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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 05-13-14, 07:59 PM   #26
EnsitMike
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everyplace in california is forsaken. just awful. not enough scenery, earthquakes, choking pollution and way too many people/cars. horrible mexican food tambíen. and the uncontrollable rodents/insects.


try central oregon and central arizona.
Most of those problems are gone in the hills ;]
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Old 05-13-14, 09:37 PM   #27
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I live in San Diego, but my favorite riding area is the CA Central Coast, San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach and Cambria.
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Old 05-13-14, 09:45 PM   #28
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I'm right next to you in Eagle Rock. We live in the best place in my opinion. We have the Rose Bowl for the flats with tons of riders if you're looking to ride with others, Angeles Crest just to the north, and are a short rides distance from the beach. Hard to beat.
I agree that I have nothing to complain about. I'm just wondering if there is some mythical place that has all this and more. I am next to Griffith Park and the river path so I stick to that. I haven't got the balls to go up to Angeles crest yet. I hike up there and from a drivers perspective it's hard to see bikers or cars or motorcycles around those twists and turns. I'm worried about being run off the side of a mountain by some jackass in a pick up truck
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Old 05-13-14, 09:56 PM   #29
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Buy some rain gear. I ride most of the year on the coast.
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Old 05-13-14, 11:20 PM   #30
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everyplace in california is forsaken. just awful. not enough scenery, earthquakes, choking pollution and way too many people/cars. horrible mexican food tambíen. and the uncontrollable rodents/insects.


try central oregon and central arizona.
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fify
We need to evict ooga booga. Pity Caloso's fixes didn't come through, but norcal isn't the answer either.

Let's look at this another way - when the world runs out oil, where will the best cycling reside? I still think SoCal has it going on. NorCal isn't bad either, except for the extreme concentration of hipsters.
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Old 05-13-14, 11:25 PM   #31
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I would add a desired quality for best road cycling place: minimal negativity toward cyclists.

The SF bay area meets many of your requirements - scenic, mix of flats and hills, moderate temps... Decent cycling infrastructure, local bike coalitions, clubs, etc. Not lightly populated, though. The fog and winds during summer can sometimes make summer feel like winter, but that is when you are close to the bay/ocean.

There are plenty of cyclists here, but increasingly, there is also a lot of negativity toward cyclists. I've lived in the bay area my whole life and I think the negativity toward cyclists has really increased in the last 10 years. Hikers and horseback riders complain about mountain bikers and motorists/pedestrians have endless complaints about cyclists riding too fast on paths, cyclists on roads without bike lanes, cyclists riding on the road when they "should be on the path," cyclists going through stop lights, not riding single file, not being visible enough, being obnoxious with bright spandex, startling pedestrians as they pass, being obnoxious with their "on your left," loud bell-ringing, etc. If you read any news story about a cyclist in local bay area papers, there is often a ton of anti-cyclist comments that are pretty disturbing to read. Even though most people would not make generalizations about all women, all asians, etc., they think nothing of making generalizations about "all cyclists." Sure, we are all wannabe racers who blow through lights...


In Marin, there is a small town (Nicasio) that many cyclists ride through on their way to west Marin. There is actually a posted sign requesting cyclists to be quiet as they bike through the main road through town. I've never seen a sign requesting cyclists to be quiet anywhere else.

Despite my complaints about the growing antipathy toward cyclists, I realize that the bay area is much better than many other areas of the country for riding. A good friend of mine who rode a lot and grew up in the bay area moved to Ohio and called me to complain about all the motorists who yelled out their window to "get on the sidewalk."

I really liked biking in Santa Cruz, CA where I lived for awhile. Not too densely populated, good riding temps year-round, beautiful coast rides to the north and south, many beautiful forest/redwood/hilly rides, mtb rides - all of these accessible from home, without having to drive to ride.
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Old 05-13-14, 11:27 PM   #32
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Thousand Oaks, CA
wouldn't surprise me if it was the best. San Luis Obisbo or Santa Barbara maybe?

i often wonder where the devil people who live there could possibly want to go for a vacation...

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Old 05-13-14, 11:31 PM   #33
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Thanks for posting this, the map is really interesting.
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Old 05-13-14, 11:33 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
everyplace in california is forsaken. just awful. not enough scenery, earthquakes, choking pollution and way too many people/cars. horrible mexican food tambíen. and the uncontrollable rodents/insects.


try central oregon and central arizona.
Heres where I will ride from my house on Friday in choking pollution and with way too many people/cars. There will be not enough scenery, too, lol.



H
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Old 05-14-14, 12:23 AM   #35
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.
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...the entire state of California is a god forsaken hellhole. To anyone who lives somewhere else, beware. You will hate it here. Stay where you are. Trust me.
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Old 05-14-14, 01:05 AM   #36
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Heres where I will ride from my house on Friday in choking pollution and with way too many people/cars. There will be not enough scenery, too, lol.



H
We should plan a bike forums ride
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Old 05-14-14, 02:39 AM   #37
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Reno is underrated. I live less than 5 miles from a 7.5-mile climb and a 16-mile climb. Both are only 5%, but there are some shorter, steeper ones within 20 miles.

You can also keep rides flat if you're into that sort of thing.

Summer isn't too hot. If it is, Tahoe is cooler and it's not far away. Winter is cold, but rideable. Snow doesn't stick on the roads for long. The worst thing is the wind.

Road conditions are generally good with shoulers or bike lanes on most roads. If you get bored, there is tons of good riding within a reasonable driving distance.
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Old 05-14-14, 02:48 AM   #38
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I'm from Missouri. I'm curious if you could specify where you rode? And what you enjoyed about it? I've heard the east side of the state has lots of hills. I live on the west side, which still features some good rollers, but I haven't found a hill that takes me longer than 5 minutes here just yet. The country roads around my college town have grown on me - a lot. Fighting the wind is the closest thing I have to long climbs.
SE Missouri is great. I did some riding in the Mark Twain National Forest area and it was fun with tons of rollers. Wouldn't want to live there, but it's nice to visit.
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Old 05-14-14, 04:34 AM   #39
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Palo alto has nice bike paths, also I discovered a bike path from San Jose to San Francisco. Flat but nice.
Pray tell. I would not consider the roads I take to SF to be flat.
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Old 05-14-14, 05:33 AM   #40
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California has too many cars, too much smog, and too few interesting routes.

Back East, I can leave my door and be on a hundred different routes with no traffic.

Variety is key.

Vermont is nice.....for 5 months of the year.
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Old 05-14-14, 05:36 AM   #41
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Do what I do. Get an RV and follow the good weather. This year wintered in S. Fl, spring TX gulf coast and hill country, early summer Rockies, summer NW WA Olympia area, late summer Pacific coast and then?
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Old 05-14-14, 05:42 AM   #42
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We should plan a bike forums ride
Im in.
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Old 05-14-14, 06:25 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by THSdrummer View Post
I'm from Missouri. I'm curious if you could specify where you rode? And what you enjoyed about it? I've heard the east side of the state has lots of hills. I live on the west side, which still features some good rollers, but I haven't found a hill that takes me longer than 5 minutes here just yet. The country roads around my college town have grown on me - a lot. Fighting the wind is the closest thing I have to long climbs.
I had to do a bit of thinking about this.

Back in 2005, we drove from Le Claire, Iowa (where we had completed our first UMCA 24-hour race) to Boulder, Colorado (where we did the Last Chance 1200K Randonnee). On the way, we stopped in various places to ride.

So, after leaving Le Claire, we would have driven into Davenport, and then if I recall correctly, we followed the Mississippi south to Keokuk where we turned west and drove to Rock Port and then across the Missouri to Brownville.

We stopped in Brownville, Nebraska and got the bicycles out, and cycled some of the Steamboat Trace Trail, which was a decent trail, then we crossed the Missouri River back into Missouri and cycled a ways into Missouri.

The thing I liked about that area were the quiet relatively flat roads.

Some photos from that part of that trip ...






(Click photos for more)
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Old 05-14-14, 06:28 AM   #44
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Hilton Head, South Carolina. It's beautiful, it's a vacation spot, so no one is rushing and generally drivers are relaxed. There are bike paths, but I would avoid those, they are packed with beach bikes.

Also the sand is firm, so put on some bigger tires and you can cruise the beach early morning like a demon.
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Old 05-14-14, 07:11 AM   #45
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SE Missouri is great. I did some riding in the Mark Twain National Forest area and it was fun with tons of rollers. Wouldn't want to live there, but it's nice to visit.
I'm from the Kansas City area. I have camped down in that area of the state, but I've never had my bike with me. I have ran down there, and the constant ups and downs are tiresome, but I do want to take my bike down there and see what it's like. The bike shop owner in my college town is in Branson this weekend, and they have a bunch of 20% grades he is tackling. Taking riding locations within my own state from others!

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I had to do a bit of thinking about this.

Back in 2005, we drove from Le Claire, Iowa (where we had completed our first UMCA 24-hour race) to Boulder, Colorado (where we did the Last Chance 1200K Randonnee). On the way, we stopped in various places to ride.

So, after leaving Le Claire, we would have driven into Davenport, and then if I recall correctly, we followed the Mississippi south to Keokuk where we turned west and drove to Rock Port and then across the Missouri to Brownville.

We stopped in Brownville, Nebraska and got the bicycles out, and cycled some of the Steamboat Trace Trail, which was a decent trail, then we crossed the Missouri River back into Missouri and cycled a ways into Missouri.

The thing I liked about that area were the quiet relatively flat roads.

Some photos from that part of that trip ...

(Click photos for more)
Very interesting. Have you ever done the Katy Trail? It's a flat, chatter (gravel type...?) paved trail that nearly spans the state from KC to St. Louis. Rumor has it our trail here in Kansas City area will connect with the Katy Trail, which would mean one could ride from KC to St. Louis without dealing with cars for the most part. I haven't ridden in the area you are talking about. It sounds real nice. I'd say the nicest part of being here is getting on quiet backroads. I'll only see a handful of my cars once I'm out of town on my rides in college. The only disruption are country dogs, which love to sprint... haha. Thank you for the photos!
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Old 05-14-14, 07:36 AM   #46
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I haven't done any cycling trips so my experience is pretty much limited to my own region of SE Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. When the weather is nice it's not a bad area since depending on which direction I go I have my choice of flat, hilly, gravel, rolling hills, rail trails, and MUPs.


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Reno is underrated. I live less than 5 miles from a 7.5-mile climb and a 16-mile climb. Both are only 5%, but there are some shorter, steeper ones within 20 miles.

You can also keep rides flat if you're into that sort of thing.

Summer isn't too hot. If it is, Tahoe is cooler and it's not far away. Winter is cold, but rideable. Snow doesn't stick on the roads for long. The worst thing is the wind.

Road conditions are generally good with shoulders or bike lanes on most roads. If you get bored, there is tons of good riding within a reasonable driving distance.
I've been out to Reno before I started cycling and thinking back on it that would be a great cycling area. In fact, my cousin who was showing me the area told me, as we were driving up to Tahoe, that you have to watch out for the cyclists since they own the roads up there.

I can believe the wind being bad. When I was there my cousin was telling me that there was a bridge construction project that had gone through several contractors who had given the project up due to the wind being too much of an issue.
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Old 05-14-14, 11:20 AM   #47
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.
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...the entire state of California is a god forsaken hellhole. To anyone who lives somewhere else, beware. You will hate it here. Stay where you are. Trust me.
3alarmer gets it. florida and new jersey are the "in" states these days. discover it for yourselves. the west coast and sun belt are sooo '60's. did i mention the tacks strewn
in the bike lanes come monday mornings by motorists as a reason to totally disregard any california destination? they hand out the boxes at gas stations with every fill up.

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Old 05-14-14, 11:29 AM   #48
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3alarmer gets it. florida and new jersey are the "in" states these days. discover it for yourselves. the west coast and sun belt are sooo '60's. did i mention the tacks strewn
in the bike lanes come monday mornings by motorists as a reason to totally disregard any california destination? they hand out the boxes at gas stations with every fill up.
Florida? May as well set up a trainer in a sauna.
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Old 05-14-14, 11:29 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Weatherby View Post
California has too many cars, too much smog, and too few interesting routes.

Back East, I can leave my door and be on a hundred different routes with no traffic.

Variety is key.

Vermont is nice.....for 5 months of the year.
Maybe if you never leave LA. None of that applies to most areas in Northern California.
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Old 05-14-14, 11:36 AM   #50
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Heres where I will ride from my house on Friday in choking pollution and with way too many people/cars. There will be not enough scenery, too, lol.



H
what you so conveniently neglect to mention about gmr/grr are the packs of rabid mountain lions lurking in the roadside coastal sage scrub/chaparral just waiting to pounce on any unsuspecting
rider changing a flat, stopping to take a picture or rest break or even those whom have slowed enough to fall below their trending average speed. the local media has kept this pretty
hush-hush for obvious reasons and the problem is slowly spreading. don't be a victim. avoid california. the life you save just might be your own.
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