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  1. #1
    Bike touring webrarian
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    I tour on a Waterford Adventurecycle. It is a fabulous touring bike.
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    Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

    On my recent tour of the UK, I came across the designation "Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty" or AONB. I even rode through one (Forest of Bowland).

    It got me thinking of what other areas I'd ridden through I would rank as AONBs.

    I came up with a list of 12:

    California's Big Sur Coast
    Gorges du Tarn, France
    Acadia National Park in Maine
    The Forest of Dean and Symonds Yat, Gloucestershire, England
    Switzerland
    Clear Lake, Oregon
    Speen Bridge to Kingussie, Scotland
    Swan Valley, Idaho and the Snake River, Wyoming.
    White Mountains, New Hampshire
    Carson Pass and the Hope Valley in California
    Payette River valley to Stanley, Idaho
    Maine in Autumn

    I wrote an article describing each place and a photo if you'd like to know more.

    I'd be interesting in areas that you've ridden through that you'd rate as AONB.

    Ray
    Last edited by raybo; 08-08-11 at 07:07 PM.
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

  2. #2
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    Haven't biked through either, but the Grand Tetons are amazing of course, and I really, really love the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding mountains. Go over toward West Virginia and it gets even better.

    And yeah, any place on the East Coast gets turned up to 11 in October or so (maybe further north it happens in September but around here it's October to mid November)

  3. #3
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    Kalispell, Montana to Jasper, AB. You can stick to the highway or take sections on forest roads to avoid the crowds. Lots of wildlife, forests, lakes, rivers and mountains await the hardy cycle tourist. I had one close run-in with brown bears that did not become serious, and if I went again I would bring a bear bell and bear spray.
    Tell me and I will forget; Show me and I may not remember; Involve me and I will understand.

  4. #4
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    Cabot trail, Nova Scotia:


    Newfoundland's northern peninsula:


    Anywhere you get to the coast in Newfoundland is outstanding. I would add the Labrador Coastal Drive as well.
    The south shore of the St-Lawrence river east of Quebec City and the Gaspé peninsula are quite a ride.
    Many regions of Quebec are beautiful in autumn, especially the Eastern Township and Megantic regions. I guess that's true for much of Eastern Canada and New England.
    Icefield Parkway in the Canadian Rockies, although I haven't toured on bike there, yet.
    Last edited by Erick L; 10-25-12 at 02:27 PM.
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Gorgeous photos, Erick. And for me they bring back fond memories of travels in Quebec! Our trips to places like Perce, Quebec City, Montreal, and points in between were wonderful. Great people too. I'm sorry it's been so long since I've been there - hard to believe it's been over 20 years!

  6. #6
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    The Canadian Rockies ... specifically, the David Thompson Highway (Hwy 11). That has to be my #1 Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it is combined with the most beautiful cycling highway I've ever set wheel on.




    (Click photos for link to Icefield Parkway and Hwy 11 photo collection)

  8. #8
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    The Japan Alps (basically anywhere from Nikko to Gujo Hachiman), which may be my all-time favourite cycling route.
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p...90&v=5V&part=2
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p...id=183221&v=2n

    The North-west coast of Scotland
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=57587&v=G0
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=57593&v=Fm

    The Coromandel Peninsula and Te Urawera National Park on New Zealand's North Island
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=96361&v=Dj
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=96587&v=De
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=97741&v=Dd

    Fjordland, the West Coast, and probably most of New Zealand's South Island
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=30958&v=B2
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=31139&v=B8

    Tasmania's west coast, although Bruny Island, Maria Island and The Tasman Peninsula on the East aren't bad either.

    Rishiri-To, Japan.

    The Border Ranges of Northern NSW and Southern Qld in Australia (albeit a little spread out and not so well known to cycle-tourists).
    Last edited by Chris L; 08-09-11 at 06:46 AM. Reason: added links
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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    My blog.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jude View Post
    Go over toward West Virginia and it gets even better.
    Riding along the Cheat River was the best section of my NC-PA tour a few years ago.
    West Fork rail trail also excellent in WV.

  10. #10
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  11. #11
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    There are also a lot of beautiful places along the coast here in Victoria and into South Australia

    Between Inverloch and Cape Paterson, in Victoria (we were cycling there a couple weekends ago)


    Near Victor Harbor, in South Australia (we spent Easter cycling around this area)


    Near Port Fairy, in the western part of Victoria (we've been there twice because we really like that area)


    And of course ... the Great Ocean Road!


    I love cycling along the ocean.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erick L View Post

    Newfoundland's northern peninsula:


    Anywhere you get to the coast in Newfoundland is outstanding. I would add the Labrador Costal Drive as well.
    The south shore of the St-Lawrence river east of Quebec City and the Gaspé peninsula are quite a ride.
    Many regions of Quebec are beautiful in autumn, especially the Eastern Township and Megantic regions. I guess that's true for much of Eastern Canada and New England.
    Icefield Parkway in the Canadian Rockies, although I haven't toured on bike there, yet.
    Whoa. I'm sold on Newfoundland.

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Oregon's Coast attracts people from around the world,
    so tough to get those empty road photos, here.

  14. #14
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    North Cascades Highway

  15. #15
    Senior Member jr59's Avatar
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    Blue ridge parkway, when the leaves begin to turn
    Gravity hates us all, but it hates me more than thin people!

  16. #16
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
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    Highway 550. The Million Dollar Highway over Red Mountain Pass from Ouray to Silverton, Colorado.



    Disappointment Valley in western Colorado.



    Canyon of the Dolores River, near Gateway, Colorado.



    Unaweep Canyon, near Grand Junction, Colorado.


    These were all from a 12 day trip we did in 2008.
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  17. #17
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    The Oregon Coast




    Oregon's Willamette Valley





    Utah's Canyon Country



    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  18. #18
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
    Utah's Canyon Country


    YES!!

    That looks like Arches National Park or vacinity. I can see the Dewey Bridge Member of the Entrada Formation (the rumply layered section just above ground level.) The Slickrock Member of the Entrada Fm is just above it.

    Sorry. I couldn't help myself. I love eastern Utah geology.
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  19. #19
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Spot on, that is the road inside Arches NP, a fine 50 mile ride out and back from downtown Moab.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  20. #20
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
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    Strangely I have not done that ride.
    I've ridden the Potash Road and the road up to Canyonlands.
    I have spent a bit of time in Arches as a geology student. Klondike Bluffs and the Syncline are most interesting.
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  21. #21
    Junior Member mrwayne's Avatar
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    just about any sunset in alaska
    Attached Images Attached Images

  22. #22
    More Energy than Sense aroundoz's Avatar
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    We just finished the Canadian section of the GDMBR and it was pretty amazing. I have never stopped this much on any tour to take pictures and enjoy the scenery.

    Norway would be my first choice for my next tour if time and money allowed. I came across this flickr set a while ago and have to share. He takes some fantastic photos.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/3733499...7624639023974/
    Attached Images Attached Images

  23. #23
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    You may not believe this but here me out. I just finished a coast to coast and visited several of the places mentioned. I think some areas of the Texas Panhandle should merit consideration. Specifically Palo Duro Canyon and areas along the "Caprock". I think the scenery is every bit as good as the Badlands and parts of NE Wyoming.

    Admittedly, it is not a destination you would probably want to cycle "to", as the area all around is flat, boring, and windy. Sorry I don't have any pictures but you can google Palo Duro Canyon and Caprock and decide for yourself.

    Also add Ten Sleep Canyon to the list.

  24. #24
    ghost on a machine Bike Hermit's Avatar
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    Four days on the eastern edge of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State felt like just dipping a toe into the AONB's around there.
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  25. #25
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I'll second Switzerland, now that we've been there, but also add that the French alps around Chamonix are outstanding ...








    But we also found parts of Hokkaido to be quite attractive ..




    And areas of Scotland were beautiful ...




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