5 favorite Summer cycle rides

You know what makes me smile? Riding through gorgeous destinations in the warm, Summer sun. For me, nothing beats pushing myself to the limit as I climb a steep incline, biking through the most stunning locations, or cycling for a cause that is near and dear to my heart. In short, it’s all about the ride. If you’ve thought about tackling some truly amazing rides, see what I’ve chosen as my favorite of the Summer.

Andy climbing Independence Pass

Climbing Mont Ventoux in Provence, France

The infamous, yet beautiful Mont Ventoux climb starting from Bedoin is a favorite of mine. The route is not far from our office in Provence and is a great test to see how my fitness has held up (or not) over the cooler months. I usually start the trek with a double shot of espresso before battling as hard as I can up the grueling ascent. Making it to the top never gets old, especially after beating one of our guides who has decided to challenge me to the ride. On the way down, I like to take it easy and enjoying the views of blooming poppies fields and nearby villages.

Climbing Independence Pass in Aspen, Colorado, USA

A few weeks ago I made my regular pilgrimage to Aspen for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. As an avid cyclist and fan it was, as always, the perfect place to be. There was a great mix of enthusiasts and pros all together on a few roads. The hardest day by far was going up Independence Pass, the fourth highest paved rode in Colorado at 12,095ft. The ride is 21 miles and over 4500 feet of climbing. While painful, I was determined to make it in good time and turn the screw – and it was magnificent.

Peleton, Aspen

Riding in the Pan-Mass Challenge – Sturbridge to Provincetown, Massachusetts, USA

This is one ride that I am more than proud to be a part of every year. Riding about 200 miles over two days, thousands of PMC riders cycle from Sturbridge to Provincetown to raise money for life-saving cancer research and treatment at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. This year the ride was cold and wet for August, but finishing the long trek is a humbling experience that leaves you feeling accomplished and proud to be a part of something much larger than yourself.

Biking around Lake Como in Italy

This ride was much shorter than most I choose to list in my favorites, but still has the difficulty of being in a mountainous area. However, heading out on this scenic ride around Lake Como was an experience that anyone can enjoy. It is an uplifting occurrence as you follow the winding paths around the lake towards the village of Bellagio on perfectly paved roads and smells of grass, flowers, and air filling your nostrils. Getting off the bike is just as satisfying, as you step into the “Pearl of the Lake” and wander through cobbled streets of ancient buildings and friendly people. This is a destination I would absolutely recommend visiting.

Cycling up La Grande Soufrière Volcano in Guadeloupe

This was an exciting one for me! I had never visited Guadeloupe, but had heard of this tropical cycling paradise many times and was ready to hit the smooth asphalt in the home of the rich biking traditions I had heard so much about. If you’re looking for diverse terrain and solid cycling, you may want to consider heading out to this French territory. A true thrillist, you can imagine my excitement when I learned I would be cycling the nearly five-thousand-foot volcano, La Grande Soufrière on Basse-Terre. EPIC VIEWS! Climbing an active volcano is worth the trip to Guadeloupe and a must do for anyone seeking a thrilling cycling experience.

From one cyclist to another, what are some of your favorite Summer rides? Share them with me! Maybe I’ll even get to add some to my schedule for next Summer.

Andy Levine is the President/Founder of DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co.

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Comments (8)

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  1. Lash says:

    Hello Andy,

    Thanks for sharing your favorite bike rides.

    The scenery is stunning and it sounds like you had amazing times with all the cyclists on each ride.

    I’m an avid cyclist, too. However, I ride much differently than you. BElieve it or not, I prefer riding on flat land. And I travel by bike, so I use a much heavier frame with paniers, wide tires, and 20-30 kg of luggage. (Maybe that’s why I prefer flat roads to climbing!)

    I know so many cyclists like you who love climbing mountains, but my body just does not enjoy that. I suppose it would be different on a very light frame with skinny racing tires and no luggage. Maybe I could be convinced to try it one day.

    The Lake Como ride sounds the most appealing to me.

    In any event, to each his own. Great to hear you enjoyed so many great rides over the summer.

    cheers, Lash

  2. Andy Levine says:

    Hi Lash,

    I know many cyclists who prefer riding on flat land. I love it too. I ski as well, so pushing myself over the hills, whether on the bikes or the skis, has always been a thrill to me.

    I’d love to hear about some of your favorite rides as well. Are there any you rode this summer that stood out to you?

    Keep riding, and join us me a tour sometime!

    ~Andy

  3. Thanks for sharing your favourite bike rides – they are stunning – my vote goes to Mont Ventoux.

    As a resident and huge fan of the French Alps and Tour de France, I also have to add Col du Noyer, Alpe D’Huez, and Tour of the Lac du Serre Poncon to your list!

  4. Andy Levine says:

    Sally!

    I love these climbs! Alpe D’Huez is also one of my favorites. But let’s be honest, if I included them all this would be a very long list. Ride on!!!

    ~Andy

  5. Zoe Wilson says:

    Hi Andy,

    I know this is an old post, but have you tried cycling in the Himalayas? We went to India and cycled from Manali to Leh last year – was an amazing challenge. Definitely one for you if you love hills!!! 40km climb up to 5600m was the highlight :)

    `Zoe

  6. How was cycling at that high altitude? I have been trekking up there and got altitude sickness even walking slowly – can’t imagine cycling at full cardio!!

  7. Zoe Wilson says:

    Hi Sally,

    I struggled for the first couple of days but we took lots of time to acclimatise. There were times though when we felt like we were cycling all out but were actually doing <10km/hr!

    The views made up for it though :)

  8. Sam says:

    Hi Andy,
    We are heading to Guadeloupe with our bikes for ten days next month from the UK. We are trying to find information about the road up La Soufriere but can’t find anything. Any chance you could help us out as its one of the major aims for our trip.

    Thanks, sam and Leanne

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