Author Topic: Routes suggestions for seniors returning to cycling  (Read 1053 times)

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Offline MountainMoose

Routes suggestions for seniors returning to cycling
« on: November 27, 2017, 09:58:06 am »
My husband and I did long distance self supported cycling touring for many years.  However, for the last 10 years or so we haven't done much cycling.  We would like to get back into cycling.  We live in cold mountains of Colorado so we have a fairly short cycling season.  Would anyone have a suggestion for a place in Arizona, New Mexico or other warmer place where we might be able to park our converted van for a week or so and cycle on good bike paths. Some hills are probably fine but nothing too hard while we try to get back in shape.

Also suggestions for a spring/summer intro tour where we would have a choice of self supporting or hoteling it.  Not really sure of the daily miles or toughness of routes until we do more training.  Probably looking at days between 30 and 70 miles a day. Prefer bike paths/trails.

We are both pretty fit in general. Thank you very much for your help!!!!  When we were in our 20s cycling in Europe, I once saw a couple in the 60s on a cycle tour.  That seemed like a great retirement to me.  Still does now.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Routes suggestions for seniors returning to cycling
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2017, 10:31:29 am »
Good for you!  I regularly tour with a couple in the mid-70s and they are stronger than I am!  My late father-in-law toured until 90 (albiet then it exclusively supported tours on bike paths in Europe along rivers, but still).

I would suggest Florida for beginner winter time rides.  They have several long paved paths so you could do multiday trips without really getting off the path that much.  Plus only the overpasses are the hills.  Pretty flat overall.

For summer, if you want a non-supported but bike paths area, consider the area Spokane, WA to Coeur d'Alene, ID area.  You can see bike paths on Google Maps when you click the "staked lines" to the left of the search window and click Bicycling.  We did a loop tour in the area a couple of years ago and it is quite scenic.

For a supported tour, there are LOTS to choose from.  Cross-state rides tend to be somewhat less expensive than commercial but have less/no indoor accommodations if that is highly desired.
Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!
John

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Routes suggestions for seniors returning to cycling
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2017, 04:41:28 pm »
Would anyone have a suggestion for a place in Arizona, New Mexico or other warmer place where we might be able to park our converted van for a week or so and cycle on good bike paths. Some hills are probably fine but nothing too hard while we try to get back in shape.

In Arizona, both Phoenix (metro area) and Tucson have drunk deeply of the bike lane/bike path Koolaid.  You could likely get bike route maps of both areas to compare, then find a motel and ride for a week.  (I suspect finding a campground with empty spaces is going to be difficult in peak season, like when Colorado mountains are snowed in.)  Note, though, that it's possible to ride basically around Tucson in one day, and probably around Phoenix in a couple days.  Tucson is a bit more scenic, with hills providing some of the scenery.

PacTour and Adventure Cycling are two tour operators running southern AZ tours early in the year, there's probably more.  Take a look at the AC tours (off the home page) for other options, from the Florida Keys to Hawaii.

Offline MountainMoose

Re: Routes suggestions for seniors returning to cycling
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2017, 06:07:50 pm »
Thank you both for your suggestions.  One of the routes we did in the past was from Phoenix to Tuscon.  We just camped in the desert each night along side of the road-but that was about 25 years ago so probably not a great idea now.

We were thinking bike paths/trails until we get comfortable with roads again.  Here in the summer we are have many large RVs with possibly inexperienced drivers on narrow mountain roads.  A bit scary even in a car sometimes.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Routes suggestions for seniors returning to cycling
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2017, 06:14:06 pm »
I understand.  You also have a great bike path that goes from Glenwood Springs to Keystone that is on a paved, separate path or the interstate frontage road.  Obviously, it is not flat but is something to consider for later on.  At least you are acclimated compared to us low-country people :),  Best, John
Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!
John

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Routes suggestions for seniors returning to cycling
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2017, 10:50:37 am »
If you can handle unpaved surfaces, the Mickelson Trail in the Black Hills is an option. Very pretty and well developed trail with water, shelters and restrooms in many locations. You could leave your van at one end and ride both ways. I also believe there is at least one shuttle service based in Hill City.

While you may not camp along the trail, there is camping, indoor lodging and food at Deadwood (the northern terminus), Hill City, Custer and Edgemont (the southern terminus).

The official website has lots of useful info.:

https://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/mickelson-trail/

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Routes suggestions for seniors returning to cycling
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2017, 10:57:29 am »
If you can handle unpaved surfaces, the Mickelson Trail in the Black Hills is an option. Very pretty and well developed trail with water, shelters and restrooms in many locations. You could leave your van at one end and ride both ways. I also believe there is at least one shuttle service based in Hill City.

In the winter?? I understood O.P. to be asking for rides when it's too cold and/or snowy to ride in the Colorado mountains.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Routes suggestions for seniors returning to cycling
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2017, 11:30:32 am »
If you can handle unpaved surfaces, the Mickelson Trail in the Black Hills is an option. Very pretty and well developed trail with water, shelters and restrooms in many locations. You could leave your van at one end and ride both ways. I also believe there is at least one shuttle service based in Hill City.

In the winter?? I understood O.P. to be asking for rides when it's too cold and/or snowy to ride in the Colorado mountains.

From the OP:

"Also suggestions for a spring/summer intro tour where we would have a choice of self supporting or hoteling it.  Not really sure of the daily miles or toughness of routes until we do more training.  Probably looking at days between 30 and 70 miles a day. Prefer bike paths/trails."