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Thoughts on a solo cycling trip in NW

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

Thoughts on a solo cycling trip in NW

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Old 02-07-15, 02:08 AM
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Thoughts on a solo cycling trip in NW

I'm considering taking a 3-5 day trip from my base in Sonoma Wine Country. I've had a long, tough, emotionally grueling year which included a separation and (soon) divorce, emergency abdominal surgery, turning 50, the third year of an intensive change-my-life weight loss and workout program and a whole lot of cycling. While I'm a fairly upbeat person, I've had the serious blues lately and my doc tells me I'm going through a mild bout of depression. It's understandable he says based on all the stuff I've had to go through (sone of which is not mentioned here). So, I've got a small window of time and I want to take my bike and me on a short trip with the goal of doing a solo ride in a scenic place I haven't been yet. I'm thinking of spots north or east (Oregon, Utah?) but open to suggestions.

Since I'll be in my own and I'm a girl :-o and have only rudimentary bike repair skills, I'd rather the route not be too remote. As far as climbing, I remain limited in elevation due to having only one lung. I'm thinking 2800 feet would be a nice challenge as I learn more about what I can do physically. Does anyone have any suggestions as to rides that might fit this criteria? Thanks.
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Old 02-07-15, 03:57 AM
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I'm not sure when you're thinking of going, but I'd suggest seeing if there is a bicycle maintenance class going at your local bicycle shop or with a cycling club or at your local college or university or somewhere.


And while I love the scenery in Utah, it is fairly remote, although you could base yourself in Moab and do a ride out Hwy 128 and back one day, and through Arches National Park on another day, and out toward Canyonlands on another day. Bring lots of water ... and your camera.

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Old 02-07-15, 04:03 AM
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This time of year in the PNW there is a lot of rain, though it has been mild. Are you planning this for winter or spring?
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Old 02-07-15, 08:27 AM
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When do you plan on going? When you say 2,800 feet, how long of a ride? And how many miles per day do you want to do?
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Old 02-07-15, 09:19 AM
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Yes, time of year is crucial for making a recommendation.

Now is a nice time of year to ride in southern california, tucson, phoenix. Not oregon. Moab is a crap shoot, I wouldn't choose that unless you can make a last minute travel decision based on weather forecasts from just a couple of days out.

Tucson has a ton of shop rides if you want to ride with other people and some nice moderately hilly rides - both east and west saguaro monuments, the "shootout" route, Mt Lemmon if you decide you want to climb (just turn around and coast back down when you are sick of it).

Don't let your gender stand in your way, I rode across the country, around New Zealand, all over the place, solo and female.
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Old 02-07-15, 10:34 AM
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I'm thinking of doing this in March. I would say 30-60 mile rides, perhaps three in the five days I'm there. Rest for recovery and sight seeing.
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Old 02-07-15, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
Yes, time of year is crucial for making a recommendation.

Now is a nice time of year to ride in southern california, tucson, phoenix. Not oregon. Moab is a crap shoot, I wouldn't choose that unless you can make a last minute travel decision based on weather forecasts from just a couple of days out.

Tucson has a ton of shop rides if you want to ride with other people and some nice moderately hilly rides - both east and west saguaro monuments, the "shootout" route, Mt Lemmon if you decide you want to climb (just turn around and coast back down when you are sick of it).

Don't let your gender stand in your way, I rode across the country, around New Zealand, all over the place, solo and female.
Tuscon is a thought. And I have friends there actually. Mmmm.
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Old 02-07-15, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by shyonelung View Post
Tuscon is a thought. And I have friends there actually. Mmmm.
Tuscon is a Great Place to ride.

Tuesday Night Ride from the college is fun.

http://s256.photobucket.com/user/10w...ideshow/Tuszon
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Old 02-07-15, 02:15 PM
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3-5 days ? Does that mean bringing enough food ? Camping ? Extra clothing ? Are there stores along the way ?

Learn enough maintenance to handle a broken spoke, replace a chain, fix a flat, boot a tire ....
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Old 02-08-15, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
3-5 days ? Does that mean bringing enough food ? Camping ? Extra clothing ? Are there stores along the way ?

Learn enough maintenance to handle a broken spoke, replace a chain, fix a flat, boot a tire ....
I'm going to go stay with friends or in a hotel. The trip is about 5 days I think, maybe a week, because that's all I can spare now. I'm hoping to go where I can put in a couple or three good day rides. I realize I wasn't that clear from the start. My bad.
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Old 02-08-15, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by shyonelung View Post
I'm going to go stay with friends or in a hotel. The trip is about 5 days I think, maybe a week, because that's all I can spare now. I'm hoping to go where I can put in a couple or three good day rides. I realize I wasn't that clear from the start. My bad.
Then the Moab thing might work for you.

Or maybe St George. My parents used to go to St George quite regularly, and then do hikes in Zion and Bryce Canyon ... Kanab and Cedar City are in the same area. Bryce Canyon, in particular, is stunning.
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Old 02-08-15, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Then the Moab thing might work for you.

Or maybe St George. My parents used to go to St George quite regularly, and then do hikes in Zion and Bryce Canyon ... Kanab and Cedar City are in the same area. Bryce Canyon, in particular, is stunning.
I've thought about Bryce Canyon but I'm not sure yet how I'll do at such high altitudes. I get altitude sickness in high places (Mexico City, Mammoth, Ca. and Denver for examples) but have not been at those altitudes since I got back into shape. I'd hate to get there and find out it still affects me. Last trip to Mexico City, it took me three days to get to the point where I wasn't in bed all day with a headache.
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Old 02-08-15, 08:53 PM
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Stay local. Santa Barbara. Solvang. And Ojai. Good weather and great cycling.
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Old 02-08-15, 09:02 PM
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ditto nachoman's recommendation, slightly north of santa barbara say san luis obispo/paso robles/big sur/san simeon or the las vegas area (red rocks, valley of fire, lake mead).
utah is awesome but more mtb terrain near zion np and bryce canyon np (which gets up to 7,900 ft btw) than road. can do road but looong distances between support spots.
santa monica mountains next to malibu are awesome. tucson and scottsdale are both sweet options too.
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