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Favorite route, loop or out/back ?

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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Favorite route, loop or out/back ?

Old 02-12-18, 12:03 AM
  #51  
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This was our Sunday route. Not necessarily a "favourite" ... I couldn't actually say that any routes around here qualify as "favourites" .... but the route is all right ...

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Old 02-12-18, 05:24 AM
  #52  
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I generally try to mix my long ride routes up. Prefer not to do "out and back" if I can help it and try to vary the loop some each time ... adding a new road or variation if I can. Last season, I learned my way around a number of roads in Northwestern CT, Southwest MA, and eastern NY. Lots of beautiful roads, a mix of pavement and gravel and, almost if not equally, important, an amazing pastry and coffee shop in Salisbury, CT.
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Old 02-12-18, 04:06 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill
I wouldn't say this is a "favorite," but it's somewhat typical.

Dentist->Apple Store dropoff->Flour->Apple Store pickup->H Mart->Starbucks->Beer&Wine->WFM loop:

-mr. bill
Originally Posted by FBinNY
An interesting point demonstrating a difference between utility cycling, which is about connecting dots by the shortest or most efficient route, vs. recreational cycling which may be less about destination and more about the route itself.
Hi -mr. bill,

I just saw your map when I logged onto BikeForums on my I-pad. I note it is an approximate straight ride in a Northwest direction with one endpoint in downtown Boston. It looks kind of long for an errand run. Since I live in downtown (Kenmore Square), I think of my loops going towards various sectors radially oriented from downtown.

FYA, I have previously posted an informal Road Cyclists Guide to Metropolitan Boston, written for the new or visiting cyclist, describing those sectors:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
… my favorite map is the AAA road map of metropolitan Boston. I think of the area in sectors radiating from downtown and surrounded by a circumferential belt about 10 to 15 miles from Downtown, known as Route 128 ("America's Technology Highway")...

I would describe the sectors as (mostly for road riding outside of Rte 128):North Shore…Northern Suburbs…Western…Metrowest,,,Southwest…South…South Shore…[see link for further details]


Last edited by Jim from Boston; 02-12-18 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 02-12-18, 05:28 PM
  #54  
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Sometimes errands stretch out.

Dentist at one end, Apple Stores are few and far between (Cambridgeside worked out better than Boylston). H-Mart on the way to Starbucks (one of three in two blocks) in Harvard Square, then two more stops while I’m out.

What would have been miserable by car or on T was frankly more than OK on a bike.

Sometimes the errands choose you.

-mr. bill
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Old 02-12-18, 07:45 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
…I just saw your map when I logged onto BikeForums on my I-pad. I note it is an approximate straight ride in a Northwest direction with one endpoint in downtown Boston. It looks kind of long for an errand run
Originally Posted by mr_bill
Sometimes errands stretch out.

Dentist at one end, Apple Stores are few and far between (Cambridgeside workedout better than Boylston). H-Mart on the way to Starbucks (one of three in two blocks) in Harvard Square, then two more stops while I’m out.

What would have been miserable by car or on T was frankly more than OK on a bike.

Sometimes the errands choose you.

-mr. bill
I guess why I thought that was a long route to do errands is because I usually don’t do (consecutive) errands by bike.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
...I park my bikes in our condo at home, inside near my office at work, and I bring it into any place I need to stop while en route. If I have to do an errand requiring a prolonged stop where I can't bring the bike under my observation I don't do that errand by bike.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
…We live near the transportation hub of Kenmore Square. Our easily accessible Car-free / Car-light modalities at home and work [include]:
  • shopping and personal services within walking distances
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
...almost all my personal service needs like barbershop, dentist,dry-cleaner/tailor, supermarket and drugstore, and good take-out restaurants are all within walking distance of work, or a short hop on the bike; bike shop two blocks away
Several years ago my brother-in-law visited us in Back Bay, and my wife asked him to do a few errands (on foot). Rather than a loop, because he feared getting lost, he did one errand, returned home, then another one and returned home, etc.
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Old 02-12-18, 09:37 PM
  #56  
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Most of my rides are loops, for whatever reason. I will consider out and back rides this year......
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Old 02-13-18, 09:41 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by JanMM
Most of my rides are loops, for whatever reason. I will consider out and back rides this year......
When living in Boyne City (northern lower Michigan) my favorite loop went out the back of town into the rolling hills. The 10mi personal TT was always my 2nd ride of the spring, providing me with a baseline time to guage improvements. Then there was that 6 hill 16mi lakeshore ride that always ended with a grinding sprint. After which many drivers have stopped where I would be gulping air to ask if I was alright. My answer is “Yes, it’s supposed to be like this, thank you” . My best time on the 16mi was 54min.

Now that I live near the tip of the Mitt on Larks Lake, this summer is brand new. My routes are hilly with very big, steep leg burning rides. I do have a few routes from home that run 8-20mi that are less hilly just for quick speed runs. Yes, I have cabin fever after having subzero temps keeping me indoors these past 3 weeks.

Bring it.
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Old 02-13-18, 01:38 PM
  #58  
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I always try to ride a loop, but sometimes my routes look like a magnifying glass & handle. I pick cycling safe routes with bike-friendly roads and bike paths. I also try to get a tailwind on my return half of the ride if it's windy.
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Old 02-13-18, 09:47 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
routes with bike-friendly roads and bike paths. I also try to get a tailwind on my return half of the ride if it's windy.
Ever had the wind switch & have head wind with both.
Every now & then it happens here.
Just have to grind it out

Have yet to have a downhill finish swap to up hill on me . LOL
Earthquake country, never know
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Old 02-14-18, 07:23 PM
  #60  
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One of my favorite routes takes me past horse ranches in Chatsworth and along a tree-lined stretch North. The 24 mile ride feels kind of like getting out of the city for a while, which is a good thing when you live in suburban Los Angeles.
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Old 02-14-18, 07:49 PM
  #61  
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I have several loops I enjoy, based on time and intensity I want to do. I prefer loops vs out and back, but when I do a bike trail not much choice but to do out and back. A favorite is the ride from town that follows the Trimbelle River to the Mississippi. A nice county road that winds along until reaching The Great River Road, WI 35. A nice climb back up before another rolling county road that leads back to River Falls. 35 miles, enjoyable, scenic, and a couple challenging hills.
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Old 02-17-18, 10:45 AM
  #62  
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I always prefer loops. My favorite being a 45 miler with about 2800 ft. of climbing, mostly shorter and steeper hills. Rural roads with little or no traffic and a stop at Irma's at the halfway point for a piece of pie and a cup of coffee. It's a route that lends itself to modification, particularly a 20 mile loop through a state park making for a nice metric century.
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Old 02-18-18, 02:51 PM
  #63  
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One problem with Central Florida is that it's very flat and the only challenge you face is the wind. Another problem is that the back road scenery is pretty much the same whether you do a loop ride or an out & back. To get a break in the scenery, you need to do some traveling to get to your ride. Where I live, there is one very curvy and dangerous, two lane road that passes my small subdivision. While it does have a bike lane, people will come around those curves and use the the bike lanes to compensate for over or under shooting the curve. The traffic is very heavy throughout the day and nobody drives the 40 mph posted speed limit.

I happen to live about 3 miles from Flatwoods Park, where Kurt Searvogal broke the men's HAMR record (2016) and Amanda Coker broke three world records (2017) and it's where I do my 90% of my daily rides. While the loop is only seven miles, there is a subdivision next to it that will add 10 miles to each lap. Using the subdivision and the park's service roads, you can do one lap of 25 miles. Add to that the loop through an adjoining city park, and you add 4 more miles. So basically, you can get a 15, 30, 40, 44, 50, 54, 58, 60 and 62 mile ride by using various combinations of the two parks and the subdivision and only go around the seven mile loop no more than twice. With the exception of the subdivision, the scenery in Flatwoods and the adjacent park look like any other back road in the area.

The below route is 29 miles if done just once.
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Old 02-23-18, 12:02 AM
  #64  
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Most of my rides are out and back. Sometimes I'll add a loop section to it. That said riding a loop is my favorite type of ride.

John
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