6a0147e09179b6970b014e87622bd1970d-120wiThoughtfully written by one of our guides on his own blog, Jon Vick let us tell you all his favorite rides.

As part of Trek Travel’s Ride Camp in Solvang, we rode one of my all time favorite road rides last week. It got me thinking about where my all time favorite road rides are. This is the list I’ve come up with:

1 – Sella Ronda. In my opinion there isn’t a more beautiful road ride in the world. Made up of four passes; it’s the perfect balance of awesome climbing, awesome descending, and amazing scenery. With awesome spots to stop for lunch and great Italian espresso along the route, it really doesn’t get better than this.

2 – Figueroa Loop – This ride defines epic. Starting out from Solvang, it’s a 50 mile loop. It’s got an awesome 15 mile warmup through quiet, country roads before turning uphill. At that point the road kicks uphill, averaging nearly 7% for the next 10 miles, including a mile of bumpy dirt road, the possibility of some creek crossings, and a nasty pitch in the last mile. To put it simply, you feel like a badass for completing this climb. Then you are rewarded with amazing views as you descend off the back side and finally a long, slightly downhill run back into Solvang.

3 – Minneapolis Grand Round – There’s nothing epic about this ride. There are actually a lot of annoying things about this ride – stop signs, congested bike paths, bumpy streets. On the flip side, it feels like MY ride. When I get to ride the Grand Rounds, it means I’m home. I don’t get enough time at home, so I relish the familiar rides, the occasional familiar face on the bike path, the lakes, the Minneapolis skyline. Home.

4 – Smuggler’s Notch Loop – A great ride in Vermont. Not too long, not too short, a great climb, some great views, a stop for coffee and soup at the Johnson Coffee House, and awesome descent back into Stowe. Finishing off with a maple latte at the Stowe Coffee House or a great burger from Harrison’s, this is another ride that feels a bit like home, a home away from home.

5 – The “guide house loop” from the Trek Travel Tuscany guide house. This ride isn’t anything particularly special compared to any other ride in Tuscany. All of the riding there is awesome. It combines the great elements of Tuscan riding, great climbs, ripping rollers, a couple sweet descents, Tuscan villages, everything you could want in a short loop that can be done at the end of an FTP day or after a trip end. Beyond anything else, I have great memories associated with this ride. It is a ride in another country that I have shared with some of my closest friends, a ride that is a bit of a release from the “job” part of my job.

Where are your favorite rides, your favorite runs, your favorites of anything you get excited about?