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: 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. @Teocalli

    No need for any guilt on your part mate – I’m a big boy and if I can’t stay on my bike it’s my problem.

    Up to then it was a lovely ride, and to be fair I think that was the only patch of hard ice.

    Yes the HRM just doesn’t seem to connect until I get going and sweat a bit, and it would have dried out on the journey down. I don’t have it on super-tight because in Dubai it isn’t normally too hard to start sweating fairly quickly.

    Anyway, all healing up nicely. Had my first physio and hydrotherapy session today. It’s remarkable how quickly muscle loses tone but it was good to start working it a little.

    And the surgical dressing came off so I saw the scar-to-be for the first time. It’s a lot bigger than they told me, not that I would have changed my mind.

  2. @ChrisO

    Good to know you are getting mobile.

  3. @Teocalli

    @ChrisO

    Good to know you are getting mobile.

    likewise, dressing is off, so things are moving in the right direction. Have you got physio lined up yet, Chris?

  4. @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.

  5. @markb

    Yes have just started physio. Thank heavens for having private insurance.

    Did my first session yesterday including some hydrotherapy. That made a huge difference – being able to use the muscles but without full body weight on them.

    Just one session had me moving completely differently. At this rate I might be able to at least do short distances without crutches by the end of next week. That’s my aim at any rate.

  6. @chrisO,

    ah, good news at last! Cant you get them to put a bike in the tank and ride on that? Obviously cadence would be low, but you’d be using all the right muscles.

  7. @ChrisO

    Great to read of your swift progress and that scar looks like it’s healing very nicely. From personal experience you’d likely have to wait weeks to start NHS physio. Get yourself a sit on pool inflatable, many animal shapes available, and propel it forward with a cycling motion. Job done.

    To assist your recovery, this is a perfect time to get into Breaking Bad.

  8. Hincapie Spring Training Series [ 4 week series ] starts FEB 7.

  9. I have entered a Velothon around South Wales (starting and ending in Cardiff) in June this year. I have just received and email informing me there are 150 days to go, and look what they sent as a motto with the email..

    Is this plagarism?

  10. Johan Vansummeren is with AG2R for 2015 and 2016. Marie-Claire Moreel (66) will remain paralysed from the collision April 2014.

    Article here

  11. @RobSandy

    I have entered a Velothon around South Wales (starting and ending in Cardiff) in June this year. I have just received and email informing me there are 150 days to go, and look what they sent as a motto with the email..

    Is this plagarism?

    Nope, it’s a quote from Greg LeMond which we appropriated and credit to him in The Rules.

  12. Chapeau to these guys, surely they epitomize rule V? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-30838464

  13. Woohoo… 30 minutes on the turbo.

    First time I’ve been back on since the crash 20 days ago.

    Couldn’t swing the right leg over – I had to stand next to the bike on the drive side and bring my left (good) leg up over the top tube. Clipping out was slightly dodgy too – I might have to leave the shoes clipped in, tri style, for now.

    Nice and easy, just 120 watts and that felt like a decent workout. It’ll be interesting to see how the muscles feel tomorrow.

    The scar is healing up nicely too.

    Slideshow:

    Fullscreen:

    Download:

  14. @ChrisO

    That’s outstanding. Cheers on the progress. I’m guessing that even if ya were not a cyclist that the physio would include time on a stationary bike? That and a lot of time with the rubber stretchy resistance straps. My buddy is recovering right now from some busted vertebrae and they have him spending time on a stationary. Be interested in seeing if you’ll wanna be making adjustments to your position on the bike once you get to riding again. The folks at my LBS really advise against making a full cut down on steerer tubes and say, “you just never know…”

  15. @wilburrox

    @ChrisO

    That’s outstanding. Cheers on the progress. I’m guessing that even if ya were not a cyclist that the physio would include time on a stationary bike? That and a lot of time with the rubber stretchy resistance straps. My buddy is recovering right now from some busted vertebrae and they have him spending time on a stationary. Be interested in seeing if you’ll wanna be making adjustments to your position on the bike once you get to riding again. The folks at my LBS really advise against making a full cut down on steerer tubes and say, “you just never know…”

    Ah yes, the stretchy straps.

    I don’t think the physio was expecting me back on so soon, but I asked about doing some swimming and he said nah, don’t bother, just get on the bike.

    Felt OK. A bit numb in the nether regions but I wasn’t able to lift out of the saddle at all, so I was probably sitting heavily. I was able to get over on the hoods reasonably comfortably but didn’t try getting down any further. Have to think hard about keeping an even stroke.

  16. @ChrisO

    Wow, quick work Chris. At this rate you’ll make a faster recovery than dirty Bertie did before winning the Vuelta.

    You know you’re completely and utterly addicted to cycling when…

    #346

  17. ‘rse

    @ChrisO

    Wow, quick work Chris. At this rate you’ll make a faster recovery than dirty Bertie did before winning the Vuelta.

    You know you’re completely and utterly addicted to cycling when…

    #346 – You check your power output during your first recuperation ride after a major injury.

  18. Great to see you recovering so well, @ChrisO!

  19. @ChrisO

    Nice one.

  20. @brett

    @RobSandy

    I have entered a Velothon around South Wales (starting and ending in Cardiff) in June this year. I have just received and email informing me there are 150 days to go, and look what they sent as a motto with the email..

    Is this plagarism?

    Nope, it’s a quote from Greg LeMond which we appropriated and credit to him in The Rules.

    Sorry, my the sound of my tongue in my cheek clearly didn’t come across in text. Also, i was thinking more that the race organisers have ripped off The Rules than vice versa.

    Anyway, this is my main motivation for laying down Th V over the spring months.

  21. Eroica Britannia is now open – and I’ve bought a place. Who else is going from here – should we set up a Group name? There appears to be an option for that when I entered.

    Cheers,
    David

  22. @davidlhill

    Eroica Britannia is now open – and I’ve bought a place. Who else is going from here – should we set up a Group name? There appears to be an option for that when I entered.

    Cheers,
    David

    Yup I’ve entered though a bit odd that their site didn’t know me from last year.  Not that it matters.

  23. Only in NZ! 2nd in the TT, 1st in the RR and now Wellington Wednesday World Champ! We are blessed by 34km parcours of harbour and coast right in the city without a traffic light! You can turn around and go back for 70km as well, still the most fun in an hour with your pants on.

    Selfie with NZ Champ Joe Cooper.

  24. @piwakawaka

    Only in NZ! 2nd in the TT, 1st in the RR and now Wellington Wednesday World Champ! We are blessed by 34km parcours of harbour and coast right in the city without a traffic light! You can turn around and go back for 70km as well, still the most fun in an hour with your pants on.

    Selfie with NZ Champ Joe Cooper.

    and now the No.1 ranked rider in the world!!

  25. Two weekends ago we were snowed in. Last weekend pouring rain and gales. And then suddenly, mid-January, 20c and a chance to put a down payment on the tan lines. Bliss.

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