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What constitutes an epic ride for you?

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What constitutes an epic ride for you?

Old 02-20-20, 09:25 PM
  #26  
davethelefty
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I'm ashamed to say what would be epic for me anymore but at least I'm still riding.
Things change. I used to think my long century training rides and the centuries themselves were great rides. Of course, that was nearly 20 years ago -- I don't ride those distances anymore. About a month ago I rode one Sunday morning -- weather was perfect, I felt strong, no wind, and I was fast (for me). I think I only did about 20 miles that day but it sure was a ride that made me feel good about this hobby/sport/passion called bike riding.
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Old 02-21-20, 12:28 AM
  #27  
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My wife and I have bicycle toured close to 25,000 22,000 miles ( my wife corrected my arithmetic), a total of 2 years, in 11 countries during the last 12 years. Our longest ride was 3700 miles across the U.S. in 74 consecutive days. That was an epic ride for us. Another was a 3-month ride in Europe covering 3,000 miles: Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. We are planning on finishing our ride across Canada next summer, Toronto to Halifax. Actually we consider most our tours as "epic", but for different reasons. I think the mental challenge is also a component of epic rides. On one long tour we encountered 35 days of rain. Some tours are just a little more epic than others

This ride took us from Vancouver, BC to Whitefish, MT. We definitely considered this one "epic".

The ride over Logan Pass in Glacier National Park is consided "epic" by most folks.

Last edited by Doug64; 02-23-20 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 02-21-20, 06:39 AM
  #28  
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Epic = long, challenging & memorable.
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Old 02-21-20, 07:56 PM
  #29  
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I'm into the classics, so an epic anything should involve grueling time and distance, along with a smattering of adventure, monsters, dark humor, mind altering substances and at least a possibility of seduction.

IOW, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas with bicycles.
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Old 02-22-20, 11:12 AM
  #30  
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brings to mind a solo all day remote gravel/dirt ride. 1st tried it but only got halfway on a super hot day & had to bail into a cab (in the city at the 1/2 way turnaround) back to my car. but then a month later w a better bike & smarter prep (cooler day too) I was able to do the whole round trip
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Old 02-22-20, 02:28 PM
  #31  
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When I bought my wife the first bike she had ever owned. We went to the park and road on the bike trail that was lined on the sides with soft grass so in case she felt she was going to crash she would just point towards the grass. I remember the smile on her face, I remember her first gentle crash and I remember her getting back up and pushing forward. We may have ridden a total of 1/2 mile. I will remember that ride until the day I die.
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Old 02-24-20, 09:20 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Epic = long, challenging & memorable.
That's it right there. However, it doesn't need to have all three of those ingredients to be epic, especially if there is a surplus of one or two of them. For example, my most epic ride has been the Markleeville Death Ride (130 miles, 16,000' of climbing, elevations over 8,000 feet and vast mountain vistas. On the other hand, another epic ride for me was a local trip over Mount Tamalpais to the Pacific Ocean beach town of Bolinas, where we ate at a community labor day BBQ, complete with live outdoor music, dancing, lots of kids running around, happy people, beautiful scenery, etc. Not that long and challenging, but epic. I think epic is a feeling more than anything else.

Scenes from the (epic) Death Ride:


Markleeville Death Ride

Markleeville Death Ride, heading to Carson Pass

Markleeville Death Ride, Ebbetts Pass

Markleeville Death Ride, heading down Monitor Pass (to turn around and ride back up again!)
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Old 02-24-20, 11:20 PM
  #33  
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It can be a lot of things. Distance, difficulty, beauty, fellowship, or in combination.

I ride centuries all the time. They usually aren't epic. Some are.

There are rides that give me a sense of elation that lasts for days or longer afterwards. One, last year, was a ride in Spain (near Ronda) that was indeed hard (80 miles, 10,000 ft of climbing), but the elation came from the unbelievable scenery along quiet roads, climbing (and descending) through cork forests through the mountains. Another, also last year, was the shear beauty of the Valley of Fire ride, outside of Las Vegas. It was only 70 miles and I didn't break any speed records, but man was it gorgeous to be riding through that tableau.

But others are performance-related. Last year on a ride with some very strong riders (most in their 20s and 30s), there was a called sprint (i.e., the ride leader says, "first one to the Stop Ahead sign....go!"). There was a hill that I got up first, but then realized that there was a long straight section of about half a mile yet to go to the stop sign. I hit it as hard as I could with whatever I had left from the climb, and held about 32 mph for a portion of the distance. A couple of the younger guys then blew by me, but I finished 3rd (among maybe a dozen contesting the sprint), even as I faded, not being able to hold that speed for the whole distance. The feeling of getting over that hill (about 75 miles into a century, btw) and having the strength to hold that speed even for a while.... for me, that was one of the highlights of my summer - epic.
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Old 02-25-20, 01:10 AM
  #34  
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First ride on a bike I've been working to finish. First ride after repairs. Just getting out and coming home. Recovering from an illness and getting out of this house, beating stir craziness. When the roads clear and are safe.

Getting home with groceries.

SUMMERTIME.
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Old 02-25-20, 02:07 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
For example, my most epic ride has been the Markleeville Death Ride (130 miles, 16,000' of climbing, elevations over 8,000 feet and vast mountain vistas ... Carson Pass ... Ebbetts Pass ...Monitor Pass ... and ride back up again!
Yeah, that'll do it.

Have been on those routes (between Topaz, Angels Camp and South Lake Tahoe) many times. Never on a bike, though. Pass, on the "pass" route you describe. It was hard enough on the old Subaru, and some of the ascents made the car wheeze a bit. (Old Subaru.) Impressive, to tackle it on a bike. I hope you've never had to do it when the winds are "up," up there.
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Old 02-25-20, 06:51 AM
  #36  
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Having spent nearly 4 months on the road cycling unsupported from Seattle, WA, to Nar Harbor, ME, to Philadelphia, PA, to Ocean City, NJ, and then back to Philadelphia, my epic standard is pretty high. Within that journey there were some epic days. The day that included the 27 or so mile climb up the N. Cascades Highway in a rain that turned to snow comes to mind. So does climbing Going to the Sun Road, which I have since done three more times.

Near the end of the trip I had to ride a few miles in the early bands of Hurricane Floyd and take shelter in a motel near the NY/PA border. That caused me to lose a day. I had plans to stay with a friend for the weekend before riding into Philly. To keep those plans, I ended riding 130+ miles the day after Floyd had passed. I had to walk through a swollen creek, dodge countless tree branches and even slide my bike under a downed tree. Maybe 5 miles from where I had planned to camp I drifted off the bike trail I was on and went into the bushes. I was so tired at that point I knew what was happening, but my mind could not tell my body to react in time. When I finally came to a stop I slapped myself in the face a few times to shock my senses. Made it to the campground only to find a ranger chaining the driveway to the park because the camping area, which was along a major river, was flooded. Ended up in a motel maybe another 11 miles further. In hindsight, I should have pulled off the trail and found a place to stealth camp. When I think about that day I know I could never repeat it.



Near the top of the North Cascades Highway
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Old 02-25-20, 10:25 AM
  #37  
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About 40 miles--------------------80 degrees----------------fantastic scenery.
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Old 02-25-20, 01:08 PM
  #38  
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Competed and uneventful makes each ride epic for me.

Last edited by bobwysiwyg; 02-25-20 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 02-25-20, 05:04 PM
  #39  
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Any ride without adverse car drivers! Love to just feel the wheels rolling along
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Old 02-26-20, 06:44 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
The ride over Logan Pass in Glacier National Park is consided "epic" by most folks.
One could say that.
2017 was my last time. 1999 was my first.





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Old 02-26-20, 07:27 AM
  #41  
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Epic, for me its that ride I trained for and conquered it. The Century was that. Id rather have an epic summer. I train outside in the snow on a heavy bike so I can get out there in the early spring and bypass reconditioning and go straight to training. An epic summer has many PRs on the strava routes I routinely ride. Each of those PRs are epic.
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Old 02-26-20, 03:11 PM
  #42  
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Frog Mountain Is kinda cool looking.

My 'epic' is simple,
Out of the house before dawn,
At the trail head by first light, Full pack of food and water,
Not a single human sighting at all, all day
Back at the trail head about an hour before dark,
I like that hour lee way, but I do carry a very bright light that will give me three solid hours on full power,
Just Incase I get a flat on the way back or want to stop for no particular reason.
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Old 02-26-20, 07:01 PM
  #43  
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RE: Logan Pass
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
One could say that.
2017 was my last time. 1999 was my first.
Great B&W photos. What time of year?

I beleive in a previous thread you said you came over from Waterton to Glacier. IMO the ride up Chief Mountain to the border was more difficult than Logan Pass. I think you also mentioned Chief Mountain. For me it was a "pre epic, epic"

Last edited by Doug64; 02-26-20 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 02-27-20, 06:41 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
RE: Logan Pass


Great B&W photos. What time of year?

I beleive in a previous thread you said you came over from Waterton to Glacier. IMO the ride up Chief Mountain to the border was more difficult than Logan Pass. I think you also mentioned Chief Mountain. For me it was a "pre epic, epic"
The B&Ws are from June 16th. The pass was still closed when we arrived at the park on June 14th. Our leader was pressuring us to take Marias Pass (U.S. 2) instead. (He had a personal agenda that I won't go into.) Everyone wanted to give it at least a day so we took the 15th off That afternoon a bar tender at Lake McDonald Lodge told me the pass was going to open the next day. Taking him at his word, we rode up to the closure point and hung out for about one hour. Ranger came down, removed the closure sign and said we were free to go.

The other photo was June 22nd. Rode up and back down the west slope. The west slope was open to bikes all the way, but the car closure was at Avalanche Campground. The host at Sprague Creek, where I was staying, said there was no way the pass would open to cars that day. Took my dear sweet time climbing. Somewhere before the Loop, I thought I heard an engine down below. Figured it was a maintenance vehicle. A couple of minutes later two rangers pulled along side and informed that the pass was now open to cars and thus I had to be up by 11 a.m. Made it by about 10:30.

I did do St. Mary to Waterton in '99. The ACA map actually warned us about the difficulty of that segment. We ended up eating out that evening because everyone was too tired to deal with shopping and cooking. Went the opposite direction in '09. Not only did the hills take their toll, when we got down to U.S. 89 the GF and I had a stiff headwind all the way to St. Mary. The pass was also still closed that year when we arrived on June 21st. In order to have a chance of riding some of the west slope the GF and I did a near century by riding to East Glacier and then over Marias Pass to the west entrance to the park. Talk about epic. First was the 6 mile climb out of St. Mary on U.S. 89. Then more ups and downs brining you to Looking Glass Hill. The depressing reality was that when we got to East Glacier we still had almost 58 miles to go. When we got to the park I sped ahead to secure a campsite at Sprague Creek. Gave the GF directions. I got there, dropped my gear and headed off to the lodge to buy firewood. GF arrived and circled the campground looking for me because she was too tired to recognize the gear I had dropped in plain sight. A couple of guys who had passed us in their car finally told her that I was running an errand. She then went to use the restroom and could not figure out why there were urinals in the women's room then realized her mistake. But it all worked out. Rode up to the closure point the next day. Ranger was stationed there and said the rest of the road was supposed to open in a while. We waited and it did.
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Old 02-27-20, 07:52 AM
  #45  
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Any day that reminds me of the simple childish joy of riding my bike.
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Old 02-27-20, 09:02 AM
  #46  
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Getting in the saddle, turning the cranks and spinning the wheels. That's epic!
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Old 02-27-20, 03:02 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
My epic rides have nothing to do with extremes or difficulty, but rather are memorable for the joy and pleasure they elicited.
My most epic ride took place in Kananaskis Country, Alberta where I met the love of my life. We were both employed at the former CP Hotel resort when if first opened back in 1987 prior to the Calgary Winter Olympics. I was fresh out of culinary arts school and she worked at a Japanese gift shop while on a working holiday visa. We were both unknowing companions on a ride around the local trails arranged by the sushi chef at the resort.

As for a runner up, it would probably have taken place on a crisp fall day in the same year about an hour drive from where I worked in Kanananskis Village. Two cooking buddies of mine scraped enough cash together to charter a helo to fly us and our MTBs up to Palliser Pass located near the southern tip of Banff National Park. We left early in the morning and finally made it safely back to the trailhead at the stroke of midnight unhurt but caked in mud, out of food and water, with no lighting, a broken bike chain and our tails between our legs after getting lost of the way down. Back then we were young and too foolish to realize that we were way out of our elements. Nonetheless, we were blessed to have each other there for moral support.




The bikes were a mess halfway into the trip and we had to stop every so often to scrape off the mud. Mine was the Tech Nova Pro at the far left of the photo. The Kuwahara (center) snapped its chain just past the midway mark of the trip down the pass.
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Old 02-27-20, 03:35 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Batstar View Post
Associated Helicopters was one of my favourite companies back in the day. They had the best ball caps - no button on the top so it was comfy when you put on the headphones.
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Old 02-27-20, 03:41 PM
  #49  
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As for epic rides. I've had a few, some long, some steep, and a few that were fast.
I think the common element is that I was in good form when I did the ride so they didn't become sufferfests before I finished.

A couple of years ago, I had an epic summer. My regular riding buddy took off to ride across Canada so I set my own schedule and concentrated on riding centuries every weekend. It took me a while to work up to it, but by mid-July I was in the groove. Up at 4:30 and out the door at sunrise. Back by noon for lunch and a cold beer.
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Old 02-27-20, 04:07 PM
  #50  
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Holy Moly, Batstar! My definition of epic ride must now include a helicopter ride (and preferably not the medevac kind).
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