Climbs USA

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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Dalai
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Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:54 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by Dalai

I've been spending some more time online in regards to planning my San Francisco rides. For the Mt Tam ride - I was looking at using the following loop from Fairfax as a guide (anti-clockwise though) http://www.bikemap.net/route/1553752#la ... ype=mq_map" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; including out and back along East Ridgecrest to the Mt Tam summit. To add to the ride, would it be worthwhile to descend via the Panoramic hwy to Stinson Beach, take the Shoreline hwy to Muir Beach and climb back up via Muir Woods rd to join the loop back at Sequoia Valley road? Or is there a better loop you could recommend? Long enough to fill the morning only as I drive East that afternoon.

For the first afternoon - was planning to start at Page Mill rd park and ride this climb first as it was highly recommended, but I'm still working out different loops so I have various options to ride that first day depending on the time available / how I'm feeling after landing. Was thinking the loop over via Page Mill road, Alpine to take 84 down to the coast and back up Tunitas creek road as this sounds good, but not sure how to link in Old La Honda? So suggestions for the best ~60-80km loop in the area to fit in the better climbs would be appreciated. As there are quite a few worthwhile climbs in the area and it's hard to decide which to hit.

WileEcoyote
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by WileEcoyote

If you're going to do the eastern sierras, there are some great rides near Bishop extending down to Lone Pine including Sonora Pass, Tioga Pass (east side of Yosemite), White Mountain, Onion Valley, Whitney Portal and Horseshoe Meadows. Here are a few links that I have found before:

http://adventuresonabike.com/2008/06/10 ... on-valley/

http://epictrain.me/2010/06/11/the-10-t ... alifornia/

Enjoy your trip!

by Weenie


Dalai
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Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:54 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by Dalai

Thanks - hadn't seen the first link yet. Eastern Sierra portion of the trip I plan on riding in order - the Death Ride (excluding Carsons pass), Mosquito Flat, White Mountain, the Horseshoe Meadows + Whitney portal double and finally Onion Valley Rd before heading to CO. Would you recommend either Sonora Pass or Tioga Pass over the Death ride climbs?

wojchiech
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Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:33 pm
Location: bay area, california

by wojchiech

Dalai wrote:For the first afternoon - was planning to start at Page Mill rd park and ride this climb first as it was highly recommended, but I'm still working out different loops so I have various options to ride that first day depending on the time available / how I'm feeling after landing. Was thinking the loop over via Page Mill road, Alpine to take 84 down to the coast and back up Tunitas creek road as this sounds good, but not sure how to link in Old La Honda? So suggestions for the best ~60-80km loop in the area to fit in the better climbs would be appreciated. As there are quite a few worthwhile climbs in the area and it's hard to decide which to hit.


You could start with climbing Old La Honda, then go south along the Skyline and descend Alpine/Pescadero Rd (which are less busy and much more scenic than 84). You can then just ride up along the coast to Tunitas and then down Page Mill back to your start location. It's a bit longer but incorporates some of the best climbs and descents in the area. Just my opinion, but I would choose climbing Old La Honda over Page Mill if I had limited time/energy. Plus the Alpine/Pescadero Rd descent is one of my personal favorite descents. If Tunitas is considered one of the best climbs, Alpine/Pescadero has to be one of the best descents in the area. Make sure to stop and take pictures.

:beerchug:

Image

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prendrefeu
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by prendrefeu

Dalai wrote:Thanks - hadn't seen the first link yet. Eastern Sierra portion of the trip I plan on riding in order - the Death Ride (excluding Carsons pass), Mosquito Flat, White Mountain, the Horseshoe Meadows + Whitney portal double and finally Onion Valley Rd before heading to CO. Would you recommend either Sonora Pass or Tioga Pass over the Death ride climbs?


Good call on excluding Carson Pass. Are you hitting up "Blue Lakes" instead? (It's worth it - exceptionally beautiful.) (Then again, all the roads out there are breathtaking.) (Literally.)

I wouldn't pass up the Death Ride climbs, personally. The Tioga pass is amazing, for sure, and possibly unlike any other canyon climb I've done at least visually, but either you're heading into Yosemite National Park or you're turning around back to the start. Riding in Yosemite is, as you would expect gorgeous, but it can be harrowing: the roads are often filled with people driving rented caravans, tourists, and others that don't realize the low speed limit, nor have any good sense of the width of their vehicle, nor how to pay attention to other users of the road. Barring all that, riding in Yosemite can be a treat.

Tioga by itself is rather short and if you're a decent climber (which I assume you are!) you can even park your vehicle somewhere near the 395/Mono Lake, ride up Tioga to Yosemite - maybe do a few more miles in Yosemite, then head back down for a thrilling decent. Only a few hours and you're back on the road to your next cycling destination.
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Dalai
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by Dalai

I'll keep that loop in mind wojchiech - though not exactly sure how long I'll have to ride the first afternoon (getting off the plane, picking up hire car, driving to the hotel and building the bike) which is why I am looking for a number of different length loops. Will definitely have the camera with me. :D

Hadn't heard of Blue Lake prendrefeu, so will look into this now. Can't say I'm a great climber - better suited to flatter TT's but I enjoy to climb. :thumbup:

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prendrefeu
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by prendrefeu

... yeah, here's the best I found on the Blue Lakes road:
http://app.strava.com/segments/682541 (which, actually, doesn't cover all of it... it keeps going. There's apparently another, separate, strava segment that covers the remainder.. http://app.strava.com/segments/1549355) (but even THAT doesn't cover the full road, it continues past the lakes to some campgrounds, where you can get some water for the turn-around and a brilliant descent)

The road is called "Blue Lakes" and also referred to as "Hope Valley", towards the bottom of the Carson Pass climb that you would be skipping.
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kbbpll
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by kbbpll

It sounds like an amazing trip. I hope you're being realistic about driving. It's a solid 16 hours from Reno to anywhere in CO, and then two days back to LA for a flight. Also hope you're aware of CO weather - mid to late September at the rides you mention (Mt Evans, Pikes Peak, Trail Ridge Rd) could be gorgeous, or could be blizzard conditions.

Dalai
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by Dalai

Always a risk in the mountains with the weather... I will be in CO from the 7th to 14th September so hopefully early enough? Will still be hot in AZ on the 15th, but I didn't want to leave it too late for CO!

As for the driving, I have a day and a half set aside for each longer leg. Independence CA - to Grand Junction CO I'll ride Onion Valley road first thing in the morning and start my drive as soon as I'm back down. With a rest day planned for the next day I'll finish the drive then. Same with the leg from Colorado Springs CO to Safford AZ for Mt Graham - I'll ride Pikes Peak first thing in the morning and as soon as I'm back down start the drive that afternoon and again finish the drive the next day.

The next longest drive will be from Tuscon AZ to San Diego CA for Mt Palomar. I don't have a rest day planned following to finish this drive after descending Mt Lemmon as I'll only have a few days left before I fly out. By then I may prefer to drive straight to LA and take one more day off the bike then one final ride before flying out. Will have to see how I'm feeling as to these last few days.

I realize there will be some long days driving - I have calculated I'll have driven around 5,000km by the time I pull into LAX! I would have liked to spend longer and give myself a few more days relaxing, unfortunately 3 weeks is all the leave I have available. But when my wife asked me where I was going next year, I couldn't not go! :D

eric
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by eric

Blue Lakes is very pretty, but there's no big mountain views to look out over. If you have extra time while doing Ebbetts, go farther west to Pacific Grade. There's some 15-20% pitches there, but not too long, and good scenery. There's at least one cafe/general store that's out there. If you keep going to Bear Valley there's a store and resturaunt or two there.

If you are short on time when you go up Monitor, go about 3 miles past the top where the monument is in a grove of Aspens down a mild descent until you get to the edge of the mountain. The view into the Owens Valley from there is good (but not as good as from Horseshoe, which is truly spectacular).

The classic bay area peninsula loop is up Old La Honda, down 84w to the coast, north a couple miles on Stage (skips a climb on 1 where there's not much shoulder) then east on Tunitas and down Kings. You can stop at the general store at San Gregorio at the junction of 84 and Stage and get food and see ranch hands getting drunk at 10 am. There's also the Bike Hut on the west part of Tunitas.

The place to start that from is Woodside. It's like 5 minutes more driving on 280 to 84, and you'll skip some of the less interesting parts of Alpine and Arastradero. There's plenty of parking around Woodside most of the time.
If you do Page, Alpine is a fun descent, but technical and often with loose stuff on the road. California roads are often in poor shape. I prefer going up Alpine to going down it.

dmp
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Location: Denver

by dmp

early September should be great here (CO). There is always a chance of snow at higher elevations (especially Mt Evans, where it can snow any month of the year), but usually at that time it's very nice, as well as fewer afternoon storms in the mountains. You should have a great trip!

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AGW
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Location: Tucson, AZ

by AGW

Hate to throw another tempting climb at your as you've nearly firmed up your driving route, but Kitt Peak just outside of Tucson is a bit steeper than Mt. Lemmon (comparable to Mt. Graham). It's about the same length, but subjectively, it's a more scenic ride.

Dalai
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by Dalai

Still plenty of time before I leave, so happy to take suggestions and change the itinerary AGW.

Worse case scenario - if I can still only ride two days in Tuscon - which climbs? Mt Lemmon still sounds good and not sure if i want to skip it, Kitt peak instead of Mt Graham? Also I have a couple of days before I fly out of LA. Would you suggest Kitt Peak is better than say Mt Palomar or Mt Baldy?

Reality this trip I won't even scratch the surface for the rides around San Diego / LA / Malibu / San Francisco - so I could ride Kitt Peak this trip and then hopefully come back on another holiday to focus just on climbs from San Diego up the west coast?

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AGW
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by AGW

Here are the numbers. Sophie's choice here... I wouldn't skip Mt. Graham and Mt. Lemmon would definitely give you options for distance compared to Kitt Peak. Guess I was wrong there. :?

Kitt Peak
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Lemmon
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Graham
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weekapaugin
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Location: phoenix, az

by weekapaugin

One thing to keep in mind is the distance between Mt Graham and Mt Lemmon. Because of its location there really isn't an "easy" way to get to Mt Graham. It's about a 2 - 2.5 hr drive from Tucson and a 3+ hour drive from Phoenix. I personally enjoyed Mt Graham much more than Lemmon, but overall Tucson is going to have far more riding options and options off the bike than the area around Mt Graham (safford is extremely small-town). I've never done Kitt Peak before, but that might be a good option to look into if time and travel distance are a concern.

If you do decide to ride Mt Graham, I would suggest parking and starting at either the prison, which is basically at the base of the mountain and on the road that takes you into and up the mountain, or if you prefer a few more miles of warmup, you can park at the Roper Lake State Park lot and ride from there. Believe it or not, I would consider parking at the prison to be the less precarious of the two options.

by Weenie


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