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Old 04-06-10, 08:57 PM   #1
mthayer
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looking for a destination

I am looking for a destination to eventually to tour to. Has anyone just decided to pick some random city off a map? I am wanting to get away from this town I live in and dont know where I would want to go. I am thinking about keeping it in the south, but that may change.

Any suggestions?
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Old 04-07-10, 06:09 AM   #2
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Of course ... many/most of my cycling trips involve picking some random city off a map.

When the weekend rolls around, we'll pick a place somewhere within 100-ish km of where I live, and ride there ... preferably not the same place two weekends in a row. For some variety we might drive out to a place an hour or two or three away and cycle from there. For even more variety, we'll pick a spot even further away, and drive, take the train, or fly there to cycle from there.

Many of our destinations have something to do with an Audax/Randonneuring event ... we'll pick an event and go ride it. If the event is in another country, we'll stay a while and meander around the other country having a look at things.

So yes ... pick a spot and go!
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Old 04-07-10, 09:42 AM   #3
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Nope. I'm too much of a planner. I have a list of places I'd like to tour someday, mostly based on other people's accounts or ACA routes. Where I end up usually depends on time, money, family responsibilities, etc.

One tour I'd like to do, however, would be one that uses as little fossil fuel as possible. In other words, a tour that would start and end at my front door, with no driving, flying, train travel, etc. I used to do a lot of that when I lived in Washington state, but from here on the central coast I can either go up and down the coast, or take a few days to cross the valley to get into the Sierras. But I've figures possible routes. I'll do it someday.

There is one random thing I like to do on my bike. When I move to a new locale I like to get on my bike, head out in a random direction, turn on to different streets at random, and just wander. I've seen lots of interesting stuff doing this and really gotten to know my new town. Unfortunately, after you've lived in one place for awhile there aren't many opportunities to go to unknown places anymore because you know every place.
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Old 04-07-10, 08:48 PM   #4
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Well you certainly have lots of nice riding in your area. Ride down to Fredericksberg or over to Georgetown. Lots of nice country roads there with no traffic. I remember a nice river I think around New Brunfels. You could ride to the restaurant in that old Garth Brooks song - "The old Oasis" in Austin. Great atmosphere but the food was below average. How about riding to Lance Armstrong's bike shop in Austin (Mellow Johhny's) or maybe ride all the way to the Alamo in downtown San Antonio and check out the River Walk. Is'nt there that weird rock mountain in your area? I would like to see somebody try to ride a bike up that. I remember how steep it was to walk it.
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Old 04-07-10, 10:26 PM   #5
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my advice? just go. Don't have a destination. Wake up in the morning, pick a direction and go with it.
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Old 04-07-10, 10:30 PM   #6
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Go to southern Utah or northern Arizona and then just ride. There are no bad roads in that part of the world.
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Old 04-08-10, 08:42 PM   #7
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Texas Hill Country, right on your doorstep, is a great place to ride, as noted above.

If you're tired of that, if I lived in Llano and had the time I'd ride:

Llano - Santa Fe - Taos - Chaco Canyon - Mesa Verde - Crested Butte - Denver, and then fly home.
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Old 04-08-10, 08:50 PM   #8
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Old 04-09-10, 08:05 PM   #9
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I love riding where I live, but it seems like I have seen everything around here. Its that I am starting to get bored with riding around here. I am looking for somewhere new to to a tour to, just to freshen everything up.

10 wheels, Is the Big Bend trip do-able self supported?
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Old 04-09-10, 10:47 PM   #10
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Spooky thing in New Mexico is cactus's looking like zombies coming at you at twilight. Probably scenery like that in deserted areas near Mexico border.
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Old 04-12-10, 01:08 AM   #11
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go to Cali
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Old 04-12-10, 01:20 AM   #12
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I'd put a little more thought into it than pick a city off of a map. The bike facilities might be lousy.. I'd research locations for beauty and bike infrastructure and what kind of cycling the area offers.. You are a roadie touring type.. And what kind of terrain appeals to you is the most important question.. The coastline of California, the mountains of Colorado , or maybe the beauty of the desert in Arizona or Utah..
Did you Google magazines such as Bicycling to see if their on line additions have some available articles about favorite cycling destinations.. Other source might be Adventure Cycling since they sell maps dealing with bicycle touring telling of their favorite routes..
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Old 04-12-10, 05:15 AM   #13
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I love riding where I live, but it seems like I have seen everything around here. Its that I am starting to get bored with riding around here. I am looking for somewhere new to to a tour to, just to freshen everything up.
That's a good part of the reason why Rowan and I pick spots 2 or 3 hours drive away to make our cycling base for a weekend every 2 or 3 weekends.
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Old 04-12-10, 06:23 AM   #14
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The bike facilities might be lousy.. I'd research locations for beauty and bike infrastructure and what kind of cycling the area offers.
Interesting... "Bike facilities" have never been a factor in picking a route for me other than more often than not I avoid them where possible. I am curious, do many of you guys actually seek out bike paths when on tour? Do others, like me more often avoid them?

I guess if you live somewhere that has good bike facilities, it is different. My experience on the other hand has been that most of the bike paths I have seen on tour were much less desirable than the road that paralleled them.

There area few places I have toured where they were nice. Some bike lanes in a very few select towns were nice. The trail system near Frisco CO and Breckenridge CO was awesome. These were not the rule though.

Most places though we much preferred the regular roads. Many places the surfaces were poor on the bike paths either because they were lousy to start with or because they were not maintained. For example the bike path east of Hoosier Pass (in and near Alma maybe?) which had broken concrete and heaved up seams that required that we slow way down or constantly try to bunny hop a loaded bike.

In many cases they were poorly designed and as a result much more trouble to ride on than the roads. In some places they were nice but overcrowded with either various modes of users or in the case of the Virginia Creeper Trail just tons of clueless folks on rental bikes.

Some bike friendly cities have great facilities, but I have no desire for much of my tour to be in cities.
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Old 04-12-10, 06:50 AM   #15
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I definitely do not look for bicycle paths!! I try to avoid them as much as possible. I can only think of one occasion where a bicycle path was decent, and that was the tow path along the canals between about Nancy and Strasbourg in France. Those tow paths were lovely. Anywhere else I've been, however, the bicycle paths have been pretty much useless. And it simply does not occur to me to look for bike infrastructure. In fact, I so rarely see bike infrastructure anywhere I ride, that when I encounter it, I take pictures of it because it amuses me.

When Rowan and I look at a map of Victoria (our State) to decide on a place to go, one of the things we look for are roads heading out in different directions from our "hub" so that we can ride one direction one day, and another direction another day. Ideally the roads should be somewhat more minor roads, not busy main roads, but if some of the riding will be on a main road, that's OK too. We might also look for a spot with some variety ... something different from where we usually ride, and perhaps also the possibility of riding in different scenery in each day of our tour.

And OP ... don't rule out the possibility of taking train or airplane somewhere ... or driving somewhere in order to see some new areas and ride on new terrain.
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Old 04-12-10, 07:48 AM   #16
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I read cyclezealot's words "bike facilities" to mean something other than "bike paths" - I would think (?) he meant appropriate roads for riding - balancing factors including traffic volume, visibility, surface, etc. In addition, reasonable spacing of services (water, food, camping) is relevant.

I agree with the rest of that post, too.
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Old 04-12-10, 07:56 AM   #17
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Away From Here.

always Away From Here...
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Old 04-12-10, 03:33 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by mthayer View Post
I am looking for a destination to eventually to tour to. Has anyone just decided to pick some random city off a map? I am wanting to get away from this town I live in and dont know where I would want to go. I am thinking about keeping it in the south, but that may change.

Any suggestions?
Pick something that interests you. I've toured in Virginia...we wanted to see a relative that lives near Williamsburg. I've toured in Scotland...we had a friend who was from there. I've toured along parts of the Lewis and Clark route because I read "Undaunted Courage" by Stephen Ambrose.

I absolutely love riding old rail beds so I've done tours on the Mickelson Trial in South Dakota, the Sparta/Elroy and others in Wisconsin and the Katy Trail in Missouri. I've also done Rollins Pass (Denver and Salt Lake RR), Boreas Pass (Colorado South Park and Pacific), Alpine Tunnel/Hancock Pass (also CSPP), Ivanhoe Lake below Hagermann Pass (Colorado Midland) and others. Old rail lines are wonderful because of their low grade and often scenic areas they go through. All of the Colorado passes I've toured over go up past 11,000 feet but they are easy to ride because of the grade...air is another matter all together

Another goal I have is to ride in all 50 states. Some of it is touring but some of it is just riding. My next tour (Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma) is part of that goal. I'm not necessarily going there for the area but just to bag the states. Shallow? Yes. But you never know what you'll find along the way.

Just pick something that interests you and go. It can be a lofty goal or it can be a trip to see relatives or just something to brag about.
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Old 04-12-10, 04:36 PM   #19
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cyco, Im about to move to Denver, do you have any links for good short tours in the area? Also, any links to maps of disused rail beds, that is an awesome idea.
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Old 04-12-10, 05:00 PM   #20
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I read cyclezealot's words "bike facilities" to mean something other than "bike paths" - I would think (?) he meant appropriate roads for riding - balancing factors including traffic volume, visibility, surface, etc. In addition, reasonable spacing of services (water, food, camping) is relevant.
Maybe. I thought just maybe that was what he meant when I read "bike facilities", but when he went on to say "bike infrastructure" I figured that meant bike lanes or bike paths. If I am wrong, I apologize for leading the thread astray.
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Old 04-13-10, 08:30 AM   #21
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cyco, Im about to move to Denver, do you have any links for good short tours in the area? Also, any links to maps of disused rail beds, that is an awesome idea.
No links but about a thousand routes Same with the rail beds. However buy this book...NOW!...because it's out of print. It's got nearly every railroad and railroad spur in the state in it. A lot of the routes are on public land and easy to access.

In addition to the routes mentioned above, some of the better road tours would be:

Estes Park to Grand Lake/Shadow Mountain Res and back. It's only got a 12,000 foot crossing of the mountains in the middle of it that you have to do twice

Durango to Silverton (not that close but beyond spectacular) then on to Ouray (Beyond spectacular to breath taking...literally and figuratively) and Ridgeway (relatively boring) around to Telluride and back through Dove Valley to Durango would be a glorious 4 or 5 day trip.

Salida to Saguache to Gunnison and back to Salida would be a nice 4 day trip. If you wanted you could push further north to Aspen and come back over Independence Pass.

There are some in the Denver area but traffic is higher along the Front Range so routing is a but tougher.

A very nice 2 or 3 day trip would be to start in Trinidad, ride north to Walsenburg, west to La Veta then over Cuchara Pass and back to Trinidad. Some riding on I-25 but Cuchara Pass and Stone Wall are worth the traffic noise.

I have a whole bunch of other ones including some trips into the 4 Corners regions and a trip to the largest dinosaur trackway in North America. Just a taste of the trackway trip which I do nearly every fall



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Old 04-13-10, 01:05 PM   #22
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man, that is awesome, thank you! I will buy that book, I was looking for a reference just like that. cheers!
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