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Cycling vacation out west(11 posts)

Cycling vacation out westjtc
Jan 31, 2002 7:18 AM
I want to take a cycling vacation out west this summer. Can anyone recommend something? I've been checking out the "Bicycle Tour of Colorado" (, and it sounds pretty cool. My main objectives are great scenery and lots of hard miles!

Thanks for the help.
Try Ride the Rockiespmf1
Jan 31, 2002 7:26 AM
I did this last year. About 80 miles per day average and lots of climbing and descending. On two days we rode over passes that were over 12,000 feet above sea level. The scenery was spectacular (at least from my East Coast perspective). If you camp, the whole thing can be done pretty cheaply (I stayed in hotels).
re: Cycling vacation out westtheBreeze
Jan 31, 2002 8:01 AM
The 2002 Bicycle Tour of CO is through the San Juan Mtns and they don't call them the "Swiss Alps" for nothing. Those mountains are straight up and straight down, but the scenery is the most beautiful I have ever seen. Did a 7 day mtn bike trip through there last summer, best time of my life. I am also looking at the road trip for this summer.
Where are you coming from? If it's anywhere below say 5000 ft elevation better plan for several days acclimating. You are going to be riding over some major mtn passses and altitude sickness is no joke. Even with that you will not have the performance at those altitudes you are used to.
Ride the Rockies may be the most well known. Input from those I know who have participated is that it is huge and sometimes it can be hard to get food at the rest stops (local high shcool & church groups often underestimate how much is needed). But then again that's just a few reports I have. I've heard good stuff about Bicycle Tour of Colorado. Well organized and a little smaller than RTR. One thing to think about. RTR is a one way trip, BTofC is a loop. This may be a factor in ease of transportation for you. Also check out CycleAmerica, though they hadn't posted stuff for 2002 on their web site last I checked.
Jan 31, 2002 8:28 AM
It is a one-way trip, but they will pick you up and drop you off at the Denver airport. You can arrange to have your cases transported for $10. They will also haul bags to hotels (they are there waiting) for you.

The food situation could have been better. I never went hungry, but it was a hassle sometimes. Basically, you buy your own, but there are not enough vendors and th evendors they have are a bit of a rip-off. For dinner, you are in a town everynight, so food is not a problem. Same with breakfast.

Acclimating is a good idea. I did it and was glad.

It is a big group, but everyone was spread out enough that it wasn't a problem.
Carpender PhinneyTig
Jan 31, 2002 8:21 AM
I'd also check out the Carpenter Phinney Bike Camp at It's not just for racers anymore, but fun and challenging. They spend more time in Europe than they used to, but there are still plenty of Colorado camps. Getting to ride with Connie and Davis is icing on the cake.
I did BikeCamp last summerPaulCL
Jan 31, 2002 10:38 AM
It was a blast. I totaled about 300 miles for the week (Sat - Fri). Lot of racers, lot of non-racers. Tig, did you attend???
yep, in 1990. -NMTig
Jan 31, 2002 11:11 AM
CycleOregon is good, though can be light on miles/effort...PdxMark
Jan 31, 2002 9:49 AM
Around 500 miles for the week... mid-September ... great scenery... miles probably not as hard as BTC...

This year's route being announced 2/13.

A large ride (2000 people) with great support & services, live entertainment each night (usually great), supports rural towns where we stay, so great local participation too...
Tahoe Baby!grzy
Jan 31, 2002 11:23 AM
Lots of sick riding in the Lake Tahoe are and the scenery is very impressive - Greg Lemond cut his teeth here. Huge climbs and sick descents are the norm. There are some organized one day events (Death Ride, America's Most Beautiful Century, etc.), but you can easily fill your dance card with all sorts of single or multiday self supported events and go "credit card camping". You can ride through Yosemite, but it's fairly risky with gwaking tourists in RV's. You may also want to consider some of the stuff along the coast - Big Sur is awesome, though summer tends to have more fog so spring is better. The Bay Area offers a gold mine of great rides, wild to mild, and huge Redwoods. The MTB riding is equally impressive, but you can't ride trails in the National Parks (i.e. Yosemite). Many of the supported tours look appealing, but you might find that they stress eating over riding.
Absolutely! I went to my . . .morrison
Jan 31, 2002 11:45 AM
cousin's wedding in Tahoe in September w/ my wife and kids, parents, brother, etc. There were about 30 of us. I brought my bike, and while everybody spent time swimming, water skiing, gambling, golfing, etc., I got in four quality days of riding. The roads were great, although a little unnerving with traffic at times. There are some great climbs, and some really fun descents; particulary on the west side of the lake as you come up on South Lake Tahoe.

The icing on the cake was watching my idiot cousin get punched in the stomache by his drunken bride at the reception.
Awsome Triprtolle
Jan 31, 2002 11:55 AM
I took a 16 day 1400 mile trip from Denver, CO. to Hill City, SD. It was the most challenging thing I've done in my life so far. Over 86,000 feet of verticle climbing and 85,000 feet of descending.

These were highlights:
* Cycling through Big Thompson Canyon to Estes Park, CO.....gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.
*Pedal the top of the world on Trail Ridge Pass, the highest paved highway in America at 12,183 ft.
*Climb the Continental Divide four times.....twice in the first week, twice in the second week.
*Visit Steamboat Springs, of the top ski resorts in the world.
*Pedal through Dinosaur National Park and Flaming Gorge National Park.
*Whitewater rafting trip on the Yampa and Green River through the "Gates of Lodore".
*Visit Jackson Hole, Wyoming.....gateway to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park.
*Cycling the entire Yellowstone National Park in 3 days.
*Visit Cody, Wyoming. Enjoy the beautiful northern Wyoming countryside.
*Pedal past Devil's Tower in NE Wyoming.
*Visit Wind Cave National Park, Mt. Rushmore, and Crazy Horse monument in western South Dakota.
*Visit Badlands National Park in western South Dakota.

Let me know if you want more info.