The Rides

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The Ride. It is the cathedral of our sport, where we worship at the altar of the Man with the Hammer. It is the end to our means. Indeed, The Bike may be the central tool to our sport, but to turn the pedals is to experience the sensation of freedom, of flight. It is all for The Ride.

The world is overflowing with small, twisty roads that capture our collective imagination as cyclists. We spend our lifetimes searching out the best routes and rides; we pore over maps, we share with our fellow disciples, we talk to non-cycling locals all in pursuit of the Perfect Ride.

The Rides is devoted entirely to the best routes and rides around the world. Some are races or cyclosportives, others feature in the Classics and stages of The Great Races, while others still are little-known gems, discovered through careful meditation on The V. Be warned: these rides are not your average Sunday Afternoon spin; these rides are the best and most difficult rides in the word – they represent the rites of passage into La Vie Velominatus. It is to be taken for granted that these rides require loads of Rule #5, many of them Rule #10, and all of them are best enjoyed in Rule #9 conditions. They have been shared by you, the community. The Rides also features articles devoted to the greatest rides and providess a forum for sharing other rides for discussion.

If you’d like to submit a ride or an article about your own favorite ride, please feel free to send it to us and we’ll do our best to work with you to include it.

Haleakala

Category: Grimpeur / Distance: 56km / Location: Paia, Maui, Hawaii, USA

haleakala

Haleakala is simultaneously the longest paved continuous climb in the world as well as the shortest ascent from sea level to 10,000 feet in the world. Though not terribly steep, this is a long, grinding climb that will reduce a strong rider to a whimpering lump.

To put the effort in perspective, this climb is 60km long a an average of 6% with two pitches as steep as 17%. That translates to somewhere between 3 or more hours of nonstop climbing, usually in Maui’s direct heat and often into a whipping headwind that spins around into a headwind no matter which direction the switchbacks take you.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/50412514

Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Category: Rouleur / Distance: 265 / Location: Liege, Belgium

lbl

Liege-Bastogne-Liege is not only La Doyenne, the oldest of the Classics, but also represents perhaps the most demanding course in cycling. The 280 km, 3000m vertical route starts with an easy ride out from Liege to Bastogne which lulls riders into a false sense of security; the hills are frequent, but none of them terribly demanding. Into Bastogne, and the story changes on the way back to Liege with 9 categorized climbs in the second half, including the fearsome Côte de la Redoute and the Côte de Saint-Nicolas.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/58053308/

Paris-Roubaix

Category: Hardman / Distance: 265 / Location: Compiégne, France

paris-roubaix

L’enfur du Nord. The Hell of The North. The Queen of the Classics. This isn’t a ride over the stones from your local brick-paved roads. You think climbs are what make a ride tough? We’ve got news for you: this is the hardest ride on the planet and it boasts a maximum elevation of 55 meters. These are vicious, brutal stones; the kind that will stretch each kilometer to their full length, the kind of stones that you will feel long after the rattling of the bars has stopped. These stones will change you. Forever.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/58052610/

Guide: Pavé Cycling Classics

Mortirolo/Gavia Loop

Category: Grimpeur / Distance: 115km / Location: Bormio, Italy / Contributor: Joe

The Mortirolo is perhaps the most feared pass in Western Europe, and the Gavia the most storied. Given their proximity to each other, its a wonder why this isn’t the most talked-about ride in Italy. Maybe it is; its impossible to say without being Italian. The loop nature of this ride makes it feasible as a solo escapade, but any ride with the kind of stats this one bears – 3200 meters ascended in 115 kilometers including the viscously steep Mortirolo – is best enjoyed with a riding partner or support car.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/59027020/

200 on 100

Category: Grimpeur / Distance: 330km / Location: Vernon, VT / Contributor: cdelinks

“Dumptruck of Awesome” has become the catch-phrase associated with this brutally hard, yet strikingly beautiful 330 kilometer (200 mile) ride down Vermont Route 100.  This ride was made popular during the summer of 2011 when Ted King, Tim Johnson, and a local amateur cyclist, Ryan Kelly, documented this ride on film. The ride starts on the Canadian border and finishes on the Massachusetts border.  With over 2500 meters of climbing on this 330 kilometer ride, you will need to pack a few lunches to get through this one.  Do this ride in the Fall, and the foliage might be beautiful enough to distract you from the horrible pain you will most certainly suffer.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/58052808/

De Ronde Van West Portlandia

Category: Grimpeur / Distance: 76km / Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

A ride that officially “never happens” each spring, this 76 km route charts a course through Portland’s West Hills, paying homage to the European Spring Classics. Approximately 1,800 meters of paved and unpaved climbs are spread throughout the course, with several sections reaching grades of over 20%. More information can be found at Ronde PDX.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/15276210

Seattle Master Urban Ride

Category: Rouleur / Distance: 130km / Location: Seattle, Washington, USA

seattleronde

This is perhaps the most challenging urban route in Seattle, hitting three of the big hills that define Seattle’s topography. The route starts and ends on Phinney Ridge, but hits the climbs of Interlaken and Alder Street/Lake Dell Drive on its way to Mercer Island, before coming back to hit Queen Anne and Magnolia, weaving its way up each of these hills as many times as possible via the steepest route available before the finale to the north via Golden Gardens, Blue Ridge Drive, and Carkeek Park. Panoramic views of the Cascades, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, The Olympic Penninsula and Puget Sound makes this a standout Urban ride.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/57732282

  1. @MangoDave

    At the risk of dishing out anti-V, it’s been a really terrible time to get in rides lately. Consistently 112-116 degrees F (44-46C), and overnight LOWS consistently above 90F (32C) for the last month. I usually can get in some rides and deal with the heat, but it’s been rough this year. Then, we’ve had a couple of these lately…

    0

    I don’t think that’s anti V. We had 106 on my Garmin – though someone recorded 114 but that was in the heat coming off the road on our London Paris. So if your static air temp is up to 116 then there is a point where Rule #5 becomes a death wish.

  2. Look what I gots for my birthday. My friend has an American “girl” friend who lives in Belgium. The signed Eddy picture is straight Merckx headquarters. One of the best birthdays ever.

    1
  3. @Cyclops

    Nice, oh and Happy Birthday.

  4. Holy shit, I rarely stop by, but I do and @Cyclops appears. Happy Birthday. I missed your posts from Idaho.

    I hope your self-built frames have outlasted the heyday (hayday?, heyDei?) of this here ol’ website.

    Cheers to all.

  5. @xyxax

    Stop by more often. There’s only a hardcore few of us left now but we’re hanging in there. The VSP is still going (thanks to Teocalli) and he delivers on the prizes! I just got my yellow jersey mug in the mail from him yesterday for winning the Tour VSP.

  6. @wiscot

    Yeah. Nice.

  7. I was in Italy recently, and rode the Passo Crocetta da Rapallo. Just under 9km at average gradient 6.5% in around 40 minutes. I’m NOT a climber. But I took a nice selfie I thought I’d share!

  8. @davidlhill

    Nice – and you had the energy to remember to change to big dog too! (not mentioning the Triple…..)

    1
  9. @Teocalli

    Umm, this was the second picture as I was too shagged to remember the first time! Saw the result and changed gear immediately. I could have lied and said “nah, I ground it up” but we’ve ridden together and you know that it wouldn’t have been so.

    As for the triple – the bike was a recent purchase and came with it. The Velominati are right, it has to be removed. It’s a 20 year old Campagnolo triple – any idea if I can just unscrew the inner one? I haven’t looked properly.

  10. @davidlhill

    Yes you could remove the inner ring and adjust the inner limit screw. However it is likely that the axle length for a triple will not give you an ideal chain line for the lowest gears but it should not be too far out. Looking at the chain ring bolts BCD you may not be able to fit a smaller middle (to become inner) chain ring though.

  11. Are there any Norway-based Velominati/lurkers?

  12. @RobSandy

    Are there any Norway-based Velominati/lurkers?

    0

    Velomi-Vikings?

  13. @Rick

    @RobSandy

    Are there any Norway-based Velominati/lurkers?

    0

    Velomi-Vikings?

    0

    Yeah! I’d like to move to Norway, wanted to find out if there’s a local racing scene for choppers like me.

    But to be pedantic, most Vikings were Danish.

  14. Rollers hack – I bought some rollers for a bit of variety. The resistance was almost uselessly low. On my first go I got into my top gear and up to around 55kph, still only doing 180w.

    So, I did some research and discovered if you place magnets near one of the drums it adds resistance (it’s how the magnetic resistance on turbo trainers works – who knew?).

    So I bodged up a design with 3 strong magnets fixed close to the drum – and it adds about 100w. To do 180w I was doing 33kph, i.e. much more like being on the road.

  15. @RobSandy

    Interesting. What kind of rollers? I have a pair of the Nashbar parabolic ones.

  16. @RobSandy

    @Rick

    @RobSandy

    Are there any Norway-based Velominati/lurkers?

    0

    Velomi-Vikings?

    0

    Yeah! I’d like to move to Norway, wanted to find out if there’s a local racing scene for choppers like me.

    But to be pedantic, most Vikings were Danish.

    0

    Ok, now you are just messing up a good story with facts…….I plead American ignorance here…..

  17. @wiscot

    @RobSandy

    Interesting. What kind of rollers? I have a pair of the Nashbar parabolic ones.

    0

    Kurt kinetic Z type ones.

    You’d need the drums to be aluminium for it to work.

    I managed to do the standard BC 20 minute warmup on the rollers last night – very early in my rollers using career but I enjoyed it. Different feel to the turbo.

  18. @Rick

    @RobSandy

    @Rick

    @RobSandy

    Are there any Norway-based Velominati/lurkers?

    0

    Velomi-Vikings?

    0

    Yeah! I’d like to move to Norway, wanted to find out if there’s a local racing scene for choppers like me.

    But to be pedantic, most Vikings were Danish.

    0

    Ok, now you are just messing up a good story with facts…….I plead American ignorance here…..

    0
    I always mix up tautology with pleonasm but this is one of them!

  19. @KogaLover

    @Rick

    @RobSandy

    @Rick

    @RobSandy

    Are there any Norway-based Velominati/lurkers?

    0

    Velomi-Vikings?

    0

    Yeah! I’d like to move to Norway, wanted to find out if there’s a local racing scene for choppers like me.

    But to be pedantic, most Vikings were Danish.

    0

    Ok, now you are just messing up a good story with facts…….I plead American ignorance here…..

    0
    I always mix up tautology with pleonasm but this is one of them!

    0

    I didn’t realize you are French!

  20. @RobSandy

    You’d need the drums to be aluminium for it to work.

    0

    Which is especially interesting seeing as Aluminium is not magnetic……….

  21. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    You’d need the drums to be aluminium for it to work.

    0

    Which is especially interesting seeing as Aluminium is not magnetic……….

    0

    Eddy currents, Faraday’s Law of Induction, Lenz’s Law…sciencey science stuff…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddy_current_brake

  22. @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    You’d need the drums to be aluminium for it to work.

    0

    Which is especially interesting seeing as Aluminium is not magnetic……….

    0

    Eddy currents, Faraday’s Law of Induction, Lenz’s Law…sciencey science stuff…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddy_current_brake

    0

    Coo you are correct. Makes sense now. Might have to try that with mine. What magnets did you use?

    1
  23. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    You’d need the drums to be aluminium for it to work.

    0

    Which is especially interesting seeing as Aluminium is not magnetic……….

    0

    Eddy currents, Faraday’s Law of Induction, Lenz’s Law…sciencey science stuff…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddy_current_brake

    0

    Coo you are correct. Makes sense now. Might have to try that with mine. What magnets did you use?

    0

    I used three of these – I thought the ability to screw them in (they are drilled and countersunk) might be handy, but in the end I mounted them on a metal strip so no fixing was needed.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00HA90ZW2/ref=pe_1909131_77697121_tnp_email_TE_AMZLdp_1

    I’ve read of people doing it with a bunch of watch battery sized magnets, which is potentially cheaper.

  24. @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    You’d need the drums to be aluminium for it to work.

    0

    Which is especially interesting seeing as Aluminium is not magnetic……….

    0

    Eddy currents, Faraday’s Law of Induction, Lenz’s Law…sciencey science stuff…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddy_current_brake

    0

    Coo you are correct. Makes sense now. Might have to try that with mine. What magnets did you use?

    0

    I used three of these – I thought the ability to screw them in (they are drilled and countersunk) might be handy, but in the end I mounted them on a metal strip so no fixing was needed.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00HA90ZW2/ref=pe_1909131_77697121_tnp_email_TE_AMZLdp_1

    I’ve read of people doing it with a bunch of watch battery sized magnets, which is potentially cheaper.

    0

    That’s too science-y for me, but it was nice to see The Prophet’s name invoked!

  25. @Rick

    Je m’excuse mais je ne suis pas Francais et je ne comprends pas pourquoi tu penses que je suis Francais?

    @Teocalli

    Still do not understand why the drums must be aluminium. I get the electromagnetic part but not why they must be aluminium.

    On another note, has anyone ever done Wrynose or Hardknott? The VMW and kids already got scared when we were driving up Wrynose in a car

  26. @KogaLover

    @Rick

    Je m’excuse mais je ne suis pas Francais et je ne comprends pas pourquoi tu penses que je suis Francais?

    @Teocalli

    Still do not understand why the drums must be aluminium. I get the electromagnetic part but not why they must be aluminium.

    On another note, has anyone ever done Wrynose or Hardknott? The VMW and kids already got scared when we were driving up Wrynose in a car

    0

    They have to be electrically conductive.

    I’ve done Hardnott I think – need to check a map as to which I did a few year back.

  27. Brian Holm talks a load of sense and also swears a lot. Our kind of guy!

    https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/racing/seems-like-david-lappartient-something-team-sky-looks-quite-personal-thats-wrong-389055

  28. @wiscot

    @xyxax

    Stop by more often. There’s only a hardcore few of us left now but we’re hanging in there. The VSP is still going (thanks to Teocalli) and he delivers on the prizes! I just got my yellow jersey mug in the mail from him yesterday for winning the Tour VSP.

    0

    You’re right. 2 years almost to the day that I moved from NYC to Geneva area (France side). Equal amounts loads of climbing and breaking rules to do so. Who needs a triple when you can throwabsoluteblack 46/30 chain rings on a shimano crank and a 36t SRAM 11-speed cogset on the back.

    But then, side by side within a 30 minute ride of my house and home

    for an old sack of spuds who just sucks at climbing but keeps trying…..

    I think I will change my nickname to: mybigringisyoursmallring

    Congratulations on your mug.

  29. @KogaLover

    @Rick

    Je m’excuse mais je ne suis pas Francais et je ne comprends pas pourquoi tu penses que je suis Francais?

    @Teocalli

    Still do not understand why the drums must be aluminium. I get the electromagnetic part but not why they must be aluminium.

    On another note, has anyone ever done Wrynose or Hardknott? The VMW and kids already got scared when we were driving up Wrynose in a car

    0

    Haha, well played! Your comment on “American ignorance” seemed so very French. :)

  30. I had to put my arm warmers on this morning.

  31. @RobSandy

    I had to put my arm warmers on this morning.

    0

    Yeah me too yesterday, plus a Gilet as it was damp too. I’m going to miss that Summer.

  32. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    I had to put my arm warmers on this morning.

    0

    Yeah me too yesterday, plus a Gilet as it was damp too. I’m going to miss that Summer.

    0

    Summer is over. :(

    I quite enjoy autumn though and putting on a few bits of extra kit, so can’t complain.

  33. Last weekend in the Swiss Alps (Grimselpass): started out with softshell and assuming my arms would remain covered all day (hence the long bibs) but ended up taking it off and violating Rule #82 “It is completely inappropriate to have uncovered arms, while covering the knees”. I was painfully aware all the ride up until I got to the top where it was completely foggy, 3.5°C and windy and had to put back on everything I had with me including long finger gloves.

    1
  34. Not quite arm warmer weather here yet. The good news is that it’s only 104* today, down from 112* a couple of weeks ago. Enough of a drop so I can get in some 50k rides after work. Can’t wait for some cooler fall temperatures.

  35. Don’t know if y’all saw this. G, Froome and the rest of Team Sky turned up at Maindy yesterday.

    https://twitter.com/TeamSky/status/1035916094924574728/photo/1

    I told you Maindy was famous!

  36. @RobSandy

    Don’t know if y’all saw this. G, Froome and the rest of Team Sky turned up at Maindy yesterday.

    https://twitter.com/TeamSky/status/1035916094924574728/photo/1

    I told you Maindy was famous!

    Nice!

  37. @RobSandy

    Don’t know if y’all saw this. G, Froome and the rest of Team Sky turned up at Maindy yesterday.

    https://twitter.com/TeamSky/status/1035916094924574728/photo/1

    I told you Maindy was famous!

    That’s seriously cool for Sky to do that. What a thrill for all the kids.

  38. @wiscot

    @RobSandy

    Don’t know if y’all saw this. G, Froome and the rest of Team Sky turned up at Maindy yesterday.

    https://twitter.com/TeamSky/status/1035916094924574728/photo/1

    I told you Maindy was famous!

    That’s seriously cool for Sky to do that. What a thrill for all the kids.

    Yeah, they all loved it. Me and my Velomini were both invited (through different clubs though) but he’s a bit too young to have got the fuss and I was busy.

  39. I’m going to do something this Friday which I never though I would do, and which I think is extremely unlikely I’ll every get a chance to do again –

    After a bit of a break (due to moving the event from January to September), the Welsh National Track Championships are on again and I’m lining up to defend my National Champions jersey.

    I’m riding man 1 as the only returning team member, but I’ve recruited two new guys with serious horsepower to help. We’re all road riders, not trackies, so I think the chances of us being able to keep the jersey is very low, but we’ll give it our best shot.

    I’m hoping for a sub-20 second first lap and that we can get near or just under the 50 second mark for the 750m.

  40. @RobSandy

    I’m going to do something this Friday which I never though I would do, and which I think is extremely unlikely I’ll every get a chance to do again –

    After a bit of a break (due to moving the event from January to September), the Welsh National Track Championships are on again and I’m lining up to defend my National Champions jersey.

    I’m riding man 1 as the only returning team member, but I’ve recruited two new guys with serious horsepower to help. We’re all road riders, not trackies, so I think the chances of us being able to keep the jersey is very low, but we’ll give it our best shot.

    I’m hoping for a sub-20 second first lap and that we can get near or just under the 50 second mark for the 750m.

    Chapeau. Bets of luck!

  41. @Teocalli

    Chapeau. Bets of luck!

    I wouldn’t put any bets on me if I were you.

  42. @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    Chapeau. Bets of luck!

    I wouldn’t put any bets on me if I were you.

    Figner trouble and no edit function!

  43. @RobSandy

    In what discipline are you defending your championship? There are so many track disciplines… Keirin, madison, australienne, sprint? Good luck to you; I haven’t touched my trackbike this year as much as I wanted unfortunately.

  44. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    Chapeau. Bets of luck!

    I wouldn’t put any bets on me if I were you.

    Figner trouble and no edit function!

    Figner?!

  45. @KogaLover

    @RobSandy

    In what discipline are you defending your championship? There are so many track disciplines… Keirin, madison, australienne, sprint? Good luck to you; I haven’t touched my trackbike this year as much as I wanted unfortunately.

    Team Sprint mate. I thought I’d put that in, but clearly I didn’t!

    Here’s us two Januarys ago – me riding Man 2 on that occasion.

    I’ve managed to get hold of a track disc, so hopefully will be having my first tubular experience over the next few days.

  46. @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    Chapeau. Bets of luck!

    I wouldn’t put any bets on me if I were you.

    Figner trouble and no edit function!

    Figner?!

    Supposed to be an illustrative intentional mistake…………..

  47. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    Chapeau. Bets of luck!

    I wouldn’t put any bets on me if I were you.

    Figner trouble and no edit function!

    Figner?!

    Supposed to be an illustrative intentional mistake…………..

    I know. I’m just a pedantic git.

  48. I think I saw Nicole Cook out for a ride on Sunday. I was on my way back from a pootle with the family, driving up the Brecon side of the Storey Arms road and a solo female cyclist, looking the dictionary definition of ‘fucking awesome’ came screaming down in the opposite direction.

    I can’t think of anyone else it could have been.

  49. @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    Chapeau. Bets of luck!

    I wouldn’t put any bets on me if I were you.

    And if we’d had have placed any bets?! How di o get on?

  50. @davidlhill

    @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    Chapeau. Bets of luck!

    I wouldn’t put any bets on me if I were you.

    And if we’d had have placed any bets?! How di o get on?

    Due to only one Welsh eligible team showing up (us) there was no Championship race this time. So I remain Welsh Champ.

    We raced in the Open competition and came 5th out of 7, which I was quite pleased with considering we were up against some proper trackies and hadn’t practiced at all.

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