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Ask the Experts: “My Favorite Ride”

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What is the route that puts you in your ELEMNT? We caught up with some fellow Wahooligans to find out what their favorite route is. For some it was right out their backdoor and for others it was a world away but the one thing each had in common is that the route left a permanent memory that drives them to get out the door in an effort to replicate that feeling. In some ways isn’t this what we are all seeking, that perfect ride where all the stars align: climbs feel easy, the headwind is nonexistent and you feel like you could go on forever.

Here are our favorite routes as explained by Wahooligans in their own words. Maybe one of these is in your neighborhood or you one you will be adding to your ride bucket list. Share your favorite ride with us in the comments section.

Kitty Pemberton- Platt – KPP

This is my go-to route when I’m craving pain and pastry. It’s a tough ride that takes in some of the infamous Surrey Climbs, finished off with a bowl of Box Hill dessert. You begin easy with some heavenly tarmac flat roads before a challenging middle section, made worth it by the Peaslake pit stop (cheese ‘straw’ pastry highly recommended). Once over the final climb, it’s a straight run back into London. It’s a favorite that’s filled with emotion, turns a weekend ride into an adventure and leaves you slightly broken but with better legs than the day before.

See how Kitty uses her ELEMNT BOLT check out the Illustrated Guide to the ELEMNT BOLT.

Sonya LooneyVideo of the ride

I love this route because you get a bit of everything: a solid road climb to get to the trailhead, good ‘ol steep singletrack climbing followed by rock rolls, technical sections, sidehill exposure, even a teeter-totter and beautiful views on Bear Bones Trail (one of my favorite trails period!). Next, you get to test your skill with tight switchback climbs up to yet another beautiful view. If you like rocks, and I certainly do, you get a long descent down Jabberwocky Trail where you have to be 100% focused. There are a few fun little jumps if you’re in the mood. If it is the right time of year, you can alternatively take Rock Candy at the bottom – a double black trail that is steep enough to make you realize you’re mortal!!

I feel satisfied when I do this ride because it fills every bucket for me: technical riding, fitness building, the solitude of nature, beautiful views and purpose-built mountain bike trails.! It also keeps me humble. Some rides, I’m ON it, feel strong and am rolling all the technical trails with confidence and ease. Other rides, I am struggling to make it up the steep climbs and feel sketchy on the descents. It’s a good reminder that every day is different and it’s okay!

Mike Cotty – TheColCollective

I’d been dreaming of this ride all summer long. After a season of hosting cycling tours, I’d spotted a ton of hidden tracks and trails that I was eager to explore, but there was one that stood out more than any. From the summit of the legendary Col du Tourmalet, a gravel track had the words ‘adventure’ written all over it. The Pic du Midi de Bigorre is a 2,877m high astronomical observatory where NASA scientists mapped the surface of the moon for the Apollo landings. Naturally, it has a real James Bond feel to it and is one of the most iconic landmarks in the French Pyrénées. To get to the summit normally takes two cable cars but today my mission was on two wheels. I could feel the excitement building the higher I climbed, every corner unveiling another moment to savor. A final 500 meters called for some cyclocross style bike portaging as I clambered up the last rocks and onto what felt like the summit of the world. On the descent back down I was grinning from ear to ear and already hatching an idea as to how I could share this experience with others. It was this ride that was the inspiration behind our Into the Wild end of season cycling adventure.

Chris Hall – ChrisHallRides

The hardest challenge I have done to date was cycling 107km every day for 107 days to raise awareness for the 107 kids at The PACE Centre. I absolutely love the Spring Classics and decided that I wanted my last day to be the Ronde Van Vlaanderen sportive (so I could then watch the pros the next day.) The raw riding in the classics to me is incredible. I love the cobbled climbs. What better way to finish the epic challenge.

Rowley Clifford – Errantry 

Majorca is famed for cycling with a huge number of amateur and professionals making their way to the island to hone form in the mountains there before their season kicks off in earnest. My favorite part, though, is the out-and-back run to the lighthouse at Cap de Formentor, which manages to feel totally unique in both directions. Each turn gifts you a new vista as you roll out northeastwards, constantly climbing or descending through dense forests and epic coast roads before turning back when the road runs out. On this occasion, Jose and I decided to tag the lighthouse venture onto the end of a ride to recon the route for an ELEMNT BOLT demo with European press. I will never forget this ride for a number of reasons, but most of all the fact that we just decided to go for it for no other reason than that neither of us was ‘done’ yet. Up until that point we had already covered 130km and with the light, fast-running out we set out. It ’s fair to say the road did not disappoint, with both of us barely able to put our cameras down the whole way. It goes to show that sometimes it’s worth exploring just a little; the rewards can be immense!

For more on riding in Majorca check out our guide to the island.

Shane Miller – GPLama

This loop is my go-to for a 40km/25mile effort with no stopping. Perfect for time trial training. I refer to this loop as “Sheep Patrol” due to the number of sheep seen on route, however, there’s also a mix of cows, alpacas, goats, and on a good day a snake or two (it’s Australia after all). Sure there are many other more scenic and more vertically challenging rides in the area, but sometimes a simple route like this is a perfect way to switch off and just ride my bike.

Cameron Jeffers – CyclingCam

There is no one particular ride that stands out for me, but there is one route, I call it ‘The Big Northern Lap’. From my home in Lancashire, I head out through the City of Preston. Through the mayhem, the congestion, the busses, the cycle lanes, the hustle, and bustle. I continue riding until I reach the Ribble Valley,  only a couple miles north of the city, but it feels a world away. I head north to a small village called Tosside. This is where the Lancashire and North Yorkshire border meets, and then to another village called Settle. Before looping back around and heading back south.

It’s around 100 miles in total, one hundred miles of quiet, twisting, hedge lined roads, finding the most quaint little villages in the middle of nowhere. Whenever I need to be away, and on my own, I take this route, it allows me to reflect, clear my mind, and regain mental sanity.

Shane Byler

This is my favorite ride/route because I can do it right out my front door & it’s so good that I refer to it as “my weekly 4-hour vacation”. It’s the kind of epic ride that I would look forward to doing for a long time, but in the summer I get to do it almost every week! It truly makes me feel like I’m living a charmed life. Secluded low-traffic roads, rolling hills (they call this area “Silk Sheets”) several stretches of gravel that change weekly with the weather and a proper breakfast stop at the beautiful Serenbe resort’s Blue-eyed Daisy. On the way back to the city we try to take even shares of the work & get back to work as fast as possible. It’s not for the faint of heart, but there is a perfect balance of suffering & sheer pleasure.

Share your favorite route with us in the comments section below and tag your ride photos on social using #InMyELEMNT. Your photo may be featured on our website.

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