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Pleasant and Scenic Rides in the United States

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Pleasant and Scenic Rides in the United States

Old 11-30-23, 02:10 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by WaveyGravey
What is the most ideal time to ride this route weather wise?
Summer, to avoid rain. It rarely gets hot on the coast. Rainy season in CA is generally between Oct-May. More extended as you go north.

I did the San Fran to southern end in February (1987 or 1998), FWIW.

In general, it is best to ride North to South because of the wind. Also, many fewer blind turns.

Last edited by Polaris OBark; 12-01-23 at 01:10 PM. Reason: added yet more info
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Old 11-30-23, 03:07 PM
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I'm a fan of my backyard: SW Wisconsin, especially Crawford county. BikeFarmer on YouTube has a few videos of rides in this general area. Beautiful scenery, light traffic, lots of hills if you want, and a few small-ish hills if you try to avoid them (mostly 3-400' vertical per climb). About 8 hours drive from St. Louis. Lots of rural pavement, but there's gravel too.

If you get up this way give me a holler. It'd be a treat to meet up and show you a few of my favorite roads. Best riding is early May to early November.
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Old 12-01-23, 08:13 AM
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No scenic coastal views but beautiful riding over a three day supported event. We will be announcing details of the 2024 event in mid January. Horsey Hundred
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Old 12-01-23, 12:38 PM
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I've always wanted to ride Vermont Rte 100 from the Massachusetts border to Canada. I've driven the southern part, mainly in the winter on the way to skiing. It is beautiful and, at least in the winter, traffic is low. Hilly, though.

I don't know much about the northern part, though we did drive from Stowe to Jay Peak a few times along Rte 100, as I recall that was more highway-ish than the southern part. Maybe switch to 108 after Stowe??? I've backpacked the Long Trail over 108 (it crosses Rte 108 close to Smuggler's Notch). (Watched a thunderstorm from Taft lodge as the storm moved through the notch, it was strange looking down on lightning - the storm was in the notch and we were a little off to the side in the clear.)
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Old 12-22-23, 04:28 PM
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Tucson, Arizona

Despite my limited experience, I believe these to be among the best nine miles that cycling has to offer:


Late April might be the best time to visit Tucson.



My friend John, under blooming Palo Verdes at a Rillito bike path rest stop in Tucson, Arizona on the first day of May

No coastline, but lots of bike lanes and paths. I try to go twice a year (Lived there in the '70s).
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Old 12-22-23, 08:23 PM
  #31  
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Re-reading this thread, a few more comments.
I love the Blue Ridge Parkway, but many parts of it will be near 100 feet per mile. Nothing too steep, and extremely scenic.

Closer to St Louis, for a short visit, just a day ride or two: Bluegrass horse country between Lexington and Frankfort. Lots of fantastic quiet roads with big fancy horse farms. Miles of black rail fence and lots of dry laid stone walls. Thoroughbred horses on huge green fields. It's amazing on a bike. The good areas are continuous rolling terrain -- my favorite route is around 50 miles and 3000-3200 feet, mostly in 50 to 100 foot climbs.

The GAP trail across Pennsylvania is a shady rail trail with interesting coal and steel history. It's mostly nice hard packed crushed stone. I liked doing 60 mile out-and-back day rides on it.
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Old 01-08-24, 05:46 PM
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A bit late on this one.

One of my favorite rides in the Northeast is Acadia National Park. Staying in Bar Harbor, you can cycle right from your door, do the whole Park Loop Road with the side spur up Cadilac Mountain. Wonderful, scenic ocean views. Not a real long ride - the loop and Cadillac Mounting from Bar Harbor are around 30 miles - but a glorious 30 miles!

As others notied, can't go wrong with BRP and Skyline Drive.
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Old 01-10-24, 09:58 PM
  #33  
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DELTA CYCLING...the Sacramento/ San Joaquin Delta wine country is mostly out of Clarksburg, with a plethora of backwater roads and trails. For some reason, this website doesn't elaborate on it, but it's a good place to get lost for a while and see what happens.
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Old 01-11-24, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by dennis336
A bit late on this one.

One of my favorite rides in the Northeast is Acadia National Park. Staying in Bar Harbor, you can cycle right from your door, do the whole Park Loop Road with the side spur up Cadilac Mountain. Wonderful, scenic ocean views. Not a real long ride - the loop and Cadillac Mounting from Bar Harbor are around 30 miles - but a glorious 30 miles!

As others notied, can't go wrong with BRP and Skyline Drive.
I've only been there once - beautiful place.

The only comment I have - avoid riding there on a holiday weekend. The place was over capacity - cars stacked up all along the side of the road at just about every point of interest, in some cases almost a mile of cars stacked up. Cadilac Mountain was a traffic jam.
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Old 01-11-24, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Jughed
I've only been there once - beautiful place.

The only comment I have - avoid riding there on a holiday weekend. The place was over capacity - cars stacked up all along the side of the road at just about every point of interest, in some cases almost a mile of cars stacked up. Cadilac Mountain was a traffic jam.
Good point on the crowds. I'm an early riser so often out the door in Bar Harbor by 6:00 AM. Have the road largely to myself so no stress with car traffic! It's ideal because you miss the crowd going up Cadillac Mountain for the sunrise but still before the day crowds pick up.
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Old 01-11-24, 09:17 AM
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I think the Skyline Drive and the BRP rides are going on my 2024 calendar.
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Old 01-11-24, 01:04 PM
  #37  
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In case it hasn't been mentioned, the Alpine Dam and Seven Sisters ride is quite scenic. If you like the Golden Gate Bridge, redwoods, rolling hills with big views of the Pacific Ocean.




You can also tag on a climb up Mt. Tamalpais, and why wouldn't you? It's right there.
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