For us, July conjures images of low helicopter shots tracking a colorful peloton rolling through sunflowers at breakneck speed. This year, we need to wait until the end of August to get our racing fix, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a Tour of our own in the meantime. One where we do a lot less watching and a lot more riding.
It’s time for the second edition of the Tour of Inspiration. We teamed up with our ambassador crew to bring you 21 of the best rides from around the country, presented in detail using PeopleforBikes amazing Ride Spot platform.
Ride Spot is the place to discover, create, and share great riding experiences. You’ll find detailed route descriptions, photos, and sometimes even tips on where to score a piece of pie (If you know any new riders, do them a solid and share Ride Spot so they find great routes too).
So join us this month as we share some killer routes, and make sure to download the free Ride Spot app to discover more in your area.
Getting rewarded for riding your bike has never been easier – it’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
1) Download Ride Spot and join the Tour of Inspiration Challenge near you – Download here for iPhone users and here for Android users
2) Ride and Record the Challenge Route on Ride Spot
3) Redeem Your Prize
There are six routes we’ve set up as Challenges for the next couple weeks. Look below for the Tour of Inspiration Challenge route nearest to you. Join a Challenge, record your ride with the app, then redeem your completed route for the prize.
The Challenge begins on July 12 and will be open to complete until the 26th. Any rider that completes at least 90% of a Challenge in Ride Spot is eligible to redeem their reward.
But really, if you get out for a great ride you’ve won already.
It’s still Tour time, just not that Tour.
Denver to Golden Classic
This is a version of the classic route heading west from downtown Denver to downtown Golden and riding back.
Seven Lakes Drive O&B
There’s a lack of safe riding routes in the New York metropolitan area, given the dense population and highly trafficked, poorly maintained roads. However, within an easy hour’s drive from central Manhattan, cyclists can transport themselves to the forested hills of Harriman State Park.
PDX West Hills
This classic Portland West Hills ride has some amazing forest views, winding climbs, and a handful of county and town line sprint points. Grab a few friends and practice race tactics while enjoying the greenery close to town.
Salado Creek Greenway Ride
The city of San Antonio has created a trail system along many of San Antonio’s waterways, including several of the major creeks. There are bike paths that run for about 80-miles throughout the city.
Dillon Lake Loop – Silverthorne Factory Store
This is a beautiful bike path and road ride around the Dillon Reservoir between Silverthorne and Frisco from the front of our Factory Store in central Colorado.
Blue Diamond from Summerlin – O&B
I like this route, especially after a long day of work, and I don’t feel like climbing hills and punishing myself some more. It’s a great ride to just relax, unwind and enjoy the view of Red Rock Canyon and away from the bustling city. It’s a perfect route for those wanting to try road biking in a safer environment.
This is a relaxed road ride in Marion County Ohio. Although not much climbing this route offers plenty of countrysides, farm life, a covered bridge, and stops in two towns for refueling.
Scout Lake Ramble
This scenic gravel loop begins and ends at Angeline’s Bakery in the sleepy little Wild West town of Sisters, Oregon. It’s comprised of approximately 80% unpaved roads, with maybe eight sections of 1-5 miles of paved roads sprinkled throughout.
Alpine Dam and Seven Sisters
Riding in Marin County, immediately north of San Francisco, you get to ride through one of the country’s premier cycling spots.The Alpine Dam and Seven Sisters route is one of my favorite weekend rides that takes you through the Mount Tamalpais Watershed and the ridgeline of Mount Tam State Park – boasting fantastic views, hard climbs, and technical descents.
Peak-to-Peak Metric Century
Peak to Peak Highway runs from Estes Park to Central City. It’s Colorado’s oldest scenic byway, offering views of the Indian Peaks Wilderness as it traverses the ridgeline at around 9,000’. The byway creates the backbone of an amazing metric century with almost exactly one mile of total elevation gain, all on bike-friendly paved roads. Because of the elevation, its best in the summer or early fall.
Jupiter Fun Loop
Every chance I have to go ride in Jupiter, I take it. It’s one hour’s drive from my home, but the area is charming, and I enjoy the more relaxed traffic in that area. Jupiter has a historic lighthouse that you can visit, lovely oceanfront parks with free parking, beautiful beaches, and excellent restaurants.
Bullis County Park to Spring Branch and Back
This ride starts at a very popular cyclist meeting spot at one of the Bullis County Park and is surrounded by great roads, generous shoulders, and low traffic. The ride takes you through the towns of Bulverde and Spring Branch on several scenic roads with some nice climbs. While on the trip you can see a lot of animals and if you’re lucky you might just see the rare Zonkey!
Maroon Bells, Aspen and Lower Independence
One of Colorado’s most iconic rides, the seven mile climb from Aspen Highlands to Maroon Lake features one of the most dramatic turns you’ll make on a bike. Near the end of the climb the bells will reveal themselves in stunning fashion. With car restrictions and shuttle service for hikers, the road is very quiet to the turnaround and offers some of the best views around.
Two Bridges and Lots of Views
This is a great loop just north of Taos, New Mexico, starting in Arroyo Seco. It’s a mix of pavement and gravel with beautiful views.
Queenstown and Centreville Maryland Lollipop
What I love about this ride is the lack of traffic since it’s all backroads riding. There are horse farms, a beach, and if you’re lucky you might see a couple Bald Eagles that live in the area. It’s an out and back with a loop in the middle, or make it a double-loop for some more miles.
Waterton Canyon to Lenny’s Bench
Waterton Canyon west of Denver is a winding dirt road that offers stunning views with plenty of opportunities to see different wildlife types, ranging from the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep to the prairie rattlesnake. The route is a great for novice to experienced gravel riders.
Great Western Loop Challenge
The Great Western Loop is a San Diego East County gem for road cyclists who want spectacular views, rural roads and climbs that seemingly never end. Really though, it isn’t that bad clocking in at 43 miles and just shy of 4000 feet of climbing.
Border Crossing Challenge
This ride is mostly gravel with a few miles of road. This route takes you from Wauconda, IL to Genoa City, WI, on the Millennial and Prairie Trails in northern Illinois. A perfect route for the whole family, and since it’s an out-and-back, you can go as far as you want if you need a shorter ride.
Century Ride – Oxnard & Santa Barbara
This is an excellent route for someone who wants to do their first century ride in California. The ride starts off mellow from Oxnard to Ventura and then a gradual climb to Lake Casitas. Our original plan was to do the Lake Casitas loop, but we decided to go all the way to Santa Barbara instead. Always keep your options and mind open.
Tour de Foothills – Escaping Denver
Another Denver area classic road ride up Deer Creek Canyon to Evergreen and looping back through Tiny Town. This is a great route to find some cooler temps and get some sustained (maybe stout) climbing work in on the bike.
Old La Honda and Tunitas Creek Route
The Old La Honda and Tunitas Creek climbs are classic South Bay routes for road cyclists. I have the course structured starting off at Robert’s Market in Woodside and riding to the top of Old La Honda as the first climb of the day. For the second climb, keep in mind that the Tunitas Creek has been featured in the Tour of California, it’s about an 8-9 mile consistent-climb to the top, so save up for it.