Author Topic: Urban Touring  (Read 21466 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline TCS

Urban Touring
« on: December 21, 2006, 03:39:00 pm »
When riders talk of urban cycling they usually mean commuting or short pleasure rides.  I think urban ~touring~ is the cats pajamas.

I live on the northern edge of a major metropolitan area, and I love to tour down to the state park just beyond the southern side of the city.  I use a myriad of quiet streets and a few thoroughfares that on the weekends are eminently tourable.  At the end of the day, I usually camp and cook at the state park, but there are motel and restaurant options as well.  On the second day I take a different track home.  It makes a quick get-a-way and its a good way to shake out new equipment.

Leaving out my front door, I can ride through quiet neighborhoods, past landscaped McMansions, by the best parks and public art, along winding, shaded streets, through historic areas, across major bridges, to the base of impressive architecture, through the heart of down town; traverse university campuses and ride into areas where none of the signs are in English.  I can visit any of dozens of museums and notable locations, photograph great cathedrals and tent revivals, choose from countless street-side cafes with menus from the world, stop at quirky places, see how both of the other two halves live and even go by the gravesites of the famous and infamous.  I can see where the old money and power brokers live, visit locations recently in the news and observe how the city is evolving.  All this in just two 45-mile days.

I started doing this years ago by myself.  After I got married I brought my wife along, and she loved it.  Weve started inviting friends, who say they experience more of the city in a weekend than they have in twenty years of living here.  The route varies, and last time we took in Frank Lloyd Wrights only theater, a delightful little shop that offered 167 flavors of soda water and stopped on a street corner to point out and discuss the seven locations from which assassins fired at President Kennedy.

Urban touring  give it a try!


"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline bdouglas

Urban Touring
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2006, 02:58:31 pm »
and speaking of animals, I think that "comtouring", AKA  "commute-touring" is the dog's bark.

We have a rustic cabin 27 miles outside of what Montanans would call an urban center. In the summer, I do my favorite type of touring - sometimes multiple days a week. I wake with the sunrise, pack my bags for a sleepover at a town-friend's home, and pedal the 1/4 century to work. I am awake and engaged when I get to work, spend Q time with friends that night, and after another day of work, get to take a great evening ride home to sleep in my own bed. It is "very tame" touring, but a great way for me to get a summer's-worthy does of exercise, decrease pollution, and have mini-tour adventures. As a result of this slower commute, I have found great swimming holes along one of the best rivers in the country, discovered little know pedestrian suspension bridges, made friends with mergansers, and legitimized a second breakfast of cookies after the great workout. Yum.

And yes, I've also got my partner into comtouring, and he carries our dog Sammy.

Happy bicycling,

Becky Douglas
Outreach and Education Coordinator
Adventure Cycling Association
Happy bicycling,

Becky Douglas
Outreach and Education Coordinator
Adventure Cycling Association


  • Guest
Urban Touring
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2007, 10:39:43 pm »
When I move to a new city I tend to spend every forth of fith Saturday heading off to an area I've yet to visit, getting lost, and finding my way back and a nice, easy pace. I can't imagine a better way to get my bearings and take in my new city.

......... __ o
......(O) (O)...........
i'd rather be biking.

Offline sam21fire

Urban Touring
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2007, 06:13:32 pm »
At the risk of sounding un-worldly, what is a "merganser"?  Are they tame? Soft and cuddly? Edible? lol


Offline Sailariel

Urban Touring
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2007, 08:44:42 pm »
Sam, A Merganser is a breed of Duck. We have lots of them here in Maine

Offline sam21fire

Urban Touring
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2007, 09:14:36 pm »
Ok, cool!  I suppose I should look them up in my bird book so I'll recognize one if I meet one. Thanks!

Offline capejohn

Urban Touring
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2007, 11:38:16 am »
I have a couple of regular one and two day tour choices just off, and on, Cape Cod. One is riding across the Bourne Bridge to "The Cape" There are plenty of paved trail miles, and the roads are bike friendly, if that's your preference. There are many available places to stay. From five star accomodations to commando camping, and everything in between.

Once on the cape side of the bridge, there are so many riding choices.  Hug Buzzards Bay to Woods Hole and Falmouth, or head north toward Wellfleet and Provincetown. Another good choice is to hang around Dennis and the Yarmouth area.

 An alternative to crossing the Bridges is a great ride to the Plymouth area. Plymouth is very close the  Myles Standish State Forrest, which has miles of roads and a half dozen ponds that are open to camping at a reasonable rate.  (If you choose to check in. Budget cuts, if you know what I'm insinuating ).  ;)

I very often have the roads to myself riding from New Bedford, Ma. to Buzzards Bay (Bourne Bridge) and/or to Carver (Myles Standish). Naturally once you get to the touristy areas, a rider has to share.

This message was edited by capejohn on 2-8-07 @ 7:43 AM
Keeping me young as I grow old.

Offline orthogreg1

Urban Touring
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2007, 12:12:49 pm »
Hello. I moved to Los Angeles 6 yrs ago from the East Coast where I rode every day. 2 cars and 6 yrs here has changed a lot. We do have a ride we enjoy as often as possible. We used to live in Santa Monica, a couple miles from the beach and Pacific Coast Highway. We would load our touring bikes and head toward Malibu. There is a State park that has great hike\bike campsites. Ther ocean is there if it is warm enough to swim. A small store w necessities and firewood. And ride back on the 2nd day. A great weekend!! If you're interested, shoot me an email and I will share more details. Pedal Fast!!

Offline Westinghouse

Urban Touring
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2008, 01:37:38 pm »
Try coming in off of two weeks of interstate cycling across a state like Texas, and then descend suddenly into urban cycling. It requires a transition in skills, attitude, and adaptability. What a change it is. Long distance interstate cycling is easygoing, almost lightless, and you really get in some mileage.
Cities have all kinds of traffic, lights, intersections, rush hours, cramped cycling quarters, drunks, sidewalks. City cycling is a different sort of cycling, and the awareness of that difference can be greatly accentuated by contrasting it to open road cycling.

Offline Arizona Gal

Re: Urban Touring
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2021, 08:59:05 am »
Tucson, Arizona, with 130 miles of connecting paved bike paths, and several campgrounds on the periphery of this smallish city, would be a great place for a one or two-night quick tour, during fall, winter or spring, when it's not too hot. 

Catalina State Park campground and Gilbert Ray county campground are on the periphery.  Tucson Lazydays KOA campground is a block or so off of the Julian Wash section of the big Loop trail, although at more than $50 for a tent site, I'd look for a motel instead.  Unfortunately the local Saguaro National Park (we say "suh WAHR oh") has no campground. 

The Loop is 54 miles around, and has many spur trails leading off it, such as one that goes to Catalina State Park.   

There are also numerous city streets which are designated as bike routes, with special crossing lights at busy streets, plenty of signage, etc.  The 3rd Street bike route is one example, going east and west.  Here's some mapping info:
« Last Edit: October 13, 2021, 09:01:35 am by Arizona Gal »