The Rides

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.

[rideitem status=”public” title=”Haleakala” distance=”56km” category=”Grimpeur” url=”http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/50412514″ 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.

[/rideitem]

[rideitem statuc=public title=”Liege-Bastogne-Liege” distance=”265″ category=”Rouleur” url=”http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/58053308/” 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.

[/rideitem]

[rideitem status=public title=”Paris-Roubaix” category=”Hardman” distance=”265″ url=”http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/58052610/” location=”Compiégne, France” guideurl=”http://www.cyclingpave.cc/” guide=”Pavé Cycling Classics”]

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.

[/rideitem]

[rideitem status=public title=”Mortirolo/Gavia Loop” category=”Grimpeur” distance=”115km” url=”http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/59027020/” 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.

[/rideitem]

[rideitem status=public title=”200 on 100″ category=”Grimpeur” distance=”330km” url=”http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/58052808/” location=”Vernon, VT” contributor=”cdelinks” contributorurl=”http://cyclowhat.com”]

“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.

[/rideitem]

[rideitem status=”public” title=”De Ronde Van West Portlandia” distance=”76km” category=”Grimpeur” url=”http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/15276210″ 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.

[/rideitem]

[rideitem status=public title=”Seattle Master Urban Ride” category=”Rouleur” distance=”130km” url=http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/57732282 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.

[/rideitem]

3,329 Replies to “The Rides”

  1. @KogaLover

    @Teocalli

    Noice pitcher! Expected you to do the Eroica in Limburg again? I had a Rule #11 violation last weekend; though still in Limburg and back in the Netherlands for the weekend, I had to attend an important family gathering with my godfather celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary. He cannot walk long distances anymore, but still can ride his (e)bike, bless him.

    0

    Yup – got back home last night.  It was hot.  Very hot. Blisteringly Hot.  Is there a trend here?  Fab event thought and hooked up with Buck Rogers on his Hinault build for the first part of the ride till he went away with a couple of faster guys.   Also had dinner with him.

    Had a couple of “misturns” which seems typical for most folk as the signage is pretty subtle.  Seems part of the challenge.  So ended up clocking a few extra miles which was OK as it ended as an Imperial Ton.

    https://www.relive.cc/view/1671968611

  2. @Teocalli

    Good on ya! How’s Bucko doing? Did you speak about why he suddenly dropped off this site? I read his rant (he cannot write plain/polite English even when not on this site) on how he got his bike together the other day, good read.

  3. @chris

    @RobSandy

    Chapeau to the little fellow. A great day but what’s going on with that front axle? Stunt pegs or some sort of Roman charioteers scythe type contraction for taking out the competition? Maybe he should have been helping his dad out!

    0

    They are fittings for a FollowMe Tandem, which is a tag-a-long system that lets you clip their bike to the back of yours. It lifts up the front wheel and is hinged and articulated. It’s the balls.

  4. @KogaLover

    @Teocalli

    Good on ya! How’s Bucko doing? Did you speak about why he suddenly dropped off this site? I read his rant (he cannot write plain/polite English even when not on this site) on how he got his bike together the other day, good read.

    0

    Yeah, after all the shenanigans over kit he didn’t want to continue here.

  5. Not every ride has a ferry river crossing……

    Buck Rogers on the Ferry Crossing

    With Buck at a food stop in a Chateau.  Soup and Pizza while a music quartet were playing.  Not like yer average Sportive!

  6. My VMH had breast cancer and is recovering from a full mastectomy with stacked diep flap reconstruction.  It’s been a bit of a struggle for us, but the surgeons have now removed her exercise restrictions so today I accompanied her for the first ride since she was diagnosed in February.  She rode 38km of Texas chipseal today.  She’s determined to get back in shape, and I have no doubt that she will.  Considering her circumstances and the fact that I’m married to her, I can forgive her Rule #37 violation.  Trust me when I say that this woman is a badass.

  7. @Art G

    My VMH had breast cancer and is recovering from a full mastectomy with stacked diep flap reconstruction. It’s been a bit of a struggle for us, but the surgeons have now removed her exercise restrictions so today I accompanied her for the first ride since she was diagnosed in February. She rode 38km of Texas chipseal today. She’s determined to get back in shape, and I have no doubt that she will. Considering her circumstances and the fact that I’m married to her, I can forgive her Rule #37 violation. Trust me when I say that this woman is a badass.

    0

    Chapeau.

  8. @Art G

    My VMH had breast cancer and is recovering from a full mastectomy with stacked diep flap reconstruction. It’s been a bit of a struggle for us, but the surgeons have now removed her exercise restrictions so today I accompanied her for the first ride since she was diagnosed in February. She rode 38km of Texas chipseal today. She’s determined to get back in shape, and I have no doubt that she will. Considering her circumstances and the fact that I’m married to her, I can forgive her Rule #37 violation. Trust me when I say that this woman is a badass.

    0

    Chapeau indeed! Good for her – good for both of you! May her road to full recovery be smoother than Texas chipseal.(Which I imagine is pretty shitty.)

  9. @Teocalli

    @KogaLover

    @Teocalli

    Is there a Rule #37 violation in Bucko’s kit?

    0

    I guess it’s different when they are seeing specs vs sun specs…………

    0

    Agreed. If I’m nipping to the shop, my seing specs stay on and go under the strap, otherwise they fly off with even the smallest jostle.

    I finally got some decent shades with a prescription insert recently and they are the bomb!

    @Art G

    My VMH had breast cancer and is recovering from a full mastectomy with stacked diep flap reconstruction. It’s been a bit of a struggle for us, but the surgeons have now removed her exercise restrictions so today I accompanied her for the first ride since she was diagnosed in February. She rode 38km of Texas chipseal today. She’s determined to get back in shape, and I have no doubt that she will. Considering her circumstances and the fact that I’m married to her, I can forgive her Rule #37 violation. Trust me when I say that this woman is a badass.

    0

    My mum sent through the same eight years ago. She was never a Cyclist – rarely even simply a woman on a bike, despite my encouragements – but she never fully recovered in terms of her general fitness.

    I wish Mrs. Art a recovery smoother than a Dutch road, and many grand rides together for both she and thee. Chapeaux to you both!

  10. @mulebeatsdrums

    @Art G

    I wish Mrs. Art a recovery smoother than a Dutch road, and many grand rides together for both she and thee. Chapeaux to you both!

    Make that Swiss roads which are even better than Dutch roads!

     

  11. I don’t know if you all saw Contador’s tweet, it’s been doing the rounds – he currently has an FTP over 410w and weighs 62kg. WTF.

  12. @RobSandy

    Pro spec nipple lube. An awesome rider who really seems to struggle to take things too seriously.

    The sport would be a much duller place with out him.

  13. 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…

  14. @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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. @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.

  18. 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!

  19. @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.

     

  20. @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.

  21. @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.

  22. 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.

  23. @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…..

  24. @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.

  25. @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!

     

  26. @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!

  27. @RobSandy

     

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

     

    0

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

  28. @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.

  29. @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!

  30. @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

  31. @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.

  32. @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.

     

  33. @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. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.