Best of the Best

OK.  All the rides in this blog are great.  But I know—you want to know which ones are the really great ones.   Here are Letterman lists of the best rides overall, the best descents, the steepest climbs, and so on:

BEST RIDES OVERALL (roughly north to south)
McKenzie Pass
Crater Lake
Tour de Fronds
Dead Indian Loop
Forks of Salmon
Lassen National Park
Branscomb Road
Paradise to Butte Meadows
Ebbetts Pass
Mosquito Ridge Road
Cream of the Sierra Century
Mendocino/Comptche
King’s Ridge
Mt. Tamalpais
Morgan Territory Road
Mt. Diablo
Mt. Hamilton
Pescadero/Tunitas Creek Road
Big Basin (weekdays only)
Bean Creek/Mtn. Charlie/Soquel-San Jose
Robinson Canyon Road
Nacimiento-Fergusson Road
Kings Canyon
Mt. Figueroa

TOP TEN (OKAY, ELEVEN) (in no particular order)
McKenzie Pass
Tour de Fronds
Forks of Salmon
Ebbetts Pass
Mendocino/Comptche
Mt. Tamalpais
Pescadero/Tunitas Creek Road
Robinson Canyon Road
Nacimiento-Fergusson Road
Mt. Figueroa
Kings Canyon

And the best ride of them all is (drum roll) Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd.

BEST DESCENTS (north to south)
McKenzie Pass
Gold Beach Century
Old Siskiyou Highway
Mt. Shasta Climbs
Paradise to Butte Meadows (Inskip to Sterling City)
Leggett to the Sea
Branscomb Road (west end)
Ebbetts Pass
Lumpkin Road (first/last 7 miles)
Mosquito Ridge Road
Yosemite Tour (from the Valley to El Portal)
Wooden Valley/Pleasants Valley (Mix Canyon)
Mt.Diablo
Mt. Tamalpais (south side of summit)
Morgan Territory Road (south side)
Sierra Road/Felter Road (Felter only)
Pescadero/Tunitas Creek Road (Tunitas Creek Road)Big Basin
Bean Creek/Mtn. Charlie/Soquel-San Jose (Soquel-San Jose only)
Robinson Canyon Road
Nacimiento-Fergusson Road (east side of summit)
Peachy Canyon Road
Kings Canyon
Tuna Canyon Road Loop (Tuna Canyon Rd)

And the best of them all is (drumroll) Pescadero/Tunitas Creek Road, or McKenzie Pass, or Ebbetts Pass.  It’s a tough call.

HARDEST CLIMBS (north to south)
Tour de Fronds
Forks of Salmon (clockwise only)
Iowa Hill Road
Wildcat Road (Wilson Hill Road)
Mountain View Road (first 3 miles)
Wooden Valley/Pleasants Valley (Mix Canyon)
Pine Flat Road
Sweetwater Springs Road
King’s Ridge
Welch Creek Road (in the Calaveras ride‘s Adding Miles section)
Sierra Road
Santa Rosa Creek Road (The Wall)
Gibraltar Road

GRAND VISTA RIDES (in alphabetical order)
Carson Pass Plus
Crater Lake
Ebbetts Pass
Gibraltar Road
Glendora Ridge Road
Gold Beach Century
Golden Gate Bridge Loop
Grizzly Peak Blvd. to Redwood Road
Hood River to the Dalles
Kings Canyon
Lassen National Park
Mosquito Ridge Road
Mt. Diablo
Mt. Figueroa
Mt. Hamilton
Mt. Tamalpais
Nacimiento-Fergusson Road
Pine Flat Road
Santa Rosa Creek Road
Sierra Road/Felter Road
Tuna Canyon Road Loop

FLAT(TER) RIDES
There really are only two flat rides in Bestrides.org: Avenue of the Giants and the Golden Gate Loop.  For me, an essential element of a great ride is some vertical.  But there are days when your legs don’t want to work, so here is a list of rides from Bestrides that are, with the occasional route tweaking, pretty flat.

Avenue of the Giants
Bakeries ride (no killer hills, though the elevation gain adds up)
Bean Creek/Mtn. Charlie/Soquel-San Jose (Branciforte Dr. only)
Blue Lakes Road (gradually steepening towards the summit)
Branscomb Road (from Laytonville westward to the climb only)
Camptonville to Downieville (the 10 miles after North Yuba River bridge)
Covelo Road (from Eel River Bridge to the Dos Rios Bridge)
Elk River Road
Galice to Golden
Gardiner to Eugene (first 40 miles)
Gold Beach Century (northern loop only)
Golden Gate Loop
Hood River to the Dalles (if you ride to the Dalles and ride back the way you came)
Jalama Road (one good hill)
Mendocino/Comptche (the Hwy 128 leg only)
North Fork Siuslaw Road
Paskenta Loop
Scott River Road (all but the last mile or so before the turn-around)
Seventeen-Mile Drive (if you ride to the Carmel turn-off and ride back the way you came)
Siletz Bay to Newport Inland
Vernonia to Astoria (if you skip the back road loop at the end and the climb to the column)
Warner Valley Road/Juniper Lake Road (all steady, easy climbing)
Wooden Valley/Pleasants Valley (if you skip Mix Canyon and the detour to Cantelow Road)
Kings Canyon (the last 16 miles before the dead end)
Carquinez Scenic Drive (the entire bridges loop, including the bridges, is easy)

And five rides in the Adding Miles sections of other rides:

Carson Road (in the Apple Hill loop in Mosquito Road)
Old Haul Road (in Mendocino/Comptche)
Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail (in Purissima Creek Road)
Chalk Hill Road (in Pine Flat Road)
Mill Creek Road (in Pine Flat Road—drive to the top of the first climb and turn around at the bottom of the big climb at the end)

BEST OREGON RAINFOREST RIDES (in alphabetical order)

Alpine to Alsea
Aufderheide Hwy
Brice Creek Road
Lolo Pass Back Road
McKenzie Pass
Quartzville Road
Tour de Fronds

 REDWOODS RIDES (in order of tree abundance and splendor)

Avenue of the Giants
Mendocino/Comptche
Big Basin
Bean Creek/Mtn. Charlie/Soquel-San Jose
Bonny Doon Rd/Empire Grade
Pescadero/Tunitas Creek Rd.
Leggett to the Sea
Philo-Greenwood Rd.
Kings Ridge
(The Kings Canyon ride doesn’t go through Redwoods but is a short ride from Giant Sequoias)

 

 

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