TCI Friday

Rolling on down the highway, again — the same old highway I rolled down yesterday, and the day before, and will probably roll down again tomorrow — it strikes me that this represents one of the magical qualities of riding your bike: Some routes never get old.

The more I thought about, I realized I’ve been pretty lucky over the years to have a sweet variety of rides available right from my house wherever I’ve lived.

I’ve always had a quickie don’t-have-much-time-but-gotta-get-out-on-my-bike route on one end of the spectrum, and an OK-let’s-go-for-it-kick-my-butt-I’m-feeling-great long ride on the other end.

In between them I have seemingly countless options.

My serious riding began in SoCal, where just about every ride began by hitting the Pacific Coast Highway and heading up or down the coast. Since riding along the Pacific Ocean never EVER gets old — despite  the never-ending crosswind that pounds you like a headwind no matter which direction you head — most of my routes were tangents from that basic core.

If I did feel like really hammering some hills, which, of course, in the early stages of becoming a bike rider is not something you feel often, I could head inland for a number of other options.

Colorado also afforded a number of great options and by then, having a few different climbing choices became paramount. Ahh, Rocky Mountain Highs …

When I hit Tennessee the locals who were not bike riders warned that I would be hard-pressed to find places to ride safely. Instead, it proved to be Nirvana. More options there than any place I’ve lived. Nothing like backwoods hollers.

Here in Oregon, I counted 10 different possibilities from my home. No matter which one I choose, they always seem to feel fresh and fun.

A lot of routes share a lot of the same roads, but if you can turn it into a vastly different ride in terms of distance and terrain, then it counts as its own route.

This week’s question: How many ride options to do you have rolling out of your driveway? Do they ever get old?

Join the conversation
  1. khal spencer says

    I have yet to count the permutations, but let’s just say I can always fiddle with a ride to do it a little differently. There are so many neat little roads around Santa Fe that the variations can seem endless.

  2. jlaudolff says

    Personally I have great options in all directions though I live on a “plateau” so every ride ends with a 400ft climb. But I’ve often thought that people who live in mountain towns would be the most limited, especially towns like Telluride or Crested Butte which are cul de sacs w.r.t. paved roads but probably have enough great mtb options.

  3. Emlyn Lewis says

    I have a lot of options. Road. Trail. New England is lousy with it. I think this is a highly underrated place to ride.

  4. Fido Castro says

    Here in The Duck! City, Land of Entrapment, we have an embarrassment of riches, ridewise.

    I hew to routes I can do straight from the garage door, and even then I can hit the old state-championships road course out east (Old Route 66, Tijeras, Cedar Crest, Frost Road, etc); the paved bosque trail down by the Rio (pan-flat, a teensy two-laner for human-powered traffic); or the steady-state climb from I-25 to the Tramway (fun to do as a time trial).

    Perhaps my favorite outing involves climbing onto an old steel cyclocross bike and noodling around in the rolling Sandia foothills, jumping off pavement and onto trails as the spirit moves (the Elena Gallegos Open Space has some fun, flowy stuff easily managed on 33mm tires). Spectators include quail, mule deer, coyotes, bunnies, and buzzworms.

    It’s impossible to get bored because there are so many choices on the velo-menu. And if a route gets too familiar I can always change bikes to put a fresh spin on it. Mountain-bike the road. Take a touring bike onto the trails. Ride with my wife, who likes to take her time and look for interesting flora and fauna, or with a small group of fellow geezers who are at least as interested in chatting as in logging those old miles.

    As Jimmy McGill said, s’all good, man. Every day you’re on the topside of the turf is a good one.

    1. khal spencer says

      O’G, is that you?

    2. Fido Castro says

      Hey, somebody has to be.

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