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Thread: Dolomites-style riding in the States?

  1. #1
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    Default Dolomites-style riding in the States?

    I live on the east coast and need a serious change of scenery. Does anyone have any recommendations for for places in the US that offer up a similar experience to riding in Europe? I was looking at Bishop CA, Bend OR or Breckenridge CO but am having trouble stringing decent routes together.

    Thanks!
     

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dolomites-style riding in the States?

    The area around Crater Lake, Ore. is a good start.
     

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    Default Re: Dolomites-style riding in the States?

    Crater Lake area is beautiful, but not really like Dolomites.
    The only similar scenery in lower 48 that I am aware of would be in the eastern Sierras or Jackson Hole, WY.
    There are so many great places in the west like Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Montana/Idaho
     

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    Default Re: Dolomites-style riding in the States?

    I agree with Rich above - Eastern Sierras. The road to the first stand of bristlecone pines in the Inyo/White Mountains is a peaking over 10,000 feet and is sealed bitumen all the way to the first stand of bristlecones. Staying at Big Pine or taking State Highway 395 from Bishop for a longer ride. Big Pine > Bristlecone car park > Big Pine would be fair day's work. Can only be done from early May onwards though and I read the snowpack in the Inyo Sirerras is getting very big this winter.

    You may also try roads around Mammoth Lakes - also accessible from Bishop and even the Tioga Road through Yosemite NP from the Lee Vining end is also a great mountain pass road.


    State Highway 168 half way from Big Pine to Bristlecone Pines turn off

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    Default Re: Dolomites-style riding in the States?

    Bend-ite here, just a bit north of Crater lake-
    It's amazing riding around here, but the Dolomites it ain't.

    Riding here is fantastic, but it's not "peak after peak" like the euro locations. It's more rolling up and down, big ridges- but the climbs aren't close enough to string together in the same way.
    If you are looking for adventure riding, dirt roads and fire roads, hours and hours without seeing a car, Oregon is totally your spot.
    Try Jackson Hole for denser stuff,
    Feel free to PM if you want more info about riding around here- happy to help.
    I've got some good friends in Jackson Hole, can put you in touch if you need local contacts.
     

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Dolomites-style riding in the States?

    Eastern Sierra for the win. So many good and scenic climbs.
     

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    Default Re: Dolomites-style riding in the States?

    Between the Sierras, the Jackson area and southern Oregon, you have good stuff.
    I used to spend my childhoods in the sierras, lots of roads to lots of high mountain lakes.
    I spent my college years working as a fishing guide in Jackson, some huge miles and climbs to be found in that area. also more flats than you would think, if you need a flat day mixed in.
    Southern Oregon has no people, I live here, but not many others do. So if you don't want to see other people on bikes, or other people on anything for that matter, southern oregon is pretty sweet. Theres some great riding around Ashland (also dipping down into nor cal/lake shasta), and we have a lot of good dirt. so yeah, not as much climbing, or as epic climbing, but way more privacy.
    Bend bores me. some wide open vistas, but the rides are just ok as far as my experience. of course that may just be Bend i don;t like, not the riding.
     

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    Default Re: Dolomites-style riding in the States?

     

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    Default Re: Dolomites-style riding in the States?

    Why not go to the Dolomites?

    The dollar has strengthened a lot and Italy can be done inexpensively if desired. I doubt there is much of a cost difference going from the east to west coast vs going from the east coast to Italy.

    There are plenty of great places to ride in the US but what you won't find is the same concentration of cycle friendly roads on high altitude passes as you would in the Dolomites/Italian alps. You can find big climbs in the US but generally these will be on isolated roads which are quite a distance from other climbs or have to be done as a series of out and backs. You can find better networks of roads in places like Vermont or Sonoma and surrounds but you won't have as big climbing.

    I really can't think of places in the US that have the same immediate variety of options you would find in Corvara, Alta Badia or similar. There are plenty of other destinations in Europe that would meet these criteria as well if Italy doesnt strike your fancy.
     

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    Default

    Are you talking about the riding (as in the terrain and experience strictly from behind the handlebars), the large-scale vistas, or the ambience?

    Because Appalachia has gobs of the first, precious snippets of the second, but little of the third.

    So if you can make your own ride and bring your own food, spend your travel costs and travel time as extra days in the Smokies.
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    Default Re: Dolomites-style riding in the States?

    All three areas you mentioned are nice, but each has a different prime season. The dates you are thinking about riding will have a huge impact. PM me for Colorado info, there's huge amounts of info that could turn into a thread hijack.
    Bike nerd, lighting nerd
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    Default Re: Dolomites-style riding in the States?

    The roads through the Columbia River Gorge are pretty awesome. The old race routes of the Mt. Hood Classic were some of the best I've ever seen bike racing take place on. Damn shame that race isn't around anymore. Like others have said it's not Italy but it can be pretty awesome. That area is 90 minutes away from BendOR where Hidayana and I are and about 4hrs from the Crater Lake area. Lots of great riding all along the way.

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    Default Re: Dolomites-style riding in the States?

    Quote Originally Posted by abbeyQ View Post
    BendOR where Hidayana and I are
    Bend weather forecast from the National Weather Service.

    Better get your skis out!

    Snap318.jpg

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    Default Re: Dolomites-style riding in the States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mabouya View Post
    Bend weather forecast from the National Weather Service.
    I just spent 3h on my roof, the snow was up to my hips and ice underneath. that needed to come off, expecting another 12-15" tomorrow, ... oh well.

    As it turns out, summer is nothing like this.
     

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Dolomites-style riding in the States?

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post
    Because Appalachia has gobs of the first, precious snippets of the second, but little of the third.

    So if you can make your own ride and bring your own food, spend your travel costs and travel time as extra days in the Smokies.
    Very true, but it's Appalachia I need a break from. I did the Rapha Appalachia this past summer and had a great time, but am looking for better views and much lower humidity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toddykins View Post
    Why not go to the Dolomites?

    The dollar has strengthened a lot and Italy can be done inexpensively if desired. I doubt there is much of a cost difference going from the east to west coast vs going from the east coast to Italy.

    I really can't think of places in the US that have the same immediate variety of options you would find in Corvara, Alta Badia or similar. There are plenty of other destinations in Europe that would meet these criteria as well if Italy doesnt strike your fancy.
    You're right - Dolomites are a lot more accessible than I thought and there are cheap and easy flights to Venice/Verona from the East Coast right now. I may just do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmybagadonuts View Post
    Eastern Sierra for the win. So many good and scenic climbs.
    I was reminded of the Rapha video they did there. Looks great - definitely a change of scenery and flights into Mammoth Airport look reasonable and they have road bike rentals in town.
     

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    Default Re: Dolomites-style riding in the States?

    Interesting idea to try to find ride qualities based on geologic formations in other parts of the world. Also a lot of it has to do with history, culture and the way economic development occurred.

    I worked for a while with a luxury bicycle touring company (my job ended when the company was bought by Vermont Country Cycling) and we always felt our routes had the same or similar charm to some of the routes up in New England. But they didn't really. They had charm and interest, plenty of history (most of our routes were through the mountains and over the Piedmont of Virginia) and beautiful landscape, but they weren't the same as Vermont or western Massachusetts. Roads were bigger, houses spread farther apart, towns more dispersed, climbs less steep (though there were steep climbs) on average, etc. Partly geology, partly history and settlement patterns, many factors really.

    In the end you realize that people go ride the Dolomites because they are the Dolomites and the individual aspects of that area are unreproducible.

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    Default Re: Dolomites-style riding in the States?

    To pick up on Jorn's point above, we rode for a few days in the Santa Monica Mountains last spring and the climbs and topography seemed amazingly like what you'd see in Majorca. Just a data point, sorry for the thread hijack. Tim

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    Default Re: Dolomites-style riding in the States?

    Not the Dolomites however just as amazing and easy to manage.
    Twice I've ridden from Geneva to Nice. The route could not be more simple and you really do not need to reserve hotels ahead. For reservations just use booking.com the day before when you know what town you'll hit. The route includes two cols per day. You can do this with a small backpack or a modest saddlebag and send a box of street cloths ahead to your final hotel.
    I'm thinking about doing this again solo.

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    Default Re: Dolomites-style riding in the States?

    Now THAT is an interesting proposition.
    hmmmmm - I haven't done any traveling in a few (8?) years - might be a good time to do that.

    Also, looking at a map, seems routing the "long way around" gives you:
    Geneva-->Como/Varese-->Milan-->Genoa-->Nice at +/-225km longer, but would be pretty mild riding after the first day or two.
    Lots of generally net downhill, plains and coast roads.
     

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    Default Re: Dolomites-style riding in the States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Not the Dolomites however just as amazing and easy to manage.
    Twice I've ridden from Geneva to Nice. The route could not be more simple and you really do not need to reserve hotels ahead. For reservations just use booking.com the day before when you know what town you'll hit. The route includes two cols per day. You can do this with a small backpack or a modest saddlebag and send a box of street cloths ahead to your final hotel.
    I'm thinking about doing this again solo.
    I definitely looked at that route and would love to do it, but couldn't figure out how to easily/safely/quickly transport my bike or return the rental bike. Any pro tips?
     

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