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Which state in the US is probably the nicest in which to ride brevets and perms?

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Which state in the US is probably the nicest in which to ride brevets and perms?

Old 02-25-23, 07:23 AM
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jlippinbike
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Which state in the US is probably the nicest in which to ride brevets and perms?

I like 200k+ routes that are designed with low to moderate traffic volume. I like them to have a food stop option open 24/7 about every 35 to 40 miles, but up to 65 or 70 miles is OK in moderation. I like rivers, lakes, maybe the ocean, and historical landmarks like old wooden covered bridges. Yeah, I know. I'm describing the Delaware Valley region between NJ and PA where I live. It really is nice to design routes near my home. But do any of you out there have any other recommendations for locations that are great for setting up a network of 200k, 300k, 400k, and 1000k brevets and/or perms? And don't forget to explain why your chosen location is so great. Maybe you'll convince me to rent a camping location for two weeks and come visit to ride a bunch of routes that are either already designed or that I'd design myself after being won over? Let me know if loop routes are hard to design there, or that out-and-back routes are the only practical way to go.
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Old 02-27-23, 10:41 AM
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I haven't ridden enough places to make any claim for a nicest place, but having lived near the Delaware river and in the midwest, I'd say that somewhere out here that's similar to the Delaware Valley is the general area of southern Indiana and adjacent states. You probably want to get far enough south that you're out of the flat cornfields and into rolling hills. No ocean, but plenty of rivers and lakes and covered bridges, and a lot of the small towns will have a Casey's general store that isn't 24/7 but pretty close (maybe closed 12-4 am but open the other 20 hours).
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Old 02-27-23, 11:26 AM
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I think it's called France.
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Old 02-27-23, 12:04 PM
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When are you riding? Arizona in January-February is great; Wisconsin or Minnesota in July or August is nice and cool.

When's the best time to ride brevets in the Delaware Valley?
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Old 02-27-23, 03:22 PM
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Pdlamb said: When's the best time to ride brevets in the Delaware Valley?

I enjoy riding brevets in the Delaware Valley the most during the very end of April, all of May, first half of June, the last 3 weeks of September, and probably the first half of October. But my question was not which places in the country have the nicest weather conditions for riding brevets. My question was which places have the most neat options for going on long pleasurable rides, i.e., rivers, lakes, castles, covered bridges, paved remote roads, lots of convenience stores open 24/7, etc.
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Old 02-27-23, 03:24 PM
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Blacknbluebikes said: I think it's called France.

That's not a state in the US.
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Old 02-27-23, 03:33 PM
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Aerogut said: The general area of southern Indiana and adjacent states.

That sounds pretty good. I've never ridden my bike in Indiana. I'll have to give it a look and attempt to map out some routes in RWGPS there. I wonder where a neat start/finish location for a 1000k brevet would be? I just took a quick look at Google Maps and noticed the Ohio River spans the southern border of Indiana. Are the bridges kind to cyclists who want to cross the river? Are there a reasonable number of kind bridges, or are they spread far apart? Just curious.
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Old 02-27-23, 05:50 PM
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Unless youre in a city like Louisville or Cincinnati, bridges across the Ohio are few and far between. Id recommend staying on one side for any given ride.
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Old 02-27-23, 05:51 PM
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I cut my rando teeth in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. Plenty of low traffic miles. Louisville Randonneurs tends to ride east of Louisville, in horse country. Rolling to steep rolling hills, mostly quiet roads, some beautiful horse country. Dogs and the occasional hostile local are part of the scenery in the midwest. Western Ohio tends to be flatter, maybe less pretty, but also low traffic. I found Ohio a little friendlier, but maybe not enough data points to be significant. Southern Indiana can be hilly, if you ride around the Knobstone Escarpment, or flat if you ride north of that geographic feature. Summers can be oppressively hot and humid.

I created a 100k and 200k perm in Southern Indiana. Mostly idyllic, partly because I navigated around the known hostiles.

I lived in west Texas for a while. You might not see a car for an hour or two or maybe a half day in some places. It's also the desert, and you could die. Towns are sparse. It's beautiful in a desert kind of way. I had a 200k out-and-back that I'd ride at night in the summer (115F is no joke), and often would not see a single car between 10pm and 6am. Bring wide tires, because everything is bigger in Texas including the aggregate used in their chip-n-seal. Check out the Permian Basic Randonneurs.

Now I live in western Oregon. It's spectacularly beautiful. In a 1000k you can cover mountain passes, high desert, ocean views, vineyards, and fruit orchards. You'd be hard pressed to put together a full 200k that doesn't have traffic somewhere, though 75% might be tranquil.
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Old 02-27-23, 07:54 PM
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I've wanted to check out the Nebraska . Long expanses of gentle rolling hills, grassy plains... seems nice, very sparsely populated so hopefully quiet traffic.

The western New York rides are nice looking,
John's Waterfall 300 looks especially scenic with waterfalls, and riding there's like nice riding through wine country around the Finger Lakes as well, might be worth poking around there a bit.

I've also wanted to check out some New England rides too, they look scenic and challenging.

We've got piles of lakes and rivers up here in Ontario. Only one covered bridge left, it's close to my city. The Ottawa region rides are hilly and tend to go up into the Canadian shield. Toronto rides can be a bit busier but try and get out the sprawl asap. Simcoe rides also tend to head up into 'cottage country' into the Muskoka region, many nice lakeviews on some of those routes. The Huron region is large, some rides can be very flat around the Windsor area (across the river from Detroit), some can be hillier like the Kitchener-Waterloo rides, and there's rides that start on the shores of Lake Huron and a few that go down to Lake Erie as well. We have a busy schedule this year but all our routes are there in our archives for perusal.
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Old 02-28-23, 06:44 AM
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A couple of people are trying to make the Finger Lakes region work. I saw they didn't have any riders last weekend though. From what I've heard, that's typical in that area, the long-time RBA just had the rides start and end at their house. My understanding is that most of these rides are on perm routes, but I didn't check.
https://distancerider.net/new/index....AgZBP_C0KsHfOQ

I rode one brevet in Eastern Ohio that was pretty nice. It's hilly. Ohio has some nice roads, although you will probably have to ride at least a few miles on poorly maintained concrete, so bigger tires might be a good idea.
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Old 02-28-23, 07:18 AM
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I have ridden in some place that I don't like but that is a separate thread.

I always liked the Virginia brevets. Good road surface, mostly secondary roads, and can be a bit hilly in patches.

NER is also good except the road surfaces suck.

I've limited experience in Ky but in horse farm and whiskey country, the roads were nice but the dogs weren't.

When I rode cross country, I really liked Oregon although like most Western states, there aren't old farm roads like back east, so, you do have to deal with some areas of lousy traffic. Services aren't too spread out and road surfaces are decent, roads are well graded. Scenery is really nice. It is one place I would like to ride again and am thinking of doing a fast light tour from Astoria to Yellowstone or Breckenridge if I can get fit. But Oregon is a keeper.
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Old 02-28-23, 08:37 AM
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Virginia can be amazing, although some areas that used to be nice have annoying levels of traffic even in the early morning. The good news is you don't have to get too far south of Leesburg to get into really remote roads. A lot of good roads are not far from I81, so for stops you can just head towards there.
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Old 02-28-23, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by clasher
I've wanted to check out the Nebraska . Long expanses of gentle rolling hills, grassy plains... seems nice, very sparsely populated so hopefully quiet traffic.

The western New York rides are nice looking,
John's Waterfall 300 looks especially scenic with waterfalls, and riding there's like nice riding through wine country around the Finger Lakes as well, might be worth poking around there a bit.

I've also wanted to check out some New England rides too, they look scenic and challenging.
That waterfall 300 is lovely, and the last 30 miles is gently downhill, which is a really nice way to finish a ride. And of course I'll always encourage people to come to New England; we aim to please with our routes, though I do agree with GhostRider62 that our road surfaces are not always the best. We're definitely short on 24-hour stores in a lot of our prettiest riding areas, so we have to look at timing of rides carefully, but when you're doing scheduled rides (not perms) you can plan around store hours. Bathroom options are often the trickiest thing to ensure for all speeds of riders; you can tell people to pack a third water bottle but nature can't be quite as precisely scheduled. (I'm talking about things other than a little ditch-watering, mind you.)
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Old 02-28-23, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by jlippinbike
Blacknbluebikes said: I think it's called France.

That's not a state in the US.
Right between New York and Vermont. Look carefully. Then lighten up.
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Old 02-28-23, 12:22 PM
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I haven't ridden brevets in as many states as others around here. But as a Chicagoan who has ridden a fair amount in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and upstate New York, the Driftless in Wisconsin and upstate New York have the best riding IMO. Drivers seem friendlier in NY, though Wisconsin isn't too bad. Michigan drivers are worse. Never rode a brevet in New York.
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Old 03-02-23, 04:56 PM
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In addition to AntimonySarah's great New England Randonneur rides, the Berkshire Brevet series starting from Westfield in Western Mass. are great routes. I've only done the Shelburne Falls 200k and Bash Bish 300K but both routes were great. A few traffic heavy moments, but not many. Definitely some rough road surfaces here and there. Also...hills! I hope to do the Saratoga 600K some day. https://www.newhorizonsbikes.com/art...-2018-pg67.htm
We only have one official Brevet here in Maine, a 300K starting in Portland which sadly isn't being run this year. It is a great route with ocean, forest, fields, and historic villages.
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