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Favorite route, loop or out/back ?

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Favorite route, loop or out/back ?

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Old 02-08-18, 11:36 PM
  #1  
bogydave
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Favorite route, loop or out/back ?

I try to get my routes to be loops, seems more like a ride than a workout.
Up to 25 miles here I do out & back routes
One guy I ride with , it's just about the workout so we do hard out & back
18 to 22 mile.

I enjoy the loops more, though the shortest one is 32 miles .

My favorite route is a 45 mile loop thru the windmills.

Your favorite route ?
Loop, or out/back
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Old 02-09-18, 12:05 AM
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I don't have a favourite route. I ride as many different routes as I can ... whatever happens to appeal to me at the moment.
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Old 02-09-18, 12:16 AM
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Like Machka, I refer to mix it up with a large variety of rides.

Even on rides that might be more fairly described as out and back, I hate to back track, so I'll return on a parallel course for all but the last mile or two.
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Old 02-09-18, 12:53 AM
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I prefer loops, but unless I'm heading out for a century or longer I usually end up with a lollipop. Actually, unless I start my ride in the wee hours, it still ends up a lollipop no matter how long I ride. I do what I can to keep the stem relatively short, but there's just too many zones that aren't a joy to ride in to be able to make loops around here.
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Old 02-09-18, 01:00 AM
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I definitely prefer loops; the feel of covering new ground (that you weren't just on an hour or two ago) keeps me motivated, like it's more of an exploration.

Dendritic neighborhood roads suck. But out in California where some relatives live, there are gated fire passages out the back of each neighborhood into the next, perfect for walking or squeezing a bike through, and then you don't have to backtrack.

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Old 02-09-18, 03:06 AM
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Often I have only an hour to hour and a half to ride, so I ride variations of the same 20-30 mile route on the west side of Fort Worth, along the west loop 820 and out toward Aledo and Willow Park. It's a popular area with many of us. Decent roads, not too much traffic, challenging roller coasters. Even on a weeknight I'll often pass another cyclist, or come within Strava fly-by range. On weekend days there may be a dozen or more folks riding out there. On event rides, upward of 100.

Total elevation gain is usually around 1300-1600 feet over that 20-30 mile route. Not a lot but the best we can do in this area.

But that west-east segment along Old Weatherford Road may not be optimal much longer. A large new housing development will bring in more traffic. Already that north-south segment is showing signs of changing traffic habits. It's built like a wide boulevard and while it's intended to be a residential neighborhood, wide boulevards mislead drivers into behaving like they're on a freeway. I've seen it on Bryant Irvin in south Fort Worth, a boulevard that tempts drivers into 65 mph speeds combined with reckless swerving passes through a residential and shopping district. It's an unfortunate reality that drivers need to be psychologically nudged into driving safely through cleverly designed manipulative infrastructure, because they won't do it on their own. Within five years that loop west of town won't be safe for cyclists, so I'm enjoying it now while it lasts.

The route southwest toward Granbury is also popular. It's on my list of places to ride this spring.

The alternate route, toward Fort Worth, is all downhill and even with the return trip it's unusual for a 40-60 mile ride to top even 1,000 feet of climbing. With careful planning it's mostly flat, for folks who dislike hills. I got into the lazy habit of riding that flatter route almost exclusively in early 2016 and my fitness declined pretty badly. I was riding around 400-500 miles a month, but it was pretty easy stuff. So I returned to tackling the more challenging route about once a week.

Climbing is my weakness so about once a week I'll tackle some climbing loops two or three times. Fortunately they're spaced almost ideally for interval training, so hard workout days are a double whammy.

I've moved up from rock bottom of the pack on Strava climbing segments to right around the middle of the pack. That's about as good as it'll get for me. A lighter bike and fancier components might nudge me up a bit but I'm not that worried about it.

My main goal has been to be able to keep up with local club rides on 30-60 mile rides, and to ride solo metric and full centuries within 12 hours without being completely exhausted. I'm still the slug on the local fast club's B-group, but I'm making a little progress.
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Old 02-09-18, 08:37 AM
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I've never minded out&backs. The view is different and the winds & hills are in the other direction.

Recent construction is making a few stretches of this unfun. That little climb at the turnaround will ring your bell.

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Old 02-09-18, 08:52 AM
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I rolled this loop last spring/summer. It was pretty sweet. Thinking about doing a variation of it again, only in September.


https://ridewithgps.com/routes/23235312


Some photos:


https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349...57682904463522
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Old 02-09-18, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Often I have only an hour to hour and a half to ride .... riding around 400-500 miles a month
If you can ride that much in such small doses your fitness is pretty amazing ... for old folks like us ... and particularly given your old injuries. Bravo.

I am in the same situation ... i get time for ten-20 miles at a time ... and in my neighborhood, it is five miles to get to the good roads. So i end up doing tiny variations on the same few general routes. Throw in traffic, and some routes don't work at certain times.

Anyway, i mostly wanted to say, congratulations on your achievements.
Originally Posted by tcs View Post
I've never minded out&backs. The view is different and the winds & hills are in the other direction.
This, also. One can never put one's foot into the same river twice. (However, one can ties of the slowly changing scenery along the riverbank.)

I have mapped about two dozen excellent loops, 25-45 miles or so ... that i never ride any more.

Everything changes, anyway. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
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Old 02-09-18, 09:18 AM
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I have probably a dozen out-and-back routes I do regularly, and double that number of loop routes-- so segments I've covered 200+ times.

But my favorite? "The Out." Leave from home or nearby, ride a significant distance in one direction, hop on a train and get a ride home. It brings about a completely different mindset, knowing I won't have to conserve X amount of energy to make the return trip.
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Old 02-09-18, 09:35 AM
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I always ride out and back. I'm the type that can ride the same route everyday and feel fine about it. But generally I have a 26 mile course that is flat that I'll ride M-F. Then as I get stronger I ride a 30 mile hillier route. But my favorite is the same hiller 30 mile (round trip) out and back extended to 50 miles (round trip) out and back. I start in Cen-Tex and end up in West,Tx before I turn around. Not the region of Texas but the actual town called West.
As I generally consider all my rides training rides, out and back gives me more feedback ie wind,hills, negate themselves and I get a more honest ride and time.

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Old 02-09-18, 09:52 AM
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I live right on the Greenway which is about 8 miles end to end, so most often I use it, or part of it, for the out and back portion, before a "loop" on the roads. I have a few favorite loops, that I can stack and merge depending on how good it feels at the moment.

Not always though. In the summer I sometimes like to pick a route from Strava heat-maps almost at random, and just go. There's probably a dozen that I haven't got to yet.
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Old 02-09-18, 10:20 AM
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My favorite route is an out and back, downhill both ways.

I haven't found it yet.

Seriously, though, I prefer loops. On an out and back, every time I'm cruising down a hill, all I can think is "I have to climb this on the way back."
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Old 02-09-18, 10:28 AM
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Im on the western end of a Trans American Continental route, I have not seen anyone using it as a turn around point.
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Old 02-09-18, 10:39 AM
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some exceptions, but, loops if I'm on the road, out & backs if I'm on unpaved rail trails
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Old 02-09-18, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post


Some photos:

nice bald eagle & osprey pics!
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Old 02-09-18, 10:43 AM
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I must have burned through my wanderlust years ago. I'm more than content riding a few miles out to a circular path where I run laps as long as I want as fast as I want until time to go home the same way. There is another path I have that goes around small lake but it has some blind curves that limits speed. I use the word speed rather loosely.
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Old 02-09-18, 10:54 AM
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Although the main roads can be busy, there are hundreds of miles of quiet country roads. I prefer to ride loops and luckily, with the many back roads here it is easy to put together many rides of 50 to 100 miles or more. Here, is coastal Rhode Island and SW Massachusetts to near New Bedford Mass so some segments, my favorites, border Buzzards Bay or Block Island Sound. I typically route the ride such that a break or lunch stop is at a beach.

As a boy in high school, I worked on a farm during summer months so I have a soft spot for corn, squash and potato fields. barns and farm animals. I get a warm glow knowing not everyone is pushing paper for a living.
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Old 02-09-18, 10:57 AM
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I have one ride... the turnaround point is obvious. It's not "out and back", it's "up and down".

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Old 02-09-18, 11:32 AM
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I have a route that I wouldn't call a favorite, but I ride it so often that I mark it in Strava and Training Peaks as "the Standard." It's an out and back. I leave my house, ride to the office, drop off my backpack, and ride to "the spot." There I meet my buddy and we do an out and back on the American River Bike Trail. That usually works out to a 2x30' interval set for training purposes. Then we split up and ride to our offices to start our day.

We try to do this ride 3 times a week and it's never the same ride. Different weather, different light, different animals and birds, different political/philosophical arguments.

https://www.strava.com/activities/1249220582

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Old 02-09-18, 11:42 AM
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indyfabz
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
nice bald eagle & osprey pics!
Thanks. In a couple of areas the osprey were almost as numerous as pigeons. One morning a bird shadow was cast over me and the ground. I looked up to see an osprey with a fish in its talons flying about 10' above my head.


Also seen but not photographed were a doe elk, countless deer, a large, red fox and a hoary marmot. No bears, only several piles of scat in Glacier. In September, during my tour across PA, I saw two black bears, including a huge one that was staring at me from maybe 20' away as I was about to put on my helmet and turn on my lights before leaving a campground early one morning. Quite an unnerving experience.
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Old 02-09-18, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by bogydave View Post
Loop, or out/back
I'm not sure it ever occurred to me to differentiate between the two; isn't an Out & Back just an oblong loop with two long sides and a very narrow apex?
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Old 02-09-18, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
I'm not sure it ever occurred to me to differentiate between the two; isn't an Out & Back just an oblong loop with two long sides and a very narrow apex?
As used by most, "out and back" implies riding out to a destination r turn around point, and returning by the same route. This is different from a loop which imlies little to no backtracking, though the loop might in fact be a long narrow pair of parallels connected at the far end.
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Old 02-09-18, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
As used by most, "out and back" implies riding out to a destination r turn around point, and returning by the same route. This is different from a loop which imlies little to no backtracking, though the loop might in fact be a long narrow pair of parallels connected at the far end.
Ah, okay, got it. Yeah, my favorite routes are definitely loops ...although out of necessity there is almost always some duplication/backtracking.
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Old 02-09-18, 12:54 PM
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I usually do out and back. My main out and back is 15 miles. So I do multiples of 15. I do 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, 90 (or stretch it to 100 if I am already doing 90) miles. My main ride being 30.

That way I keep bottles of water or recovery drinks at my truck and get fresh bottles every 15 miles without having to carry it all with me.

That is for road biking, not mountain biking, of course.
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