Bicycling paths can be a fine source to get your inner drive motoring along for a cardiovascular exercise, easily more attractive than running on a treadmill or utilizing a bike fitness machine indoors while you blankly stare at the same wall for the duration of your workout.
On the other hand, they can also be downright therapeutic, a terrific outlet to blow off some steam, create a bit of breathing space away from technology’s gravitational pull and witness lovely outdoor sights.
How do you cope with hideous weather though, or, worse yet, the winter months that bring heavy flurries of snowfall, covering your go-to cycling routes? Luckily, California does not endure such weather frequently, thanks to mild, pleasant temperatures that are found throughout the year.
Annually hosting the Amgen Tour of California, the biggest cycling event in North America, the Golden State is remarkably bike-friendly, offering various terrains, extraordinary on-the-way views, and biking routes that encompass for people from all skill levels.
Jean Danhong Chen, a local resident with a law office in San Jose, has determined which bike routes are guaranteed to be lively and packed with joy.
Mt. Tamalpais, Marin County
Jean Danhong Chen begins her list with Mt. Tamalpais, an area that covers 57 miles and 8109 feet of elevation. Starting with a climb that passes an alpine dam, you gradually ascend and, by following the ‘Seven Sisters’ ridge, eventually reach a 360-degree view of the ocean on the right and Marin County on the left side. Your descent takes you down to the coast, continuously presenting you with gorgeous ocean views through Highway 1. Then, it’s time for another ascension, but don’t throw in the towel; you are gifted another downhill trajectory to recoup your energy before climbing up Bofax, which is a narrow path that is nearly void of any cars. From there, it is all downhill to the finish line.
With high altitudes, ideal roads and scenic routes, Lake Tahoe is somewhat of a bicycling mecca, doubling as a training ground for experienced riders and a viable destination for beginners. Boarding California and Nevada, the area is at the core of road riding and mountain biking in both states. Lake Tahoe features numerous bike shops that include simple rentals and riding advice. If you are uncertain on which route will match your skill level or requirements, Jean Danhong Chen recommends that you look through tahoe.com for a list of ten Lake Tahoe road rides, or visit Tahoe South and Tahoe North to uncover rental and riding options in the area.
King Ridge Loop, Santa Rosa
A few choices are at your disposal in Santa Rosa, as you can opt for the 55, 73 or 100 miles worth of bicycling. Extensive vineyards, redwoods and terrific views north of San Francisco are there to see, as Santa Rosa is, unsurprisingly, home to an active cycling community. There are also rural roads free of traffic, rolling hills and a heavenly drop back down to the ocean, in your line of sight for miles before you are finally in direct contact with the Pacific. Jean Danhong Chen suggests that you follow the GranFondo loop for the most demanding test that thousands of bikers ride annually or select the 55-mile version which is accurately detailed by the Santa Rosa Cycling Club.
Santa Barbara Wine Country Loop, Solvang
Stretching 63.7 miles and boasting 4500 feet of elevation, Solvang is another route that promises exquisite views of the Pacific Ocean, after you perform the climbing aspect of course. Challenging paths await on this one, but, in the likelihood that you decide that you won’t bite off more than you can chew, Jean Danhong Chen points out that you can find more routine routes by checking either MapMyRide for Santa Maria, the local DIY Santa Barbara rides or by joining an organized wine and cycling tour group.
Iowa Hill Loop
Depending on your preference, you can go through the Iowa Hill Loop, a route that consists of 64.7 miles and 6923 feet of elevation, or ascend Mosquito Ridge Road, which contains a 68.2-mile route with 8586 feet’s worth of acclivity. Each one maintains a scenic, remote ride, carrying no traffic, but plenty of climbing. However, Jean Danhong Chen warns that neither is for the fainthearted or inexperienced biker.