The Rides

by / / 1753 posts

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: Compiègne, 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. @wiscot @Ron

    Cheers, yes the physio has been pretty impressed.

    He was a bit dubious about getting onto the bike so soon but if it had caused me any pain I would have stopped – I’m not pushing through anything.

    I know it so well I can make sure I’m in the right vertical plane and moving correctly so it’s all nice and controlled.

    I just didn’t want to lose any more cardio-vascular fitness than I had to. I’m going to try to do an hour at 75-80% every other day for the next few weeks.

    I’ve also tried to sign up to Zwift. Sounds like an interesting concept. There’s a waiting list but I’m hoping my tale of woe will help me jump the queue.

  2. Excellent day out at the Willunga Hill stage of the TDU with the V Flag in its glory after the week before trying to track down @Mikael Liddy on the CogAdelaide.   Massive crowds on the hill and when Richie went on the ramage to the top the joint lit up.

  3. Just bought  a freakishly cheap airfare to Hawaii in June. Looks like I’ll be attempting the Haleakala climb.  Not use I want to bring my bike just for that one day, as I will be heading to Kauai as well.

    I might be on the bludge for a bike  Anyone offering or have any suggestions ?

  4. Don’t you just love a perfect summer’s day ride I have been having some issues getting comfortable on my bike of late. After a couple of rides where I could have happily gotten off my bike and never gotten back on, today was perfect. The adjustments to the saddle were finally right and I enjoyed every pedal rotation. Even the 3x45min efforts. I might just clean my bike today to show my appreciation.

  5. @markb

    @markb

    OK, so how about this for a ride? Steven Abraham is planning on beating the record set by Tommy Godwin in 1939 who cycled over 75,000 miles (sorry, not in Km, this was set in England and they didn’t particularity like johnny-foreigner measures back then with old Adolf stomping around Europe). At around 330 Km a day, every day for a year, that makes a grand-tour look like a gentle stroll in the park.

    I note from his page (http://oneyeartimetrial.org.uk) he’s ignoring some of The Rules, but big V’s to the man.

    a good article on this effort: http://www.chapeau.cc/blog/tommy-godwins-wheel-tracks

    He’s up to 2,372.9 Km, as of the 8th.

    He’s now up to 7,500 km so far, ahead of the pace set by Tommy in ’39.

  6. It may well be the antithesis of all things Velominati but today I tried Zwift.

    It’s pretty awesome – without shadow of doubt the least boring hour I’ve ever spent on a trainer.

    And since I have no other options at the moment that’s A Good Thing.

    I suspect I’m going to be a regular, maybe even after I’m allowed out into the real world.

  7. @ChrisO

    Chris, how are using this, with an ANT+ aware phone/tablet, or are you using one of the USB adapters and a laptop? What trainer are you using this with?

  8. @markb

    @ChrisO

    Chris, how are using this, with an ANT+ aware phone/tablet, or are you using one of the USB adapters and a laptop? What trainer are you using this with?

    Garmin ANT+ mini dongle into the USB on my laptop (PC only at this point, Mac still to come). It picks up the data direct from my Powertap wheel.

    I’m just on a ‘dumb’ electromagnetic trainer (Tacx Flow) so I change the resistance manually.

    I think with the newer smart trainers that Zwift feeds back and the resistance changes with terrain etc.

    They can also do virtual power from selected dumb trainers just from speed but looking at the support forums there seem to be some issues with the accuracy of that.

  9. @girl

    Don’t you just love a perfect summer’s day ride I have been having some issues getting comfortable on my bike of late. After a couple of rides where I could have happily gotten off my bike and never gotten back on, today was perfect. The adjustments to the saddle were finally right and I enjoyed every pedal rotation. Even the 3x45min efforts. I might just clean my bike today to show my appreciation.

    Might? Take care of the Machine and it’ll take care of you. I can’t even let my lowly commuter go more than a few days without a full cleaning. It’s too depressing to look down at rain rider rim grime and a dirty fork.

  10. @Ron

    Though it was mandatory to wash the drivetrain, wheels, and frame after every nine ride.

  11. @Ken Ho

    Just bought  a freakishly cheap airfare to Hawaii in June. Looks like I’ll be attempting the Haleakala climb.  Not use I want to bring my bike just for that one day, as I will be heading to Kauai as well.

    I might be on the bludge for a bike  Anyone offering or have any suggestions ?

    Some guys from Adelaide that have done the ride have hired bikes from Maui Cyclery, you may want to touch base with Gianni to see if he can be your local fixer.

  12. Tough scenery in the Adelaide Hills this morning…

  13. @Mikael Liddy

    That does not look remotely Rule #9.

  14. @PeakInTwoYears looks can be deceiving, went through 4x550ml bidons in a 60k ride. Here’s the forecast for the rest of today & the weekend…

    As you can see, it’s not even dropping below 20 (C) overnight.

  15. Oh my, that does look warm. I thought you were in the southern, cooler, part of the Antipodes.

  16. @PeakInTwoYears I am, but I’d happily take 40 degrees & dry over what’s happening up north at the moment…

    For reference, that’s Cape York (the big pointy bit at the top of Aus) stuck between those two huge Cyclones!

  17. @Ken Ho

    Just bought  a freakishly cheap airfare to Hawaii in June. Looks like I’ll be attempting the Haleakala climb.  Not use I want to bring my bike just for that one day, as I will be heading to Kauai as well.

    I might be on the bludge for a bike  Anyone offering or have any suggestions ?

    Maui Cyclery is the place to go for sure; and give Gianni a shout.

  18. @Mikael Liddy

    @PeakInTwoYears I am, but I’d happily take 40 degrees & dry over what’s happening up north at the moment…

    For reference, that’s Cape York (the big pointy bit at the top of Aus) stuck between those two huge Cyclones!

    Ok, need to allow wrapping on the captions but great to see its (basically) working!!

  19. Got involved in my very first bike race this week – the coach at our outdoor track session said he thought it looked as if we were all feeling frisky so let us have a 20 lap race (460m velodrome).

    Absolutely awesome. I want to do more!

  20. @PeakInTwoYears

    Oh my, that does look warm. I thought you were in the southern, cooler, part of the Antipodes.

    There’s a state called South Australia. It’s mostly pretty hot (Adelaide, the capital, had the hottest day in any major city ever last year) because most of the state is desert. It’s actually been a pretty cool summer this year though.

    There’s another state called Tasmania which is further south, and it isn’t usually hot.

  21. @RobSandy

    Got involved in my very first bike race this week – the coach at our outdoor track session said he thought it looked as if we were all feeling frisky so let us have a 20 lap race (460m velodrome).

    Absolutely awesome. I want to do more!

    Chapeau.

    My daughter (12 y.o.) has got the track racing bug too. It helps that her school is just up the road from Herne Hill Velodrome.

  22. @ChrisO

    @RobSandy

    Got involved in my very first bike race this week – the coach at our outdoor track session said he thought it looked as if we were all feeling frisky so let us have a 20 lap race (460m velodrome).

    Absolutely awesome. I want to do more!

    Chapeau.

    My daughter (12 y.o.) has got the track racing bug too. It helps that her school is just up the road from Herne Hill Velodrome.

    We have an outdoor velodrome 10 mins from the house (same one where Geraint Thomas, Luke Rowe and Elinor Barker started), and it’s just a fantastic resource to have in the winter.

    Also, they run balance bike sessions for the under 5’s, so I’m hoping to get mini Sandy started soon. I can’t help thinking it will be hilarious.

  23. @PeakInTwoYears

    this was about half an hour later, I can’t ever remember having to unzip the jersey before 8am…

  24. Wellington Wednesday World Champs, I am riding in a white Capital Cycles top, black shorts, red Bonts, white socks and a BMC SLR01of course! Strong NW @ 20-30kph , N is straight up from the map top right, telemetry bottom left, most fun you can have in an hour, all welcome!

    <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/GRBNESacJMk” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/00vskOVZLYA” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top