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Next weekend I will finally graduate with my Computer Engineering degree from Rochester Institute of Technology. I am currently planing on taking the summer off and just ride my bike (I also want to get my first fixey/single speed).

I have been reading this forum for at least 2 years now, and in that time I have seen a very rich knowlage and love for biking. So I am here today to ask everyone, what are the once in a life time bike rides, that would make the summer of 2006 something that I will always remember. The only limitations are, first I am a recent graduate and do not have much money (but then again I think 10 or 20 years from now being able to look back at one great summer is worth one more loan). Second last year at the start of the summer I broke my collarbone doing some mt biking and ended all biking for the summer, so no mountian biking.

Given that, what are the bikes rides out there that will really make my summer some thing to remember?
 

· Non non normal
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I think the answer to this depends on your budget. If you stay in the states you can see some fabulous sites (just look at the pictures on the ride reports). There are also ways to minimize your costs significantly on your trip. The question becomes, are you trying to do this on a shoestring budget or are you thinking of staying in hotels and eating in restaurants? It can be done either way.
 

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I would say riding around through the mountains of Colorado would be a great ride to do. One loop ride that I did was the San Juan Skyway loop, starts in Durango, goes over to Mesa Verde National park, then up to Delores, over to Telluride, Ridgway, Ouray, Silverton, then back to Durango. Absolutely fantasic scenery, some good mountain climbs, and a final 30 mile downhill descent into Durango. Of course this loop only takes about a week if you take a day off during the ride. Another good route would be going over Trail Ridge Road in RMNP. I've only been there once in the fall so I'm sure the traffic would be more in the summer. I found the western side of the park didn't have much traffic, but once I got up to near the top at the visitors center the traffic increased a good bit. Of course it wasn't much of a problem since it's all downhill back to Estes Park. I'm sure you could find any number of other routes to do there as well.
 

· On your left!
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Blueridge Parkway

If you can't get out West, I'd suggest starting the BRP just a hop skip and a jump from where you are and heading South.
 

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racerx said:
If you can't get out West, I'd suggest starting the BRP just a hop skip and a jump from where you are and heading South.
I second the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive. Very little traffic, amazing views and camper friendly.
 

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Well if you can get down to Texas, the Big Bend National Park is really scenic with lots of nice hilly roads but no real mountainous type stuff, I've only done a mountain bike race down there at Terlingua before but after that I have plans to get back down there and take the road bike.

Or if you want to be really adventurous you can join me and two others (currently, looking for more riders!) in Bike for a Wish, which is a 1700 mile ride over about 3 weeks at the beginning of September from Des Moines, Iowa down to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. I am really looking forward to it, we should have an RV for SAG the whole way and should have a roof to stay under most if not all of the nights in towns along the way.
 

· Bacon!
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More Out West

Anywhere on Highway 1 just about but I love Monterey Southward. Mt. Tam starting on the Golden Gate Bridge. My backyard. . .Tahoe and surrounding areas.
 

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There are a lot of great places to ride in the US and elsewhere. When you have a job and $$$, but not lots of vacation time, you can spend the money to get to the great places, such as the Alps or the Pyrenees or Tuscany, and ride for a week or so. Right now you have the luxury that most of us don't have -- a whole summer in which you can ride. This is the perfect opportunity for you to do a long, epic ride such as from coast to coast or from the northern border of the US to the southern one. I have a friend who went from the Maryland to Oregon. It took him about six weeks. He said that the middle of the country was not very interesting in the same way as riding through the mountains or along the Pacific Coast Highway may be, but that there is something special about experiencing the whole breadth of the US.

Here are some thoughts and ideas -- even if you don't do the cross country thing:

1. I second (or third) what others have said about the Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge Parkway -- I have ridden the Skyline Drive several times and some parts of the Parkway. It is a beautiful ride and the traffic is manageable. There is a good guide to the ride. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/08...ref=sr_1_1/002-0981297-7236020?_encoding=UTF8

2. Amtrak is fairly accommodating of bicycles on its long-distance trains that have baggage cars. They will supply you with a box for $10.00 and only minimal disassembly is required (much less than if you fly). If you want to get out of the Northeast or skip the middle of the country, Amtrak might be a good idea. One warning -- if you decide to ride across the country and take the train in the other direction, either make some stops or get a sleeping compartment. When I was around your age, I had a 30 day Amtrak pass and went across the US. I had one leg of the trip that was about 30 hours and I decided to be cheap and just sleep in my seat. I had a compressed disc as a result.

3. When you have more specific ideas for your trip, ask here for route ideas. I have gotten several good routes from people on RBR.
 

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SRay said:
Next weekend I will finally graduate with my Computer Engineering degree from Rochester Institute of Technology. I am currently planing on taking the summer off and just ride my bike (I also want to get my first fixey/single speed).

I have been reading this forum for at least 2 years now, and in that time I have seen a very rich knowlage and love for biking. So I am here today to ask everyone, what are the once in a life time bike rides, that would make the summer of 2006 something that I will always remember. The only limitations are, first I am a recent graduate and do not have much money (but then again I think 10 or 20 years from now being able to look back at one great summer is worth one more loan). Second last year at the start of the summer I broke my collarbone doing some mt biking and ended all biking for the summer, so no mountian biking.

Given that, what are the bikes rides out there that will really make my summer some thing to remember?
I did something similar, and here is my advice in hindsight:

If your budget is limited, go by bike/no car. THe car will give you awesome flexibility to drive to some of the spots mentioned so far for incredible rides here and there. But it will eat your budget, especially when the beast breaks down.
So use a car if you have the extra cash. Budget about 50 cents a mile to be conservative, a big trip will be a few thousand bucks just for the car (assuming you have one).

If the budget is questionable, take that money and go car-free. I didnt have time to ride cross country, but i regret that i didnt do it. so ride from home if you can, and just keep riding until time/money runs out, then put it all on a greyhound bus back home.
be free. go where you feel like going. head west. if you want to take a shortcus, go greyhound for cheap to cover a week of biking in a day (of hell) on the bus. especially if the weather gets nasty.

i finished in the winter and put my bike on a bus to tiajuana. TJ, baby. I put the bike in a taxi to rosarita, assembled my bike and rode down the peninsula. i think this might be too hot in the summer, tho.

i would ride north. canada. aim for alaska. keep pedalling. dont overthink it. dont stress about gear. people ride cross country with a milk crate bungeed to a rack.

i am finishing my PhD this year, but cannot take a trip. wife/kid/house. it'll happento you too. take advantage of your freedom now. dont make a plan. just ride.

and get a map.

take the loan. i did it. while a few thousand bucks is still nothing to laugh at today, it was a fortune for me when i finished school. i got a plane ticket to africa and a bunch of injections at the travel doctor. but that's another story!
 

· Downhill Juggernaut
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In your situation, I would do a cross country ride. Southern Tier, Northern Tier, Lewis & Clark, doesn't matter I would do any of them. Now the biggest thing I can look forward to for a while is Fort Davis Cyclefest this September. That will be the most exotic thing I get to do on a bike this year... although I'm hoping I can sneak in a 3-4 day tour to West Texas this fall.
 
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