VELO CLUB de VIS - RIDES
Where have we been? See below. Where might we go? BEWatch this space ...
2017 - PHOENIX / SCOTTSDALE / McDOWELL MOUNTAINS
Le Tour de VIS
We rode 100km through the cacti and around the mountains from Scottsdale, with almost 1,000m of climbing in blazing sunshine. Epic.
Out of the Arizona Outback Adventures rental place (thank-you Alyssa, Jon) and past Pinnacle Peak Park on our way up the Reata Pass.
A super-fast SCI Utah chain gang down the epic East Rio Verde Drive, then through Rio Verde on to the cactus lined McDowell Mountain Road
Refreshments and a spin through McDowell Mountain Regional Park on wide open roads that disappeared to the horizon, before a climb and rapid descent at Fountain Hills to get us back home
A post conference ride to Rott 'n Grapes for connect four, sushi and baseball
Excellent preparation for #LeTourDeVIS
The Phoenix Grid Bike system seems to work pretty well
Le Other One
Wes and I did a quick reccy up South Mountain as we'd spent s many evenings / mornings Skyping about it. We met Jeremy on the way out of Phoenix and he showed us around and back via the beautiful San Juan road. Coffee and vegan empanadas at Azukar Coffee for breakfast and back by 9:30.
2017 - PHOENIX - Le TOUR du MOUNTAIN
We planned to climb (all or some of) South Mountain - a reasonably challenging ride but on nice roads, and with gradients and distances well within the bounds of what Velo Club de VIS riders are logging throughout the year on Strava.
Then they closed the mountain for a running event!
We have four options, to suit various levels of fitness & challenge. All of these involve heading south from the Convention Centre in a single peloton. We will then head up various bits of the mountain to suit, until an agreed time. As it warms up we will head back down the hill, meet at the park entrance and head back in to Phoenix as a group.
- Full Climb - 63.2km / 888m climbing
- Dobbins Lookout - 54.6km / 690m climbing
- Short Climb - 50.2km / 699m climbing
- No Climb - 42.8km / 411m climbing
By way of comparison, Le Tour de VIS 2016 in Maryland involved 84.2km / 1,078m climbing.
It will be hot, but not impossible as WeatherSpark suggests. Local riders advise us to head out at dawn - sunrise is at 6:30. The great thing here is that if we head out early we will miss the traffic and we would be back in the city when it gets warm, and home in time for flights in the afternoon and evening. Maybe we'll stop at the South Mountain Cafe for Chilaquiles on the way back.
South Mountain is one of the largest Municipal Parks in America. It has the highest density of chuckwallas per hectare that has ever been reported.
I have no idea what a chuckwalla is.
2016 - LE TOUR DE VIRTUAL
Could we collectively ride 1,000km in November and December?
We were on track on 20th November ... 490km completed
Less so on 20th December ... 710km completed
Then crazy challenge coordinator J.Dykes fell off on 31st December and ended up in hospital with a broken collar-bone, thoughtfully paving the way for his heroes Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte to follow suit in the New Year. Never mind, we had fun.
Rides in California, New England, virtual London, the snowy Austrian Alps, the dry plains of Alberta and the bumpy lumpy soggy hills of Rutland are getting us close to the 1,000km target.
2016 - BALTIMORE
We rode 85km with almost 1,000m climbing into the rolling hills north of the City, as suggested by Brenton @ Race Pace Cycles ...
- route - https://www.strava.com/routes/6855277
- ride - https://www.strava.com/activities/759966012
- movie - https://vimeo.com/189652910
We stopped at ...
- Bonjour French Bakery on the Falls Road @ 16km for great coffee and pastries
- Veloccino in Butler @45.5km for coffee, more croissants and bike kit
8am at the inner harbour, up Calvert then out along the Falls Road and a climb to the Bonjour patisserie on Falls and West Lake for un grand petit dejeuner. Then pavement heaven along smooth slick rolling Hillside Road ...
Onwards and up into 'horse country', along beautiful Belmont Avenue and on to Veloccino Coffee at Butler, for repairs (thanks Marc), bike tests, electrolytes and a cold press ...
Along the corn-edged Cuba Road, up Ivy Hill then back down to Baltimore in autumn afternoon sunshine, with bike return to RacePace and a meal in cleats at Little Havana.
Warm sun and sweet and greasy plantain means memories of the freezing soaking in Chicago fade forever ...
Baltimore introduced it's bike scheme for us so a few of us warmed up on Friday night on electric bikes ...
Le Crazy Hallowe'en Fancy-Dress BaltimoreBikeParty
... and then, along with Super Mario & Luigi, Teenage Mutant Ninja Raphael, the Cookie Monster, Superman, Spiderman, Captain America, a very quick squirrel, several ghosts, bears, sharks and skeletons and a cable guy BMX genius called Jesus, headed to the wonderful Hallowe'en fancy dress BaltimoreBikeParty. BIKE PARTYYYY!
2015 - CHICAGO
Le Tour de VIS
Rain, wind, waves and an unexpected and prolonged interaction with the various saturated cows, zombies, superheroes and Scooby Doos participating in the Halloween Monster Dash half marathon made #LeTourDeVIS Chicago a bit of a challenge. But we braved the weather, found good coffee and managed not to skid into Lake Michigan. Just about.
Miriah and Brian set things up on Friday - we all used Divvy bikes to head along the Lakeshore and up to the Hop Leaf bar in a loosely formed and easily distracted peloton.
2014 - PARIS
In 2014, #LeTourDeVIS was introduced as a post-VIS bike ride open to all, with a peloton of 20 decked out in ColorBrewer jerseys taking in Le Tour Eiffel, Le Chateau de Versailles and a well known laboratory in science park near Gif-sur-Yvette that does some pretty cool visualization. Wes and Lora figured out the route, the rest of us rolled along behind ...
2013 - SEATTLE
Jo and Jason found helpful bike shops (Velo downtown and the Montlake Bicycle Shop) and a great route from the centre of Seattle round Lake Washington. Breakfast at a brewery, fantastic coffee and brunch back at Oddfellows listening to Elliott Smith
2013 - SANTA BARBARA
The Velo Club de VIS came about after an exhilarating ride in California. Ross, Miriah, Jason & Kerry climbed the Gibraltar Road after a workshop at UCSB. The ascent was spectacular and involved climbing through and above the cloud, dodging vultures and descending rapidly through thick mist.
2012 - ATLANTA
Atlanta didn't seem to have a very vibrant roadie scene so Jason headed to Chattahoochee National Forest, found some grits for breakfast, got a lift in a pick-up to the top of a hill and pounded down and around on a Mountain Bike. He felt like he needed a bike club.
2010 - SALT LAKE CITY
Aidan, Jo, Jason and Yarden cycled up in the hills above Salt Lake just before VisWeek. This included a climb up the Snowbasin road under Mount Ogden. Yarden did a great job getting bikes set up.