I’m stuck in lockdown and dreaming of adventure. What is the most memorable cycling adventure you’ve ever been on and why?
Funny one I had was riding up to Bright from Melbourne and finding myself on 4wd tracks, punctured, then realised my wife had thrown my punctured tubes into my pile of repaired ones, so I had spare punctured tubes. That was memorable. I got there. Took 2 days instead of 1.
Woah! What sort of bush mechanic-ing did you need to do to get going again @Jules_D?
Sadly there were no bush mechanic skills. I remember trying to get glueless patches to take, without success. I must have done at least 20 tube changes in my desperate attempt to get going. Eventually I figured out I had a semi deflating tube that held just enough air to ride far enough before re-inflating until I reached Mansfield bike shop the next morning. The sales guy said “wait til you go up Old Tolmie Rd” and I didn’t have the energy to explain that was the least of my concerns.
Ooof. That sounds horrible. Cool story now though right?
there was riding a 23c shod road bike over 4wd tracks. it was a poorly planned trip.
@mdeneef it was a funny story now, in hindsight. I really enjoyed riding up there on backroads.
Cognoscenti was a cycling tour company in Boulder, Colorado. One of their tours was a six-day event up mountain roads and along gravel trails around Boulder. It also included access to a couple of stages of the 2015 USA Pro Challenge race.
That race finished in the middle of the week, and some of the pro riders joined us for our remaining rides. That is when I met Lachlan Morton and Kiel Reijnen.
Everything was outstanding. The views wherever we rode (I did wish I had brought a third lung with me, given the altitude), the five-star support during and after our rides, the food (often at restaurants and cafes owned by ex-pros) and the little extras. I still use the Panache jersey and socks, and the Scicon kit bag we were all given.
220km mixed surface ride with a friend of mine around rural indiana, got chased by off-leash dogs a couple of times on gravel backroads. I have a better sprint than my friend so I was able to pull away safely both times. Second time the dogs managed to head him off and get his front wheel and he went down, we had about 200km in our legs already and had to nurse ourselves back the remaining 20km into town very carefully and slowly. Thank goodness for MIPS!
I’ve done a bunch of bike tours - all fun, just did RAGBRAI for the first time this year.
But most memorable that I instigated fully myself was my “To the Bridge” ride. There’s a bridge separating the two parts of my state (Michigan) and I decided to road ride up there. Planned out the ride over weeks and scheduled it out so I could do it all in a day (no hauling sleeping gear for me!) Just over 270 miles… ~440 kms.
I set out from my driveway and arrived just under 23 hours later. My wife had time to sleep in to a reasonable time, ride 70 miles with friends, clean up, drive up to my destination, and be happily asleep when I arrived.
More exhaustive (and exhausting) details, and photos here: Crank Nerd: To The Bridge
i think my first 400k to barlow pass from seattle or some of my longer gravel rides where i would get lost in the dark. where you are wasted and you just have so far to get home. used to i had nobody to bail me out which was a very motivating factor, much harder now.
Although I’ve enjoyed Beach Road with a tailwind, a solo 500km day and gravel rides here in the Macedon Ranges (Victoria) I’m probably going to go with my Cairo to Cape Town unsupported with 3 mates. An amazing way to spend a few months… Could easily (if allowed!) head back tomorrow to go the other way!
Images and some text of each country - https://sevenbythree.com/global-tourism-photography
Thredbo to Khancoban return. 150km with 4500m of elevation. We started in the mist going down unfamiliar roads (at least for me) and one tightening radius corner almost took me into the roadside barrier, I would say 1m more and I would have crashed into it.
Felt good on the way down, and hung with the strong climbers up the climbs. We descended on a shop in Khancoban and ate so much and just sat in the sun enjoying life. On the way up I cracked going up Tom Groggin, It look a lifetime, all while boiling on the exposed climb.
When I made it to Siberia I actually started crying in relief as I knew it was just a descent till I made it to the lodge.
The VoTT in Gran Canaria. One of the toughest days I’ve ever had on the bike. Completely under estimated what it required of me. I’m nearly 2m tall and was 87kg on that day. As a Welshman, 30 degrees c isn’t my normal operating temperature and those roads completely took it out of me.
This is my war story!
My most memorable cycling (and greatest vacation) adventure ever was when me and my 4 friends rented an RV in 2001 and followed the whole Tour for 3 weeks. It was truly epic, made friends along the way, rode everyday, ate great food, and stayed with friends who were in France for the summer. Looking back it still feels like a LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring level of adventure and my friends and I still talk about it often - usually with a bit a jealous side-eye from the wife.
Good one Hugo!
A few years ago my wife and I set out to ride the entire rail trail network in Vic with me on my first prototype (I took that thing everywhere trying to break it).
We started from Tallarook, got to almost to Alexandria on the first day when my wife asked “Where’s the other pannier?” .
Found it 2k from Tallarook.
Memorable moment on the rest of the ride was heading out of Mansfield to the Tolmie road (see above), passed by a fit looking youngster in full Orica Green Edge kit who said a cheery hello. Simon Gerrans is of course a local.
A group of us hired drivers and vans and rode the length of Baja, on road bikes. It was difficult to find any information, and we expected poor road riding. Instead, over the 6 to 700 miles we rode, we had incredible roads, desert and coastal scenery, small towns, and warm sunny riding. It was the perfect road trip. We’ve been organizing trips there ever since:
My friends invited me to go up a small ridge overlooking a small volcano. It’s a short ride of 50km each way with a gradual gradient from start to finish. I had only started cycling months prior and only do 20km loops. Needless to say, I was swearing 3/4 of the way to the top and bonked so bad.
Looking back, it was a lot of fun and I was back up that road the following year trying to make it an annual thing.
Solo Alps adventure. Started by doing La Marmotte with a mate at Alpe du Huez, made into a brutal 6000m+ day by needing to ride back up to our accomm up at Le Deux Alpes. Rest day, then over 4 days made my way to Lake Como, doing 150-230k each day with several thousand metres climbing, and as many major Cols as I could hit. Highlight was probably Col du Grand St Bernard on the Italian/Swiss border - stunning.
Had a single saddle pack for gear. Had plotted a route but didn’t book ahead, just rode each day and figured out destination and accomm late in the day.
Joined up with another mate at lake Como, then spent days riding around there, doing the La Fausto Coppi Sportive, then heading to Nice and a few more days riding around there. Think I did over 25000m climbing over 8 days, was completely done after that and it literally took me a month to recover
Best week ever, I’ll do it again one day!
I’ve done my best cycling adventure 3 times, from Vancouver to the interior of BC/across the Rockies to Alberta. The first time I went solo, taking the CrowsNest (3) highway along the southern route, camping and carrying a lot on an old Rocky Mountain Custom; tent and sleeping bag, stove and all. Dumped off the side of the road to set up camp and sleep. I hitch-hiked up the Anarchist Pass (no, really!) out of Osoyoos, detoured North from Castlegar to Nelson and then the ferry across Kootenay Lake rather than tackle the Salmo Creston pass. Didn’t count on a head wind down the lake… the whole way… into Creston, rather than descending 1/2 the distance. So I hitch-hiked again from Yahk into my old home-town of Cranbrook, where I visited for a while, and then rode on to Banff and finally Canmore, where I met up with a room mate who drove me back to Vancouver for the start of the fall semester of University. It was a great ride, but I regretted a few things… ‘cheating’ by catching a ride, and carrying so much stuff.
So I did something similar a few years later, with a partner, but took her route North-ish on the Coquihalla (#5) to meet up with the Trans-Canada (#1) in Kamloops, and then East. Again on the mountain bike, with slick tires, again with too much gear, but this time split between 2 people.I called it quits in Golden and then hitched a ride with a trucker back to Vancouver for … yep, school. She kept going to Edmonton to meet up with friends there. I decided if I were to do it again, it would be on a road bike, with a credit card.
It took almost 20 years, but I managed the 3rd trip with my old coach. He rode part of each day with me, then drove support in his truck. We did the Coquihalla again, and across to Revelstoke, He turned back there and I met up with my wife and our new baby to continue … this time down the #23 and #6 back to Nelson, and then back down to Salmo for my reckoning with the Salmo-Creston. It almost killed me… seriously, between the big trucks and looming depression… but again from Creston, through Yahk, and back to Cranbrook, where I called it quits and we drove on to visit her family in Calgary. A year later I started anti-depressants, and 10 years on we’re still together, still riding, and still planning… not sure what, but there’s always more, right?