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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As I am suffering through the post tour DT's, and am forced to ponder life's big questions - such as the fact I am on the downhill slide towards imminent death, I was wondering what are the "must-do" roadie rides in North America?

I will get to intercontinental rides later, as I am not so close to death that I do have a little leeway to focus on just North America right now - little bites...

I've lived up and down the west coast, have some definite favorite rides, a few "must-do's"...

My definition would probably fall close to this - "if a cycling buddy was coming in from out of town, is there a ride you would just be so excited to take him/her on, because you know it would make them flip"?

What are yours?

NOT GROUP OR CHARITY RIDES.
 

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Ride?...Meh.
I'd talk him into signing up to do a local crit, and then listen to his crushed ego on the cool down. (that's if he was still able to talk)
 

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I have several here in Texas, but they are top-secret. Sorry.

Ok, here's one that lots of people know about - Bastrop State Park to Buescher SP and back. A short drive from Austin.

Also, just about anything in the Hill Country N and W of San Antonio / Austin, in March.
 

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Mountains

Well some of my most memoriable rides...

Going to the Sun Road in Montana.

Tail of the Dragon in Deals Gap and nearby Cherahola Skyway, NC.

Blue Ridge Parkway to Mt. Mitchel in NC.

Leakey Death Ride in Texas.

Brown County, IN

huckleberry said:
...NOT LOOKING FOR GROUP...
Actually most of those rides are memoriable because of the friends and family I did them with. There are the rides my son grew up on the back of the tandem. The tour where I met my wife. The private ride when I told my wife I loved her and the same route again when I proposed to her. Racing the same Cat. with my son and watching him use all the tactics and skills I taught him.

So to those rides above I would have to add some of my favorite group rides...
Hilly Hundred, IN (great fall ride with end of season colors and well organized)
RAGBRAI (a spectical that can only be experienced from a bike saddle)
Ride the Rockies (fantastic scenerary and well organized)
Superweek! WI
 

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Sunspot Highway Cloudcroft, NM

Most scenic ride I have ever been on. Highway is misleading as the most cars I have ever seen on it was 10. Anyway, ride down from Cloudcroft (8.6k altitude) to Timberon (6.8k altitude). Many ups and downs along the way and nothing other than trees (route goes through the Lincoln Forest). The Solar Observatory at Sunspot is a cool place to check out. Another great ride is in Ruidoso...the ride up the Sierra Blance to the Ski Apache base station is my all time favorite ride. It's an out-and-back so during the summer there is hardly any traffic to speak of. 4k+ of climbing in less than 7 miles with some fantastic views of White Sands which is 30 miles away and 8k below you.
 

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La Sal mountain loop, Moab, UT. 62 miles from the canyons of the Colorado river to snow covered mountains and back.
 

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Enchanted Circle, Red River/Taos/Angelfire/Eagle Nest/Red River. Mtn, mtns mtns, New Mexico.

Escalante-Torrey-Hanksville, Utah, via State Hwy 12/24. Most beautiful highway in the country.

Iron Horse Route from Durango to Silverton CO. Option to do one more pass by continuing to Ouray; then soaking in the hot springs.
 

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Rides I've done (at least portions of):
South Dakota Black Hills: Rushmore, Iron Mountain, Needles Loop
South Dakota - Badlands
California Coast - South from Monterey until you run out of North America
Great Lakes - Lake Superior Circle Tour
Battlefields - Chickamauga - Cemetary Ridge - Lookout Mountain (as one ride)

Rides on my short list but not ridden (yet) but I've seen them on foot.
Montana - Going to the Sun Road
BC - Banff, Lake Louise, Ice Fields
Battlefields - Gettysburg, Vicksburg
USA Cross Country
 

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A few of my faves...

<a href="http://www.siskiyouvelo.org/crla.html">Crater Lake</a>
<a href="http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=31443">McKenzie Pass before it opens to car traffic</a>
<a href="http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=62073">Beartooth Pass</a>
 

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gray8110 said:
<a href="http://www.siskiyouvelo.org/crla.html">Crater Lake</a>
<a href="http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=31443">McKenzie Pass before it opens to car traffic</a>
<a href="http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=62073">Beartooth Pass</a>
Plus: Hells Canyon
Cedar Breaks
Capitol Reef Nat. Park
 

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My ultimate goal is to ride from one coast to the other coast. But, until I retire, I doubt that I ever will able to take off six or seven weeks from work. So, that one will have to wait.

Insofar as rides that I have done, I would list two in the "must do" category: (1) the Skyline Drive (which is a continuation of the Blue Ridge Parkway, only a part of which I have done and the rest I would like to do); and (2) Death Valley. I have driven the PCH from the Hearst Castle to Santa Cruz and definitely would consider riding the Big Sur area a future "must do" ride for me.
 
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