Any dedicated cyclist knows that location is a big part of the cycling experience; it not only dictates how difficult or scenic your ride will be, but it can also influence the way you mentally approach a ride altogether. After all, you want to make sure you are changing up your surroundings now and then to keep rides fresh and interesting.
If you are a regular traveler like me, you have found that the nomadic lifestyle pairs well with a passion for cycling. Rides can be a great method of exploring new areas while simultaneously getting the most out of a new environmental challenge.
Here are a few of the best cycling destinations in the United States.
Just like Washington and Northern California, Oregon is commonly stereotyped as a rainy and gloomy area. However, a quick trip to Bend should put many of these generalizations in check. The city sits “high and dry on top of the Cascade range’s soaring volcanoes,” which house many biking trails. BikeRadar likens Bend’s climate to that of Boulder, Colorado, but without the sheer number of training athletes to share space with.
Valmont Bike Park
Speaking of Boulder, Colorado, the city itself is home to another one of the best cycling destinations in the US: Valmont Bike Park. The park is made up of mostly mountainous terrain and features trails for nearly every type of rider. This variety can make it hard to choose a trail, but once you have committed, you can expect a ride filled with wooded, rugged conditions that are as fun as they are challenging.
Little Pan Loop, Black Canyon Trail (New River, Arizona)
Often defined as an intermediate biking location, Black Canyon’s Little Pan Loop is a lollipop loop is often regarded for its superior trail design, which blends healthy doses of hills, rugged terrain, and breathtaking views of the desert. Many cyclists consider this portion of the Black Canyon Trail to be their favorite.
Marin County, California
Marin County is a well-known location in the cycling world, and it holds this reputation for good reason. The county is made up of “redwood-lined roads and trails that crisscross Mount Tamalpais” and combine to provide a near-perfect cycling experience. The 2,600 foot climb up Mount Tamalpais, in particular, is both challenging and fulfilling, rewarding riders with a twisting descent into Stinson Beach.
Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
Comfortably equidistant to the Reading, Philadelphia, and New York City areas, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania is comprised of a variety of scenic and historic towns, parks, and valleys that collectively stand as a great cycling location. The area blends challenging mountainous terrain (Jim Thorpe, Palmerton, Bethlehem) with flat farming roads found closer to the Berks County/Lehigh County line.