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09-09-2005, 09:44 PM #1
Amazing places for bike tours . . .
I've been thinking a lot lately of cool places to tour by bike. There's the obvious choice of Tuscany or other places in western Europe, which would definitely be amazing. New Zealand seems like it would be a good one. My friend just did 1500 miles around southern Japan and that sounded damn cool. What else would this fine collective recommend? I guess it has to be someplace you could go for 500-2000 miles (depending on time) with good enough roads to ride on, the potential to camp or hostel cheaply, and a decent level of security.
Please share your experiences or dream trips here
09-09-2005, 10:21 PM #2
I have a friend that goes out for a week at a time in Alaska in the summer. Not sure where she goes, but I'm guessing you could find some empty roads up there.
She also rode from Seattle to Maine one summer. Plenty of options there to keep you on less-traveled roads. Not exactly a short trip.
I know a lot of people back home that do week-long rides around one of the great lakes (Superior is popular and has incredible views).[This Space For Rent]
09-09-2005, 11:26 PM #3
I'd like to ride Copper Canyon , Meh-He-Co. I was talking to a guy that runs a tour operation through there and he couldn't say enough about the place. I'd read about it before, but I still thought he was selling me until I talked to some people that have done some riding in the area. It sounds amazing.
Among 1.3 million others, the link came up on google.
09-09-2005, 11:54 PM #4Who Dares Wins
- Join Date
- Jan 2005
- Wasatch Front
I'd say The Dolomites would have have to be right up there in the list of amazing places, although I'm not sure it would strictly be called a tour in the traditional sense of the word. More like a multi-day XC ride.
There's a great article about it here.
09-10-2005, 08:01 AM #5
As far as bicycle touring is concerned i'd have to say morocco tops my list of favorite places. As always it's more fun to find your own way.....but sometimes going with a group can solve a lot of hassles....
check out http://www.wildcat-bike-tours.co.uk/
09-10-2005, 07:14 PM #6
Norwegian Arctic Coast. Go in the summer. Ride under the midnight sun."There is a hell of a huge difference between skiing as a sport- or even as a lifestyle- and skiing as an industry"
Hunter S. Thompson, 1970 (RIP)
09-11-2005, 12:39 PM #7sucks on the internet
- Join Date
- Feb 2004
If camping is on your list try southern France - lots of opportinities there.
09-11-2005, 02:30 PM #8
The Icefields Parkway between banff and Jasper is very pretty, but lots of summer RV traffic(wide shoulder though) and lots of bike tourers. Also riding from Jasper to AK would be totally sweet.
Lots of great tours in Tenn. and other spots in the blue ridges.
Between steamboat and boulder is quite nice too, if you go up Pooder Canyon to Walden and drop into Steamboat that way.
09-11-2005, 08:59 PM #9
How about more international ideas? I like the idea of seeing a country by bike - anyone ever done an international tour?
Copper Cyn looks pretty rad, IG . . . I've read about that place before and was quite enticed. Southern France sounds pretty sweet too . . .
It's a long shot, but I may have a chunk of time off coming up, but it may be before it snows significantly anywhere (and I am still ACL recovering, although almost 6 months out). Keep the suggestions coming!
09-11-2005, 10:16 PM #10
copper canyon. . .is that the grand canyon of mexico? suppose to be even cooler than our grand canyon and more gnarly i think. My roomate was talking this weekend about a trip she took there. They paid a local boy to guide them down into the canyon but he didn't stay to guide them out and they lost the trail at one point since there is so little traffic in there to wear in the trail.
aparently they also found this campsite in the bottom of the canyon with a huge SOS and a bunch of blood all around. but no body. sounds kinda gnarly.
09-12-2005, 09:22 AM #11
A friend did a bike tour of Portugal years ago and loved it. I would do Turkey, myself, but it might be a difficult place for a single woman to tour. New Zealand would be cool as would Southern Australia.
I'd pass on North Korea for the time being.
Copper Canyon is an awesome place. I don't know about the road conditions there, but I could dig up a couple of old phone numbers and make some inquires. I have an old friend who used to train there with the Tarahumaras. He invited me and another guy to join him one year, but I couldn't take a month off. Pisser!¡Órale, vato!
09-12-2005, 09:59 AM #12
I was up in Yellowstone recently. This time of year could be really sweet - not much traffic, lot's of beauty. Riding north from W. Yellowstone up to Glacier National could be sweet! (as long as it doesn't dump on ya, but then you could just go skiing at Bridger Bowl).I fart in your general direction.
09-12-2005, 10:18 AM #13
The S Utah/N Arizona National Parks make a good bike tour; Bryce, Zion, N Rim Grand Canyon, Cedar Breaks. Fall is a good time - cool temps.
09-12-2005, 10:28 AM #14Registered User
- Join Date
- Oct 2003
For a leisurely bike tour Europe would be cool. Spain, Italy, France maybe Switzerland. A village everytime you feel like stopping for some wine bread & cheese. New Zealand isn't the best place for a bike tour in my mind. Too windy, too rainy. Gorgeous, just not on a bike to my mind.
For more adventurous tours the Carreterra Austral (southern portion of Chile) is gorgeous, and doable on a bike. Not much traffic, gorgeous scenery, safe, but lots of gravel roads, wind & rain.
Another stupendous tour is supposedly the Karakoram highway but I don't think that's what you are looking for. It's good enough I've met people who are planning to do it again!Elvis has left the building
09-13-2005, 07:37 AM #15
rioja region (logrono, etc) area of spain in late spring would be pretty awesome in my book.
09-13-2005, 04:21 PM #16Registered User
- Join Date
- Jan 2004
I tried to do a tour in Australia in '92(?) September?, can't remember, three weeks. Coincidentally a wedding (she, from bay area, he Australia) was set for my trip window so I did that in Dubbo (cool place), NSW first thing. Australia is so fricking big, I kind of underestimated the size and logistics. I did not make any arrangements except air before I left. Internet was just breaking out... unless you can resist the temptation of google you can get mad beta now. I did buy a bunch of books though.
Australians are great people and the country is cool/rad the more I looked into it the harder it was to decide where to go! I settled by amputating the mainland and headed for Tasmania where I would ride. On the way (via bus) to Melbourne (Rad!) to catch the Spirit of Tasmiania ferry to Devonport, Tasmania I stopped in Canberra (cool) and then caught a late season snowstorm and made a quick trip to Threadbo. From Devonport I headed to Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Claire National Park/UN World Heritage Area. Alpineish, a little more late season snowfall and crazy nocturnal carniverous marsupials! Right out of the park my cassette/rear hub exploded and had to lace the cluster directly to the spokes with 1" tubular webbing in order to pedal: 21 speed fixed gear bike, yay!. Soon after, the chain jammed, mangled the derailer and then locked up the rear wheel untill the chain broke. Now I'm riding a fixed gear single speed and really soaking up the scenery: YAY! So back to the north coast I go where it is flat, no complaints but not covering much ground at all. No digital photos to post. Best part of it was probably the people.
Tourism is big in Austrailia so there are signs pointing to everything, and big blue/white "i" info center signs around thus you can always find where you are going at least where I went. You can always find someone to ask for info/directions and spend an hour or two or days chatting about things.
I hit a holiday period so I had some travel/hostel lags/snags. The hostels are great but if you are in a hurry or want to keep your own hours camping might be better. Hostels of course have more people.
Bike touring style. My box of bike and gear checked in to Quantas at 70lbs, not including food stuff. I was comfortable riding that heavy at the time but will not go that heavy again. Ultralight gear has flooded the outdoor shops so you can easily carry light gear plus not carry so much gear of course. The lightest touring is done by just carrying money and credit cards. I recommend going as light as possible, do some shakedown multiday trips. I was in a transition season and had cooler/wetter weather and had a surprising bitter cold day/nite in Canberra. I kind of expected this and was comfy but now could go lighter. I am still surprised to see super super heavy load bike tourists heading south along the SF area coast when I am at the beach or on a ride.
The cassette/hub that broke was original, and was made at the beggining of the widespread spec-ing of cassettes instead of spin on clusters. I was really into climbing (East Bay/SF/North Bay) and doing a ton of miles at the time so I guess that plus the tour load wrecked it. I guess I should have put on a new hub for the trip. When I got back to CA I tried to ride from SFO to BART instead of taking the bus/shuttle/cab but my rear skewer broke onthe way. I don't think that the load alone broke it, I had noticed for a while that it felt weird/soft closing it. Probably I was over tightening it for a while. It was kind of rideable but I was worried about BART closing so I called a cab. I'm mechanically inclined and all that but I was unfamiliar with the indications of failure for these two components.
I have not done any bike touring since then. Its still appealing but I'm more interested in wilder experiences in a shorter time, no roads/signs, machines, electricity. I'd rather do ski tours. Also I felt a few American weeks of vacation were not enough for me to get into the experience. Months would be better I think. But then you need to find or make the decisions to have a job that affords you the weeks/months off. Only recently have I thought of doing SF to LA, maybe San Diego super light at high speed. Short tours but on dirt have more appeal than equivalent duration tours on pavement, might have a high speed backpacking feel. Like, partial circumnavigation of Shasta on dirt , possibly with some caches. I like the idea of having some geographical completeness to it, like traversing a range or looping an island or crossing something.
Last edited by Agent 00X; 09-13-2005 at 04:26 PM.
09-13-2005, 05:43 PM #17Registered User
- Join Date
- Feb 2005
- North Vancouver/Whistler
Deer Lake to Norris Point in Gros Morne National Park http://www.leelau.net/2005/newfoundl...lake080105.htm
Norris Point to Trout River and the Tablelands
Norris Point to Portland Creek - up the coast
Portland Creek to Plum Point - a fast day
Plum Point to L'anse aux Meadows - vikings!