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Paris-Roubaix type roads in the U.S.?(13 posts)

Paris-Roubaix type roads in the U.S.?Car Magnet
Jun 27, 2001 5:45 AM
My favorite race Paris-Roubaix, has the reputation for being the toughest 1-day race known to man, but who didn't know that?
My question is where are the worst roads in the U.S.? Does anybody here ride/train on them? Or do we avoid them like the plague? I'll be honest, there's a couple in WVA that if I never see again, It would be okay by me.
Define "road"!!!!Jay H
Jun 27, 2001 6:28 AM
There's alot of state parks with fire roads on them that would be murder to ride on a rode bike....


Jun 27, 2001 7:42 AM
The Copperopolis road race in the central Sierra foothills is a 20 something mile loop of some of the worst pavement I've ever seen. It's so full of patches and potholes that you simply cannot find any smooth pavement. A mountain bike might actually be faster.

Some guys love the race for its similarity to Roubaix, testing your ability to handle the worst. I hate it. Give me glass smooth pavement any day.

There is a 10 mile section of road near Death Valley that is part of the Furnace Creek 508 race course that is horrible, too. I hit bumps so hard that it twisted my handlebars in the stem. It's constant bumps, with no let up at all. Some guys take special bikes, or suspension mountain bikes, to the race to switch out just for this section. It really beats you up.

SF Bay Area has a fewmr_spin
Jun 27, 2001 9:59 AM
Summit Road, south of Hwy 17, is bad enough that you could simulate pave. It's a well-traveled road, but I think the Army uses it for mortar practice.

Another is Tunitas Creek, a nice climb up from the ocean (no one rides DOWN it!) further north towards San Francisco. It's been patched and filled so many times, I doubt you could find one level spot. But in this case, that's a good thing, because it keeps cars and motorcycles away, and those that do get through drive pretty slow. That makes it very popular with cyclists!

But some of the worst roads in the Bay Area are in Woodside, which is one of the richest communities in the world. Quite a few billionaires live there, along with an underclass of multi-millionaires. It's also the crossroads for many classic cycling routes in the area. The story is that the residents have bankrupted the town through constant lawsuits to get zoning variances to build bigger mansions. So there is no money left to fix the roads. Caltrans repaved Hwy 84 recently, but that's a state road. Almost every other road in town is thrashed. Still, we ride them, because it's a great area to ride in, even with the bad roads and overactive cops. We were pulled over once by a sheriff who claimed we were doing 30 mph on a 25 mph (Mountain Home Road). We actually broke out in uncontrollable laughter, because the road is so full of potholes and cracks and broken pavement, not to mention it goes uphill! We didn't get a ticket.
LOL!......amen brotherZignzag
Jun 27, 2001 1:02 PM
That's funny about the sue-crazy Woodside residents and their roads. I ride over there from Sunnyvale quite often just to hit the bakery. Hey, at least they paved the top of Old La Honda.
Something's going on in WoodsideBiking Viking
Jun 27, 2001 1:22 PM
Hwy 84 is repaved.
So is top of OLH as Zignzag has correctly observed.
I haven't ridden there in a couple of weeks, but I seem to recall that parts of Portola Rd and Whiskey Hill have been repaved too.

Woodside went downhill...MeDotOrg
Jun 28, 2001 11:52 AM
...after they built Highway 280 in the 1960s and stopped the fox hunts. Now they let all that dot com riffraff in...

(You have to imagine me saying this with a clenched jaw and tongue placed firmly in cheek...)
SF Bay Area has a fewCliff Oates
Jun 28, 2001 12:09 PM
i'd add the north side of morgan territory road (on the east flank of mt. diablo) to your list. it's a mostly paved, and deeply rutted single lane road that climbs 2000' from clayton to the top of a ridge north of livermore. even better, the south side is beautifully paved, so the descent is a gas.
re: Paris-Roubaix type roads in the U.S.?speedchump
Jun 27, 2001 10:10 AM
Here's a link to a local race here in Louisiana that gets pretty nasty. The name is a bit silly, but it's good race for seeing some really bad roads. I'd never done 25+ on a gravel with a road bike before. Pretty hair-raising.

BTW, any time you're looking for "Worst in the US", Louisiana's a real good place to start!
LOL over the BTW, and BTW ...Brian C.
Jun 27, 2001 1:58 PM
Do you race that on thin, road tires? Or do you put on some hybrid-style tires? It sure looks like a challenge. But a fun challenge.
Darned if you do, darned if you don'tspeedchump
Jun 27, 2001 2:19 PM
Those who run big tires regret it when the pace cranks up on the asphalt, those who run skinnies regret it when they flat. Being a "Speedchump", I prefer narrow tires.

A friend of mine did it on a hardtail C'dale MTB with a suspension fork, road-style drop bars, and 26 x 1.0 slicks pumped to the max. I think he cobbled the thing together specifically for that event. Strangest rig I ever saw.
We do a race here in April called the Boulder Roubaixlonefrontranger
Jun 27, 2001 12:57 PM
and it's all washboard dirt and loose gravel, single-lane road and bike path / towpath trails.

The Zinger Classic last year went down a road they call Oh My God Road - apparently it's well named.

You get used to riding dirt with a road bike here. About half the good canyon climbs turn to dirt about halfway up.
re: Paris-Roubaix type roads in the U.S.?DINOSAUR
Jun 27, 2001 9:21 PM
Try Placer County Ca...who plans the road repairs? The roads take a toll due to the extreme fluctuation in tempratures. Snow and ice in the winter, 100 degree plus heat in the summer. I ride a section of road that has fractured the stupid plastic name plates of my Ultegra STI brake levers (bad subject). This is a case of poor planning. The roads that need repairing, go without it. They are in the process of repaving a road I like to ride on that needs no repair, excluding a couple of potholes. The county has been working on it for two weeks, 5 guys for one pothole. The problem is in the planning department, they look at a schedule to see the last time a road was repaired, instead of need. Sorry, I used to work for the state, the only time they repair something is when they get sued. Woodside road wouldn't hold a candle to the roads up here, count yourself lucky.
Sorry for the rant, time for a cup of warm milk and medication.

Dino (retired state employee)