you a high speed 2.6 mile downhill ride. Gravity racers love it.



    Northwest Arkansas is a hot-bed of bicycle activity, and just a short hop from Branson Mo.



    If you are into off-road, Arkansas is also well equipped. The Womble Trail has an EPIC rating. Little Rock offers several places for good off-road riding as well. Dave at Central Arkanas Bicycle Rentals and Tours can make sure you have the bike you need, no matter what you are doing. And if you just want to be a spectator, you can enjoy the Bike Polo in Little Rock's MacArthur Park.





    Here's the brochure.

    And there's lots of food of all kinds. Plenty for the kids to do. Lots of fishing and hunting. Should you need a medieval castle to visit, we are building one for your enjoyment. The Crystal Bridges Art Museum, the Walton family's answer to the Getty Museum, has just been opened. There's a diamond mine to the south, where you can dig up a diamond for your own, or visit the Diamond Bear brewery and take a tour. Little Rock has got a great music scene, and museums and a zoo.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 11-23-11 at 11:28 PM.
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  19. #19
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Several Hundred people head down the WA, OR, Cal. coast every summer.
    some what less in numbers end up here after doing the Trans Am,
    with the book ends tire dunk at the beach. .

    fleeting dry season , sleeting is yet to come..

  20. #20
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    You may skip California altogether. Just watch it on the next Tour of California and that's enough for you.

  21. #21
    Member motmcd's Avatar
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    Thanks, and keep'em coming

    Thanks for all these great suggestions, and please keep them coming. Every post has me packing the bags and panting to head off someplace in this awesome world.

  22. #22
    Unobtanium-Based Lifeform calamarichris's Avatar
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    Pixels are a poor conveyer of sarcasm, but I hope you know Garfield is either that or just plain full of d00ki3. Central & Northern Cal are wonderful places for cycling (and motorcycling.)

    Morro Bay.


    Prefumo Canyon Road, up the hill from San Luis Obispo.



    Hwy 36 between Red Bluff & Humboldt.


    Sequoia National Forest. Yosemite's ugly kid sister is still pretty pretty, plus a lot less traffic. Just bring your climbing legs!



    And if you have a mountain bike, there are worse places than Catalina Island. ([Right-Mouse] and [View Image] to see this one in it's full majesty.)
    Last edited by calamarichris; 11-28-11 at 05:02 PM.

  23. #23
    Member motmcd's Avatar
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    Calamarichris, those pics are awesome. Maybe the West coast is something I should be thinking more about. I do have a mtn. bike as well, and I want to ride that very scene in your last pic. Incredible.

  24. #24
    Senior Member missjean's Avatar
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    Beautiful photos calamarichris, both of CA and Europe!
    The photo that Machka posted of Victoria looks so much like photo of the hills in
    CA, and visa-versa.
    "I bet German has a word for it. German has a word for everything."

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