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Road bike vacation: where?

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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

Road bike vacation: where?

Old 10-15-12, 07:51 PM
  #51  
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Old 10-15-12, 09:10 PM
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If you want climbing and more climbing you might look at Ashland Oregon. University town, Shakespeare Festival, great cafes and coffee shops. Climbs right from the door in three directions, and they are steep and long. Not too many places have a Mt Lemmon, so make your expectations realistic.
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Old 10-15-12, 09:28 PM
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boise, idaho
bozeman, montana
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Old 04-26-13, 02:08 PM
  #54  
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At the risk of reviving an old thread ... Salt Lake is smaller than Denver, within riding distance of many great (and steep) routes, and there is a very large and active cycling community. You can find plenty of races, group rides, etc. here, and you can live quite cheaply in SLC. I moved here a few years ago and have absolutely loved it (not sure that I'd survive the burbs, but I live in SLC proper, notwithstanding which my training ride (34 miles and 3500' vertical) starts in my driveway and has me in surrounding canyons in minutes).
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Old 04-26-13, 02:36 PM
  #55  
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dont overlook Portland, OR also. we have miles and miles of hilly urban routes, good low traffic out and backs (see skyline blvd), 20 miles of cross friendly out and back logging trails in town (see leif erickson), a huge race scene, group rides 7 days a week, great rural routes in washington county just next door. eugene is prettier though. i love it down there also. win win either way.
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Old 04-26-13, 02:37 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
If you want climbing and more climbing you might look at Ashland Oregon. University town, Shakespeare Festival, great cafes and coffee shops. Climbs right from the door in three directions, and they are steep and long. Not too many places have a Mt Lemmon, so make your expectations realistic.
That reminds me. We have friends in Jackson. Might have to pay them a call this summer.
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Old 04-26-13, 02:50 PM
  #57  
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there's lots of great spots in the US to bike.... the entire eastern part of the US is covered in forests... pick a spot and ride. The western part is covered in mountains. Only the great plains, where I live, suck for riding. Every single road in WI is paved, I can attest to this much. Not sure about other states. In the summer, pick a town with roads around it, drive to that town, and ride. Try the driftless area in western Wisconsin, in the La Crosse area. Try highway 61 around Winona, MN or the surrounding area. Honestly I haven't found an area in WI that I wouldn't want to bike in.. the same must be true for many states. Though I personally have an attraction to bodys of water such as the great lakes. I'll bet driving around Door county, WI would be enjoyable.

I wanted to take a trip to columbia, MO, which is a possible location where I could transfer (can transfer to other 3M plants after 5 years) .. perfect climate for me there. And there's a crushed gravel (hybrid or MTB) biking path that runs across the entire state of Missouri, and lots of state parks and large areas to jog and bike and Columbia is fast growing and progressive.

Last edited by dissident; 04-26-13 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 04-26-13, 03:09 PM
  #58  
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If you're going to be there 2 months, go for a place with a lot of variety. IMO, northern CA offers a lot.
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Old 04-26-13, 03:25 PM
  #59  
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Stay in the Williamette Valley of Oregon between Portland and Eugene and experience the best of both worlds as the road cycling in either place is outstanding and the affordability of staying in Oregon's wine region is incredible.
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Old 04-26-13, 04:11 PM
  #60  
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Already acquired a place in Boulder for a song, thanks though maybe next year.
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Old 04-26-13, 07:38 PM
  #61  
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I'm not sure when "summer" is for you, but if you want good climbing, smallish city, lots of other cyclists around, etc. ... you might consider places like ...

Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia ... Wodonga, Victoria, Australia ... and for smaller centres, Beechworth and Bright. You could have a lot of fun climbing the Australian Alps (but if you want to avoid rain, avoid June to August).

Edinburgh, Scotland. Not much in the way of mountains, but a lot of hills to the south.

Wales ... also a lot of steep hills.

Grenoble, France ... and surrounding area. There you'd get into the European Alps.

Canmore, Alberta, Canada or Cochrane, Alberta, Canada (less expensive than Canmore) ... or Jasper and Banff, and you'd be riding the Canadian Rockies.

Or just about anywhere in BC ... Kamloops, Chilliwack ... to climb the various ranges through BC.

Hualien, Taiwan ... go climb the Taiwan mountains in the middle of the country.


If you've got 2 months to do this ... go somewhere outside your own country. Go somewhere interesting and different.
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Old 04-26-13, 08:44 PM
  #62  
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^ I agree. I'm not sure why you'd go somewhere like Boulder for a change when you live in Tucson. Boulder and Ft. Collins are very similar in feel to Flagstaff, but I'd say Flagstaff is a hair cheaper and the riding is just as good (I'm from New Mexico and have ridden quite a bit in both). In other words, go somewhere really different, like places Machka has mentioned. Flagstaff/Boulder/Eugene - these are all very similar sorts of towns, nice as they are.
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Old 04-27-13, 12:10 AM
  #63  
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Agree with somewhere different. But the requirements are: climbing, not too rural, strong road group rides. great (read dry) weather plus secondary considerations that most mountain cities have: hiking, quality food, cultural events, fitness centers & pools, massage therapists. Maybe even some races during June/early July: either bike or running.

There are clubs in central Victoria Australia, but they are not big and it's winter in the southern hemisphere. Wouldn't say these towns are high on the secondary considerations... Plus flights to Australia are expensive!

Europe - flights are cheaper from the US.

Scotland - can't comment about the climbing or riding group, but is it ever dry? Same with Wales!

Grenoble - if you want to ride from your door, I'd suggest somewhere more like Bourg d'Oisans. But you can tick off the better climbs within a week and summer in the French Alps (school holidays) is high season. I looked around hard before travelling there and paid 350 euro for one week in a small flat in the Shoulder season! Plenty or riders passing through but no regular group rides that was aware of.

Cananda sounds like a winner! Great riding, racing scene from my quick searching. Same language (except in the Frech speaking part...) always helps many who don't want to learn a new language - though learning a foreign language is one of the things I enjoy about travelling!
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Old 04-27-13, 01:32 AM
  #64  
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Since this thread is an old one, and the OP has probably done whatever he wanted to do already, we are now free to speculate about good places for a road bicycle vacation in general.


Flights to and from Australia aren't that bad. I've flown back and forth here several times now. And Beechworth and Bright are quite lovely ... a beautiful part of the world.

Flights to Europe from North America are often less expensive than flights across North America. You can get some really good deals these days. If I had 2 free months to go somewhere and cycle, I'd be off to Europe in the blink of an eye. Scotland is gorgeous. Wales is lovely. The Alps are breathtaking. There are so many great options in Europe.

And if I had 2 free months to go somewhere and cycle, and weren't off to Europe, I'd be off to do an Asian combination including Taiwan and Japan.

Of course there's always New Zealand too ... but I haven't been yet, so I'm not sure what it's like.



If you only had a couple weeks, you might want to stay closer to hom, but with 2 months there is a whole world of options.
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Old 04-27-13, 02:12 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Since this thread is an old one, and the OP has probably done whatever he wanted to do already, we are now free to speculate about good places for a road bicycle vacation in general.
True. The OP has posted just above that he has already booked a place in Boulder... So realise this is speculative but is a good discussion for a Saturday evening.

All the suggestions are lovely, but many of the suggestions don't meet all the requirements. Such as racing and training groups around Bright / Mt Beauty or the French Alps.

French Alps in summer is $$$$ for accommodation. Plus no regular group rides, though there are plenty of cyclists about so you could find others of similar ability to ride with. Then also getting bored with the one village after a couple of weeks let alone 2 months! I spent 4 weeks in Europe riding in 2011 and didn't travel outside of the French Alps except Mont Ventoux. Plenty of brilliant riding, but I stayed no more than 8 days in any one village. I was happy to move around and can quite happily train by myself too...The OP not wanting to move about restricts options some what.

Personally I agree with you about going somewhere completely different. Though no big mountains, I would think even somewhere like Belgium for a couple of months would be super motivating! Riding and racing in an area with so much cycling history! Can't say what accommodation would cost, but even looking at the possibility of joining a local cycling club / team if possible? A quick search found the following - https://immersioncycling.com/ though no prices listed. I'd be certain that there would be plenty other options like this... Edit - another Belgium option https://www.thechainstay.com/

Last edited by Dalai; 04-27-13 at 02:34 AM.
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Old 04-27-13, 06:54 AM
  #66  
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You guys wanna send me some money to go overseas. I’ll oblige.
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Old 04-27-13, 07:10 AM
  #67  
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Canada would be a great option - and driveable...

Once you get to Europe, it doesn't have to be expensive. Quite a few areas in the alps can be reach by train and bus. In the town of Bourg St Maurice (Col de l'Iseran, Cormet de Roselend, Col du Petit St Bernard to name a few nearby cols) I stayed in a modern hostel that cost only 20 euro a night! Supermarket across the road meant I could cook all my meals...

My trip to the States later this year I'm planning on sleeping in my rental van the majority of nights and cook on a single burner stove. Travel doesn't necessarily mean expensive...
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Old 04-27-13, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Dalai View Post
Travel doesn't necessarily mean expensive...
+1
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Old 04-27-13, 08:15 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
+1
Int'l airfare is pretty pricey though, not even including room n board.
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Old 04-27-13, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
Int'l airfare is pretty pricey though, not even including room n board.
No, not really. Like I said, it often costs more to fly across a country than it does to fly to another country. You've got to keep an eye out for deals.

And "room n board" can cost as little as a campground and whatever you'd usually buy at a grocery store for dinner.
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Old 04-27-13, 09:09 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
No, not really. Like I said, it often costs more to fly across a country than it does to fly to another country. You've got to keep an eye out for deals.

This. I've never paid more than a grand for a round trip international plane ticket. This includes 2 trips to Europe ($620 for Dublin, $655 for Madrid), 3 trips to Asia ($950 to Beijing before I really knew how to shop for tickets, $840 to Singapore, and $620 to South Korea), and I have a trip in October to Brazil that I paid $700 for. All of these flights are out of either Colorado Springs or Denver and all in the last 4 years.
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