There was less response to the post about the “big” rides you plan for the coming year than I would have liked, but I’m guessing that’s because most of my readers in North America and Europe are still in the depths of winter and perhaps haven’t given it much thought.
However, there were enough interesting answers that they deserve some notice.
Nolan Kuehn mentioned what I hope will become a favorite of mine: The LBJ 100 in Stonewall, Texas. I say I hope it will become one, because I haven’t ridden it yet. Last year, I was all set to head out there for the ride, when I woke up sick, and I had to skip the ride. It’s at the ranch of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, about 60 miles west of Austin in the Texas Hill Country. The ride starts and ends on the air strip behind the Johnson house, what was the “Western White House” while he was president. Coming at the end of March, the weather can be unpredictable. Last year, the temperature was was 37°F (3°C) at the start, with a brutal wind.
Cliff echoed my choice of the Hotter ‘n Hell Hundred in Wichita Falls, Texas, but it’s not an unmet goal of his — he’s done it 19 times! He still regrets his only DNF in the ride, when he crashed out.
An anonymous reader suggested this doozie: the 2010 Assault on Mt. Mitchell, a 102-miler from Spartanburg,SC to the top of Mt. Mitchell in NC (highest point in the Appalachians), involving over 11,000 feet of cumulative climbing. He says he’s been trying to finish it for the last three years and feels confident that 2010 is going to be his year.
Across the pond, Steven King has an enticing idea: Cycle Cairngorms, a two-day trip around Scotland’s Cairngorms National Park. It covers 170 miles, 50 in one and a deadly 120 on the second! There’s an option to do only the first day, but Steven says, “I survived the first day last year and am gearing up for both this time round.”
Keeping with the Celtic flavor, another anonymous reader voted for the Race Around Ireland. Seven days, circle the entire island counterclockwise. It’s a qualifier for the Race Across America. If you’re interested, you’ve got until September to train for it.
Darryl, who writes the “Loving the Bike” blog, is not so definite about his big ride plans, but he has dreams. He wants to ride across the United States, and also in Italy and France. Dreams are good. This whole idea about what big rides you have in mind started with a dream, and I’m going to keep on dreaming about roads to ride.