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  1. #1
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    what was one of your most memorable rides?

    for me, it was a ride i did about two months ago. i set off at sundown and rode towards a small village called Longnor, which is about six miles from Buxton, my hometown. when i came to the crossroads in Longnor i decided to take a different route from which i had planned. it led up onto the moors, an empty, desolate stretch of road for about five miles. i'd never done the route before but had a vague idea of where i was going.

    it was getting dark when i left Longnor, and a heavy fog was setting in. it may have been foolish of me to take an unfamiliar road on my own at that time, but i wanted a route i'd never done before.

    as i rode into the increasing dark i was aware of this quiet stillness all around me. it was kind of surreal. i could barely see the road infront of me, and would've ridden into the ditch if it wasn't for an otherwise weak front light which cut through the fog like a sunbeam through clouds. i was intensely present throughout the ride. time seemed to be stretched out. it's hard to put into words, but it was an incredible feeling.

    occassionally, a car would approach the horizon infront of me. it's headlight beams would gradually illuminate the fog as it moved further up the hill. the fog, turning into an increasingly brighter yellow-orange, resembled a beautiful sunrise. then the car peaked the top of the hill. i was drowned in light.
    Last edited by enfilade; 10-28-09 at 09:35 AM.

  2. #2
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    I rode through a range fire in eastern Washington one time!

    For quite a while we'd been seeing smoke coming up over a distant hill, but as we got closer it became evident we were going to pass completely to the south of it, and before long the fire and smoke seemed to be behind us. Then we got to the top of a hill, our road turned abruptly to the north, and suddenly we were right in the middle of it. It had only seemed like less smoke because the wind had picked up, so the smoke was moving faster, and lower, than before. Now thick black smoke, and occasional flames, were blowing across the road.

    All the local men were there fighting it. The fire chief looked at us and clearly thought the safest place for two bicycle tourists was as far from there as possible, but now the fire was right up to the highway behind us and we couldn't go back. He told us to go right through the smoke, as fast as we could. And we did. It was hot, smelly, and the smoke stung my eyes. But it wasn't far; a hundred feet maybe. Then we were out in the sun again.

    All the excitement lasted probably about two minutes, total. But a two minutes I still remember vividly after 25 years.

  3. #3
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    I have several but here's one...

    I stayed two nights at the Cheticamp campground at Cape Breton Highlands Nat'l park in Nova Scotia. I wanted a full day off to do some hiking. It rained the first night and the clouds were still thick and low in the morning. I decided to do a forestry trail along a river since the clouds and fog hid the big vistas. It was nice but nothing more. Here's a photo. Around mid-afternoon, I was making my way back and the clouds began dispersing. I figured I'd have time to eat a bite and ride the famous stretch of the Cabot Trail where most pictures come from.

    It was amazing.

    This stretch follows the sea with some pretty big hills. It runs north-south so it's directly by the setting sun. The park has a huge population of moose, as well as birds of prey, including Bald Eagle. I never though I'd see it all in a few minutes.

    I'm better with a camera than wrds so here you go:

    The first cliff, where the roads goes back to the sea:


    Follow the road in the first picture, this one was taken at the top of the first short climb and looing back:


    A young Bald Eagle flew over not once but twice. My camera carrying system wasn't perfected yet and taking it out of the bag was still sketchy, with risk of dropping everything. I remember thinking: doesn't matter if I break everything, I need to get the shot, and I got it:


    A few shots from the road:


    I had heard noise in the bushes while taking a break in a rest area. I thought about a Moose but saw nothing. On my way back, a bunch of cars were parked where I heard the noises and sure enough, a large bull Moose was grazing. I dreamed of a similar photo since I saw Tom Mangelson's Moose. It was made with a ultra wide angle. Unfortunately, I made a huge mistake: I cranked up the ISO for more conventional photos which I knew would go straight to garbage and forgot to put it down for this so it's very noisy. It's still one of my favorite though:


    Another cool thing on that ride was keeping up with cars on the downhill. I had a stupid grin on my face the whole time. The next day would prove to be another "perfect day", with great riding, more Bald Eagles, Whales and Moose. That second day ended with beers with Ed, an Australian who rode parts and drove others.

    Another highlight was in Gros Morne Nat'l park in Newfoundland. There's a 15km dead-end road to a small fishing village. The road goes through the Tablelands, which has a surreal scenery due to the orange rocks. I purposely rode in driving rain just to ride back the next day, when the forecasts called for a clearing. It paid off. This is probably my favorite touring photo:
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

  4. #4
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    What came to my mind when I saw the thread title was my first attempt at a long ride. I'd just gotten a Gitane Tour de France model, my first good bike. This was the summer of 1970, and I was going to school in Boulder, Colorado.

    My family had been coming to Colorado for summer vacation since I was born, so I knew the area. One day I decided to ride north from Boulder and then up into the moutains to the Peak-to-Peak Highway, and back to Boulder. I knew nothing about long distance bicycling; I just got on and went. I had a spare tire, a pump and a water bottle.

    Beautiful summer day. Clear air, cool breeze. Just north of Boulder the chain broke. I just sort of pushed it back together and went on. I got to Lyons and turned west, up the South St Vrain canyon. By this time I was feeling it. No energy. I decided I'd never make it on the planned route, turned around and staggered back to Boulder.

    I didn't even know enough then to understand what had happened. Didn't know the word "bonk," didn't know how nutrition works. I'd like to try this ride again, now that I have some idea of what I'm doing.

    Currently I live in Santa Monica, California, and go riding in the morning. The OP's story of fog brought back lots of memories about that, although we don't have moose. I do get to listen to owls as the sun rises through tendrils of morning fog.

  5. #5
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    India.

  6. #6
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    great stories, keep em comin'!

    nice photography btw

  7. #7
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    After missing out on a chance to do "Bikecentennial" in 1976. I daydreamed about it over the years, but didn't get into touring until 2007. At that time I did the old Bikecentennial route, now called the TransAmerica. To make the trip even better I did the ride with my daughter and one of her college room mates right after their college graduation. It was a great experience.

    There is a link to my journals on Crazy Guy in my signature.

  8. #8
    The Dude Abides
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    Hey enfilade, I live about 15 miles from Buxton and have ridden up to Longnor a few times, beautiful ride indeed. In fact of all the places I've cycled in Europe, the Peak District still remains one of my favourite places ever.

    With regards to my most memorable ride, I couldn't really single out anything specific, I've had good day's and bad day's and look back with fondness either way. Overtaking a roadie twice in Italy with all my camping gear whilst going uphill was nice
    www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/oslotoistanbul

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Speedo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elduderino12 View Post
    Hey enfilade, I live about 15 miles from Buxton and have ridden up to Longnor a few times, beautiful ride indeed. In fact of all the places I've cycled in Europe, the Peak District still remains one of my favourite places ever.

    With regards to my most memorable ride, I couldn't really single out anything specific, I've had good day's and bad day's and look back with fondness either way. Overtaking a roadie twice in Italy with all my camping gear whilst going uphill was nice
    Whoa! I'm glad to see that your CrazyGuy journals are still in progress. The photos from your 2009 tour look great. Definitely get the narrative in there!

    Speedo

  10. #10
    Gr8 day 4 hill repeats JustMe's Avatar
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    This one most recently. And thanks to those on this forum that gave me an assist with the initial leg out of Seattle up to Vancouver via the Burke-Gillman and Centennial Bike Paths, and alternatives to hwy 9. Had a great time.

    "Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work." - Samuel L. Clemens 1908 letter

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by elduderino12 View Post
    Hey enfilade, I live about 15 miles from Buxton and have ridden up to Longnor a few times, beautiful ride indeed.
    wow, second person in two days to say they live near Buxton! i thought everyone was American on this forum

    Quote Originally Posted by elduderino12 View Post
    In fact of all the places I've cycled in Europe, the Peak District still remains one of my favourite places ever.
    i agree, the Peak District's a great area for cycling.. although, it is the only area i've really explored. so basically, touring in other countries will be a slight disappointment? great

  12. #12
    The Dude Abides
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedo View Post
    Whoa! I'm glad to see that your CrazyGuy journals are still in progress. The photos from your 2009 tour look great. Definitely get the narrative in there!

    Speedo
    Thanks Speedo, now that the dark nights are setting in I'll finally get around to finishing it.
    www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/oslotoistanbul

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  13. #13
    Cycled on all continents JohnyW's Avatar
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    the first. [and I had a lot of first ones...]
    My Travelogues: http://thomasontour.de (currently only in German)

  14. #14
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enfilade View Post
    wow, second person in two days to say they live near Buxton! i thought everyone was American on this forum
    Not at all!!

    Rowan and I live about 10 km from Buxton as well ... Buxton, Australia.

  15. #15
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Here are a couple:

    Milford Road, New Zealand, 2006
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=30958&v=B1

    Going crazy with waterfalls, again in New Zealand
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=31139&v=B8

    The template for all coastlines: The Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=96361&v=Dj
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=96587&v=Dd

    Scotland's North-west coast was beautiful, here are some examples
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=57584&v=Fx
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=57583&v=Fp

    Some more to come later.

    It all reminds me that I need to pull my finger out and finish writing up my Western Australian journal.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  16. #16
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Mine was doing the C&O in a single day. For no real reason other than to prove to myself I could do it. That and it was a bet for dinner, and boy that dinner tasted good!

    But that said, I think the one that meant the most to me was doing the GAP/C&O with my son. The bonding time was priceless, and still to this day it's brought us closer in many ways.

  17. #17
    Bike touring webrarian
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    Living in San Francisco affords me the luxury of riding down to LA whenever I want. While I've ridden down the Big Sur coast several times, it is always a great way to spend a day on a bike.

    The first "real" bike tour I took was in England. One of the days was a ride through the Forest of Dean, past Symonds Yat, and along the Wye River.

    It is quite possible that my most transcendental day on a bike was the ride I took up to and through the Tarn River Gorge.

    Ray
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

  18. #18
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I have had numerous memorable rides ... it's almost hard to pick the most memorable one!!

    Many of my rides have been written up here: http://www.machka.net/, and I'm working on getting more of them there.

    However, my most memorable ride would have to be Rowan's and my wedding century!! In the early part of the day, before we got married ... we rode a full imperial century.

    If you scroll down there's a description of that century here partway down the page here:
    http://www.machka.net/2008/MiscellaneousMeanderings.htm

    And on the page that describes how Rowan's and my relationship developed, I also mention the century there along with the wedding ceremony:
    http://www.machka.net/aboutme/rowan_charlene.htm

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    that sounds like one sweaty wedding Machka

    it looks brilliant though. if i was ever to get married i'd want something like that. not the cliche church wedding. something different. maybe something outdoors.

    Raybo, that Ste-Enimie ride looks great. amazing scenery. i'd like to ride across the Millau Viaduct.. not too far from where you were

  20. #20
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enfilade View Post
    that sounds like one sweaty wedding Machka

    it looks brilliant though. if i was ever to get married i'd want something like that. not the cliche church wedding. something different. maybe something outdoors.
    It wasn't that bad ... the day was fairly cool. In fact, it was cold to start with and then warmed up a bit. When we finished the century we had about 45 minutes before the other 4 people involved in the whole thing arrived so we cleaned up with baby wipes and sat down and relaxed with a cup of coffee.

    By the time they arrived, we were quite refreshed and ready to change and start the ceremony.

  21. #21
    Bike touring webrarian
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    Quote Originally Posted by enfilade View Post
    Raybo, that Ste-Enimie ride looks great. amazing scenery. i'd like to ride across the Millau Viaduct.. not too far from where you were
    I believe the Millau Viaduct is automobile only and closed to bikes.

    Ray
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

  22. #22
    Day trip lover mr geeker's Avatar
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    I would have to say its a toss up between my daytrip to big creek and the failed tour i just went on. both were memorable for different things. daytrip because it was the first time i rode more than 50 miles, failed trip partly because im not fond of the cold and because it still fits as my first "tour".
    instant human: just add coffee
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