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  1. #1
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Interesting route???

    In your opinion, what makes an interesting route for an organized long distance ride (your local century or double century, a brevet/randonnee)?


    I'm not talking about the support, level of organization, or those sorts of things ............. I'm talking about the scenery and the terrain, loops vs. out and back routes, routes with lots of straight roads vs routes with lots of turns or curves in the roads


    IMO ....

    I like a variety of terrain -- some hills (especially short rollers with maybe one "big" hill on the route), and some flat (preferably slightly more flat stuff than hills).

    I also like a variety of scenery. I especially like lots of green trees; lots of lakes, streams, rivers, ponds, and other bodies of water; and moutains - either off in the distance or right next to me.

    I prefer a loop route.

    And I don't mind long straight roads for part of a route, and preferably for no more than 25-30 kms at a stretch. But I especially like a route that changes direction relatively frequently (like every 5-10 kms) because direction changes provide a reprieve from the wind.



    And you??

  2. #2
    Fattest Thin Man Az B's Avatar
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    Variety is the spice.

    I really like mountains. I like climbing them, I like the view from the top, I like the screaming downhills, and I like the streams and ponds that afford opportunities for a quick swim.

    I really hate flat and straight. There's nothing wrong with a little inbetween, but just miles and miles of flat and straight are boring.

    Az

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    I like a variety of terrain -- some hills (especially short rollers with maybe one "big" hill on the route), and some flat (preferably slightly more flat stuff than hills).

    I also like a variety of scenery. I especially like lots of green trees; lots of lakes, streams, rivers, ponds, and other bodies of water; and moutains - either off in the distance or right next to me.

    I prefer a loop route.

    And I don't mind long straight roads for part of a route, and preferably for no more than 25-30 kms at a stretch. But I especially like a route that changes direction relatively frequently (like every 5-10 kms) because direction changes provide a reprieve from the wind.
    Somewhat agree. I prefer loops, but don't mind out-and-backs as you'll sometimes see things on the return that you would have missed on the approach. I like a variety of terrain (well, who doesn't?) but cycling in New England, I'm used to rolling terrain. Flat stretches that roll past riverbanks or coasts are nice, but flat that's just grassland to the horizon gets tedious rather quickly.

    With that said, I'm not a climbing junkie at all, and only really like climbs if they pay off with a good view or a nice stretch of ridgeline that rolls and weaves in a series of undulating curves. Give me something to look forward to besides the adrenaline rush of a 40 or 50 mph descent.

    Like most, I also prefer a route that is low in automobile traffic and a generally decent mix of pastoral, undeveloped nature and quaint small towns. I generally feel more secure if shops and services aren't more than 50km apart, but if the route warns about long stretches between services, then I can just plan accordingly.

    I like back roads, but don't like squirrely routes that require you to constantly watch your cue-sheets because there are turns every, like, quarter of a mile or so. Time spent worrying about cues is time that isn't spent enjoying the terrain.

    I like a certain amount of unpaved or dirt tracks if it takes you past gorgeous terrain that you wouldn't normally see in a car. I like to know if the route has that in advance so I can kit out the bike properly with wider tires.

    Also, any route that afford me a chance to get off the bike, walk up to a farm stand and eat a ripened apple fresh of a tree always gets a special place in my memory.

  4. #4
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    I'm a fan of the New England terrain - rolling (sometimes steep!) with some good climbs thrown in - then some fun on a ridgeline or down a descent. River valleys are fun - esp on a meandering low traffic paved road - but the wind along the valleys can get tiresome (I always seem to get a headwind on the CT or West River in VT).

    The smell of pines, or in the fall the smell of leaves makes for a good day. Some place to get out of the sun is good too...

    I did the Middlebury and Appalachain gaps this weekend - wonderful cycling along Rt 100, 125, 116, and 17 in N. Vt. - ideal for me - cool morning with a warm-ish afternoon. Waterfalls, 2 mountain passes, gradual and then steep climb up to Middlebury, rolling farmland and woods on the western side of the Green Mountains, climbing with some steep switchbacks at the end of the ride, up Applalchian Gap, fields, forests, boggy bits (no moose...) fog and misty hollows... a perfect day, including the 7,500 feet of climbing on the 70 mile loop.

  5. #5
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Loop routes over out-and back

    Low traffic roads (of course)

    For hot weather, I like routes with plenty of places to stop for ice, water, etc.

    The less chip seal, the better.

    Some hills to make it interesting.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    Cliffs, Canyons, Rolling meadows is nice. Hills are nice if it means cooler temperatures at the top. Lakes are definitely cool but down here that means boat traffic unfortunately. Historical areas are cool. Fairly regular resupply points but not too close to each other.
    Sunrise saturday,
    I was biking the backroads,
    lost in the moment.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cadillac's Avatar
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    ideal ride

    An interesting and ideal ride would be a long downhill on the way out and a long downhill on the way back.
    .... Preferably with a tailwind.
    "Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
    The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
    But then begins a journey in my head,
    To work my mind, when body's work's expired"
    -- Shakespeare Sonnet XXVII
    Click here to visit Motorera.com

  8. #8
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadillac
    An interesting and ideal ride would be a long downhill on the way out and a long downhill on the way back.
    .... Preferably with a tailwind.
    You've obviously been riding my routes backwards.

  9. #9
    hell's angels h/q e3st ny brunop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadillac
    An interesting and ideal ride would be a long downhill on the way out and a long downhill on the way back.
    .... Preferably with a tailwind.
    and no potholes or cars. and IPA at the checkpoints!
    ". . .a striped jersey under his jacket; bared calves (outside the bicycle track); cap pushed back; feet in a false position on the pedals; a barking horn, a disorderly appearance, an always-dry tongue, and a definite fondness for wine merchants. . ."

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    I like rides that are (at night) easy to navigate and have a decent road surface (no potholes). Daytime can be more 'interesting' though.

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