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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 09-15-12, 01:22 PM   #1
Rowan
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The breathtaking moments you've had while travelling

I've had two on this trip we are doing -- Edinburgh when I emerged from the underground train station, and the whole Mont Blanc experience, including the ride in a cable car up a sheer cliff face.

The first time I saw the Canadian Rockies, I had the same feeling.

I almost couldn't believe what I was seeing or doing in each case. I stood there in amazement.

These moments don't come along that often, and I though it would be a good thread for cycling tourists to post those breathtaking experiences (not just sights) they've had.

For the purposes of this thread, don't restrict it to your bicycle tours; post whether it's been on other travels as well (because if it was worth it then, it might be worth us cycling there to see or do it, too).
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Old 09-15-12, 02:28 PM   #2
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Coming out of the tunnel into the Yosemite Valley on a bike tour. The view was so grand it didn't seem real.
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Old 09-15-12, 03:15 PM   #3
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Approaching a coal train in North Dakota on a parallel path going down hill then suddenly going under it in a viaduct.

Watching an osprey get a kill in an Idaho river a few feet away, hovering in the headwind, going my speed.
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Old 09-15-12, 04:57 PM   #4
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Getting chased by several wild dogs somewhere in Missouri! Never knew a loaded touring rig could hit close to 30mph!

Actually that big breathtaking moment was when the shuttle van left me and my bike in the middle of nowhere to start my first ever tour. I just remember smiling and looking around and realized it was just me and my bike for a few days.
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Old 09-15-12, 05:03 PM   #5
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Spain cycling the Camino.pure magic
Ireland, cycling over the Healy pass into Kerry stunning.
Italy, Rome very impressive.
England, cycling through the cotswolds lovely.
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Old 09-15-12, 05:04 PM   #6
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Getting chased by several wild dogs somewhere in Missouri! Never knew a loaded touring rig could hit close to 30mph!

Actually that big breathtaking moment was when the shuttle van left me and my bike in the middle of nowhere to start my first ever tour. I just remember smiling and looking around and realized it was just me and my bike for a few days.
wow fantastic post.
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Old 09-15-12, 05:07 PM   #7
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Rounding the corner to look down on Lake Baikal. It was a beautiful view. Even more special since ~5000 miles from trip start and a goal I had envisioned for ~3 years of trip planning.

More simple was on my first overnight trip to Cape Cod when we first saw the Sagamore Bridge (feeling of wow! we rode all the way from Boston!)
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Old 09-15-12, 06:27 PM   #8
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Coming round a corner and finding an entire marching band in their bathing suits playing Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song.
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Old 09-15-12, 08:42 PM   #9
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coming around a corner and seeing the walled town of Carcassone in France, looking like knights in armour would be riding out at any minute, feeling like it was the 1690s and not the 1990s. Pretty cool for a North American not used to seeing castles and such.
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Old 09-15-12, 09:03 PM   #10
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After climbing the Wind River Range in Wyoming, riding down from Togwotee Pass, looking for the Tetons, then coming around a curve and

THERE THEY WERE!!

Across the valley (Jackson Hole), seemingly stretching from the northern horizon to the southern horizon, majestic hunks of rocks with snow where the rock wasn't too sheer.

I stared at them for a couple of minutes, spent 5-10 minutes trying to take a picture that would capture the view (failing miserably, of course), and then watched all the way down the pass, every turn, every space between the trees, looking for all I was worth.
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Old 09-15-12, 09:55 PM   #11
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I did 900 mailes from John O Groats to Bristol in May. There was lots of fantastic scenery but for me the most breathtaking moment was going from Glencoe to Claonaig for the ferry to Arran. I had taken a shortcut bypassing Oban which had turned out more hilly than I had expected and I was knackered. I was also getting stressed about the need to finish in time for the last ferry. Back onto the main road, I was cruising along and gradually became aware that I was not alone. Just the other side of the fence at the side of the road there was a Roe deer buck keeping pace with me. Without the fence I could probably have reached out and touched it. It was just bouncing along, over logs etc. while I was cruising along on the smooth tarmac. Eventually I had to give into the urge to have a better look but as soon as I turned to look at it better it darted off into the trees. The experience lifted my spirits greatly.
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Old 09-15-12, 10:43 PM   #12
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Hitting 43mph coming down the famous Kancamagus Highway in the White Mountains.

There was also that sunrise from Mt. Hurricane... Tourists couldn't figure out how we got road bikes 2 miles up a rock trail.


2012 Northeast Bike Tour (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts) by Max Roman, on Flickr

Camp:


2012 Northeast Bike Tour (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts) by Max Roman, on Flickr
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Old 09-16-12, 01:44 AM   #13
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Approaching a coal train in North Dakota on a parallel path going down hill then suddenly going under it in a viaduct.
I have had a very similar experience to that one and it was awesome! I tried to explain it to people and nobody understood why it was so cool. It felt like I was on horseback chasing a train.
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Old 09-16-12, 02:16 AM   #14
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Arriving at Incheon International airport and looking at the sheer scale of the thing... Coming from New Zealand I'd never seen such a large and sprawling building before.
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Old 09-16-12, 02:27 AM   #15
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Awesome thread. I haven't traveled much, but love the idea of backpacking, bike camping, touring, that kind of thing.

I know for sure I want to see England, Italy, Australia. In the US, I want to go to the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Red Wood Forest, etc.
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Old 09-16-12, 07:35 AM   #16
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Another one just came to me. Rounding a bend an seeing my first Giant Sequoia when were didn't know we would see one.
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Old 09-16-12, 07:05 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
After climbing the Wind River Range in Wyoming, riding down from Togwotee Pass, looking for the Tetons, then coming around a curve and

THERE THEY WERE!!

Across the valley (Jackson Hole), seemingly stretching from the northern horizon to the southern horizon, majestic hunks of rocks with snow where the rock wasn't too sheer.

I stared at them for a couple of minutes, spent 5-10 minutes trying to take a picture that would capture the view (failing miserably, of course), and then watched all the way down the pass, every turn, every space between the trees, looking for all I was worth.
Same with my trip! Fantastic!
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Last edited by Gus Riley; 09-17-12 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 09-16-12, 10:07 PM   #18
Erick L
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Leaving my bags at Cheticamp campground and going for an evening ride on the Cabot trail, where most pictures of that place are taken was magical. It's pretty by itself but the sky cleared and the sun coming down on the ocean, lighting the cliffs. Then an eagle circled over my head twice. On my way back, a moose was eating on roadside with the ocean and sunset in the background. I screwed up the pic though.

I rode that stretch again the next day, with the bags and all, went hiking on the skyline trail. Moose on the trail. including a young so close you could pet it, more eagles and hawks, whales in the sea, and a fantastic view of the road I had just ridden.

Then there's Newfoundland. The whole place is breathtaking! Some of my favorite there were hiking down to the coast on the Green Garden trail and coming to the edge of Ten Mile pond on the Gros Morne mountain trail.

The Icefield Parkway in the canadian rockies was a basically a series of breathtaking moments. Some of favorites were riding to the Athabasca glacier in the morning from the nearby campground. I rode in the rain the evening before. It cleared overnight except for the glacier and surrounding mountains. As the sun rose, the clouds vanished to a blue sky. I spent the morning taking pics and timelapse. In the afternoon, I went hiking on the Wilcox pass trail for a higher viewpoint. Then I saw some bighorn sheeps and this guy made my trip.

Th highlight of that trip was mount Robson. Coming from Jasper, the mountains aren't as spectacular as on the Icefield parkway and you don't see mount Robson until the last moment. If you come the other you see this massive mountain. I couldn't stop staring at my mirror. Then I went hiking on the Berg Lake trail, which is another series of breathtaking moments. Snowbird pass trail was quite amazing. The pass is a viewpoint overlooking an icefield and glacier. I was alone there and felt like the last human on earth during a few ice age, all in the comfort of a rocky couch.
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Old 09-17-12, 07:58 AM   #19
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This pic of early morning mist in the Rockies on the Icefield Parkway
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Old 09-17-12, 09:00 AM   #20
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Thanks Erick for putting all that together, was nice to see the shots that went along with your memories.
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Old 09-17-12, 09:28 AM   #21
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I almost got to see the beach up close in Big Sur many moons ago........Taking in the view,I almost rode off the side of a cliff......The road turned,I didn't.....I now stop to stare at things!

If there hadn't of been gravel,I would have ridden straight off......

In So Cal,one of my favorite roads with a view is County Hwy S3,Yagui Pass Road,heading towards Borrego Springs from HWY 78.

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Old 09-17-12, 09:54 AM   #22
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Breath taking???

Ten years old and learning that not jerking up on the handle bars when jumping a curb on your Western Auto results in Groin To Stem Contact....

Very much breath taking... Or maybe breath loss...

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Old 09-17-12, 11:57 AM   #23
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One for me was the top of the Mt Baw Baw climb in Australia.

Rowan and I decided to participate in the 7 Peaks Alpine Ascent Challenge last summer. This challenge is held in Victoria and takes in 7 signficant climbs in the area. One of the things that appealed to us was that a couple of the climbs were quite close to where we lived. Another thing that appealed to us was that some of the climbs were in an area we hadn't really explored yet. So we did this challenge as several hub-and-spoke tours.

The stories of the climbs are here: http://www.machka.net/2012/7PeaksChallenge_2012.htm, and there were many spectacular views along the way. Mt Hotham was very dramatic, but the the last climb we did was Mt Baw Baw.

According to the 7 Peaks Alpine Ascent Challenge booklet ...
"Ranked the second hardest climb in the world of cycling, this ride is sure to test your endurance. The ride itself has been classified as a Hors Category, the only one of its kind in Australia, and it's not hard to see why with the steepest grade at Winch Corner reported at 20.6%."

It was only 7 km long, but took some time and effort to get up. For me it was a walk some, ride some, walk some, ride some effort, but Rowan rode all the way up. When we got to the top, not only had we completed the 7 Peaks Alpine Ascent Challenge, and we were welcomed and congratulated by the staff at the resort at the top ... but the view from up there was ... breathtaking!!


The photos, of course, do not do it justice, but they give a little bit of an idea ...



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Old 09-17-12, 01:15 PM   #24
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Rowan, For me the best, and worst, moments aren't captured in a photo... passing through a thermal barrier, the smell of freshly cut hay, the smell of a stock yard, a wave from another rider and on and on.

Brad
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Old 09-17-12, 02:05 PM   #25
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Well Pushing my Bike up the hill from Ft Augustus to Foyers on the SE side of Loch Ness did have me breathing hard and stopping every 15M to catch my breath and let my Pulse-rate drop again..

It is why the main route(82) is on the other NW side of the Loch, with most traffic,
but it did, also, mean that 862 had nearly none..

[cameras had film in them, back then, so no pictures to show .. ]

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