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Road bike vacation: where?

Old 10-10-12, 04:25 PM
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beatlebee 
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Road bike vacation: where?

Hi. I am already starting to think about my two months off next summer and planning a biking vacation.
I plan to sublet an apartment and I am very minimalist, do not (read: can’t afford)need luxury. I find that in college towns it is easy to find a 1 bedroom/studio for under $1K per month.

Other considerations:

1. Climbing. Must have. This is why I am looking in the Mountain West subforum. I love to climb and am spoiled by the local climbs here which are 6K ft gains in elevation and large bike lanes. I really like the fact that there are large shoulders for safety.

2. Not too rural but not a city like Denver. Boulder is a nice size. My city is 800K people, so not really small.

3. Strong road group rides. I am planning to train and train hard. I want to get with other people to ride regularly.

4. Great (read dry) weather. I want to be able to ride pretty much everyday and I do not own rain gear and do not like riding in the rain. I live in the desert. I do have cold weather gear.

5. It would be nice to have 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.

Lastly, I will not be driving much if at all from my vacation spot. I want to be able to roll out the door and have a lot of options.

So anyway, I was thinking that Boulder would be the place but I would prefer other opinions. What about Golden or Ft. Collins? Or should I be thinking about Washington state as a completely different consideration? Boise?


Thank you for any insights.

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Old 10-10-12, 07:09 PM
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generally Boulder isnt cheap unless you can find a student that wants to sublease during summer break
golden and ft collins will be more affordable

300 plus days of sunshine you will need to still carry a jacket for summer popups or decending the mtns
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Old 10-10-12, 08:55 PM
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For what you're looking for, it's hard to beat Boulder. You'll be able to find a 1BR/studio in your budget.
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Old 10-10-12, 09:40 PM
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Eugene, Oregon. Cascade Mountains to the east of town and Oregon Coast to the west. I'm from Colorado, but this is the best cycling area I've ever lived in. It is also home to the University of Oregon, so there is also that.


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Old 10-10-12, 09:49 PM
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You can vacation outside of Boulder for cheap-ish! I would almost tell you to keep in contact with me until next year. My fiancé and my self are moving further west of Boulder. If you only plan to stay for two months we could certainly work something out.
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Old 10-10-12, 09:50 PM
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really? Eugene over CO?

@DevinL: Ill certainly keep that in mind!
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Old 10-10-12, 10:03 PM
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I'd take Oregon over CO any day.
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Old 10-10-12, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by MegaTom View Post
I'd take Oregon over CO any day.
i absolutely love OR, but I'd take Colorado riding, elevation, and training over Oregon.

Especially in his case.. he wants to ride..not wait for the rain to come. 300+ days of sun in Colorado.
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Old 10-10-12, 10:10 PM
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I should mention that riding near a body of water holds little sway with me.

How is Eugene for out the door riding access to mountains?
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Old 10-10-12, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by robabeatle View Post
I should mention that riding near a body of water holds little sway with me.

How is Eugene for out the door riding access to mountains?
Just worry about the rain there is all. Research Eugene for the months you plan to be there. It rains often there.
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Old 10-10-12, 10:16 PM
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Fort Collins is right at the edge of the mountains. Depending on what part of town you wind up in, it can be several miles of flatness before you get to the hills. Loveland (the city, not the pass) is another option, it pretty much connects to Fort Collins, and Longmont would be another option.

Places like Estes Park would be great, but summer is the tourist season, so finding something affordable then would be rough.

If you're not familiar with that area, June is pretty much still "winter" up in the mountains, and the good mountaineering season extends into September. Once school is in session, places like Rocky Mountain National Park get a lot less crowded.
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Old 10-10-12, 10:47 PM
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I'm also looking for a road bike getaway! Especially if it's warm between December and February. I live in Cambridge, MA, and those months are tough.

I found the following article that may help:

https://www.gorp.com/weekend-guide/tr...ev_060377.html

I just bought my first road bike, so I don't plan to ride the whole day, it's more workout and fun, no more than three to four hours of riding a day.
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Old 10-10-12, 10:48 PM
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Thank you. To emphasize: riding from out the door and very little rain is tops on the list (along with big climbs).

Im seeing on average 2 inches of rain for Eugene in June and July. That might mean lots of drizzle or few strong storms. Any experience? And how far to the mtn climbs?
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Old 10-10-12, 11:14 PM
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Anywhere, Oklahoma
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Old 10-10-12, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by robabeatle View Post
I should mention that riding near a body of water holds little sway with me.

How is Eugene for out the door riding access to mountains?
That's what I like most about Oregon... the rocky northern pacific coast line right next to all that green lushness. And the wetness too, I guess - I love getting all muddy. You should probably stick with Colorado.
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Old 10-11-12, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by goldfilm View Post
I'm also looking for a road bike getaway! Especially if it's warm between December and February.
Santa Barbara County. Weather's mild and mostly dry, roads are quiet, climbs are big, food is decent, scenery is easy on the eyes.
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Old 10-11-12, 12:07 AM
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Yes, I grew up in Colorado, many, many miles there on the bikes over the years. The mountain biking in Colorado is better, but the road cycling in Oregon is much better than Colorado....by far. As far as rain, since July 1 we've had .5 inch of rain...it's October 10 as I type. We don't get rain in the summer, plus, we don't get high temps like Colorado. If you come in January you'll see that it does rain here, quite impressively so, but you're not planning to come in winter.
Climbing? Yes, right out of the south end of town, as much as you want, as steep as you'd like it. June there is a hill climb time trial series on Tuesday evenings, see what you've got against the locals. Weekly crits on the west side of town.
I took the pic of the Pacific Coast Highway after the climb up from that road, nice side climb during an 80 mile ride along the coast, do you see any rain clouds? The other picture is the McKenzie Pass road, 4000 foot climb over 18 miles, the road is closed to car traffic and open only to bicycles for 3 weeks in June every year. Here is the pass summit.
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Old 10-11-12, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Santa Barbara County. Weather's mild and mostly dry, roads are quiet, climbs are big, food is decent, scenery is easy on the eyes.
+1 Another GREAT choice for a cycling vacation.
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Old 10-11-12, 01:02 AM
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Eugene, OR - Awesome. You can ride to the coast or inland into The Three Sisters/Bend area. Very nice and reasonable cost of living.
Colorado: try southwestern Co. Telluride or Durango are fun towns with awesome biking and nice mountain roads.
Arizona: Flagstaff, although it does rain quite a bit in the summer, but that's true of all of the southwest (including Co.) Possibly the least expensive.
California: Lake Tahoe area (around Truckee) but I'm afraid it can get boring as far as fun things to do. Santa Barbara is very nice in the summer, but very pricey for cost of living. I find people live more frugally around Santa Cruz without any of the snobbiness of Santa Barbie. Santa Cruz is simply awesome in the summer! The roads around the Santa Cruz mountains also make excellent training grounds.

Eugene and Santa Cruz would be my personal top choices.
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Old 10-11-12, 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by robabeatle View Post
1. Climbing. Must have. This is why I am looking in the Mountain West subforum. I love to climb and am spoiled by the local climbs here which are 6K ft gains in elevation and large bike lanes. I really like the fact that there are large shoulders for safety.

Have you considered Switzerland? It can be a bit expensive, but it is possible to find reasonably priced accommodation and food. You would have a choice of riding on wide cycle paths in the valleys or climbing the little roads up the mountains.


(Near Saillon, between Martigny and Sion)



Or maybe the Canadian Rockies?

You might be able to base yourself in Banff or Jasper and ride the Icefield Parkway, and the surrounding routes out to Radium and Rocky Mountain House.


(Hwy 11 between Saskatchewan River Crossing and Nordegg)
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Old 10-11-12, 06:09 AM
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I'd say Tucson, but in June/July.
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Old 10-11-12, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by halfspeed View Post
I'd say Tucson, but in June/July.
Suggesting anywhere in the lower half of Arizona in the middle of summer is a horrible idea unless the OP likes riding at 4am. It's just too hot. Flagstaff, or even Sedona/Prescott would be great during the summer though.
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Old 10-11-12, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by halfspeed View Post
I'd say Tucson, but in June/July.
LOL!

I live in Tucson. Spoiled by great weather and awesome climbing.

So I am used to the heat but I have the ability to leave in June/July when you must get out by 5 am. It sounds like Eugene is tops here. I have been to Flagstaff many times but am looking for somewhere new.
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Old 10-11-12, 08:24 AM
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Ever considered South Florida?
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Old 10-11-12, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
Eugene, Oregon. Cascade Mountains to the east of town and Oregon Coast to the west. I'm from Colorado, but this is the best cycling area I've ever lived in. It is also home to the University of Oregon, so there is also that.


Very cool.
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