Rider in MN USA looking to get out of the winter in late Feb, early March. I would like to drive to a warmish/not-frigid spot (doesn’t need to be hot) for a couple weeks of remote work, training. Riding Road and gravel.
Doesn’t need to be hot and sunny, just not snowy. Happy to ride in 40F+, as long as it’s not wet. Wife is a non-rider and a foodie who loves hiking.
I"m looking at:
Any recommendations for other places?
From another Minnesotan: Arkansas is only a 9-10 hour drive and is 40+ degree. I would go there in January for 3-4 years in a row and it would be in the 40s-50s. Fayetteville is really good for riding and there’s a lot of routes online to use.
I have limited input here really, but I spent 2 weeks in Asheville for work a couple of years ago and as a foodie and cyclist it’s really really good - I did some great cycling on the Blue Ridge Parkway and there are loads of craft beer places, and decent food. Hiking looked good too.
I was expecting 2 weeks in a s*thole close to the airport like normal so I was very pleasantly surprised
I personally would lobby for Bentonville before Fayetteville…trails are literally within a mile of downtown, excellent gravel, road rides abound, etc.
but both would be excellent choices.
@chasethebiker first, congrats on a great year of riding! It’s been fun watching you and I hope you got a bonus from HED for the exposure. Second, I’m leaning towards Bentonville because I love the town, but I will look at Fayetteville.
Asheville would be a good place, the roads north of town in areas around Marshall, Mars Hill, Flag Pond are where the best riding is at. Very little traffic up there, perfect roads, good climbs
I’ve spent time cycling in Greenville and Asheville. Generally I’d recommend Asheville over Greenville but in February or March specifically I’d go to Greenville as it’s significantly warmer and you are less likely to hit ugly weather there
The south (in my experience) is not super hospitable to road cyclists. Something to consider
Maybe consider Dahlonega, Ga. IMO it has some of the best roads and climbs in the southeast. It should be warmer compared to Asheville and has plenty of wineries with a cute downtown and lots of places to go hiking.
You were expecting Asheville to be a sh!thole?
Asheville is a very popular vacation spot and the Blue Ridge Parkway is known for amazing climbs, albeit busy traffic at times. And they have the most breweries of any city in America. In February/March I’d expect the weather to not be the greatest for cycling though. Probably still have snow or melting snow. Don’t quote me though; we used to visit once or twice a year but haven’t been in 6 or 7 years now.
Greenville is nice and they have a growing cycling community. There’s a really nice multi-use trail and it has some nice climbs north of the city. Hincapie has a hotel up there as well (Hotel Domestique) that caters to cyclists. Last was there in March of this year and it was still really cold but I don’t think that’s normal. Still riding weather though.
I’ve never cycled in Charleston but it’s a cool city to visit. Traditional southern coastal city. Lots of cool history and architecture, good food. And it’s pretty close to Savannah which is probably one of my favorite places to visit ever. Would probably have better weather but it’s fairly flat so if you want climbs I think Asheville/Greenville would be better.
Knoxville tn has some of the best road riding in the country. You can ride from downtown south and have a few hundred miles of excellent roads. You have to drive to gravel though. Tons of mtb riding straight from downtown too. Asheville is good, but the parkway will could be crazy cold on the downhills and/or closed due to ice. Greenville is fun, but knox has more riding, especially from town. Bentonville is rad, for gravel and mtn, cant say about road riding, might be great….but never hear about it. Charleston? I wouldnt go there for riding, nice town though. I think the gaps in N Ga might be a bit too much of the roll of the dice on weather, could be good, could be real cold, not sure if the towns have enough entertainment for the wife as the bigger cities have. Chattanooga is pretty good for road and mtn, but you have to drive to gravel. The good gravel is about half way between knoxville and Chattanooga. Savannah is a neat city, but only a few loops from town….gets kimda boring after a few days riding. Chatt is a degree or two warmer than Knoxville, and knox is a little warmer than Asheville. Greenville may be warmer than Chatt. It certainly can get hella could down here, but we usually have highs in the 40s in feb, sometimes in the 60s, sometimes 20.
haven’t heard of this since the old Tour of Georgia! I’ll check it out!
Thanks so much for this write up! This is very much in line with how i was thinking about things. Don’t mind flat; just need long rides and less traffic, so Charleston/Savannah sound good. Long drive from MPLS, but sounds like all options would be worth it.
hella cold in TN is still “balmy” compared to MN in Feb. I got the gear! I will take a look at Knox and Chattanooga. There’s also some really interesting history/historical sites in both of those cities, so that makes them even more interesting. Thanks for the tip!
Can’t drive there(But I personally wouldn’t be jumping up and down to drive form MN to GA either), but Maui has(IMO) the best riding in the US.
Sorry not at all, that wasn’t my intent - I had no idea what to expect as I had never heard of the place!
The previous course I had delivered for the same client I had spent 4 days delivering in a windowless basement of a cr@p hotel on a dual carriageway outside Milan, so my expectations were fairly low. Even if it’s a nice place the kind of client I was working with for that is going to have a site in some industrial area outside of the town anyway.
Then I looked at the hotel on Google Maps and spotted “Sierra Nevada Brewery”… then I actually looked into the place properly. I rented a bike for the weekend and did some great riding, then went to as many breweries in town as I could manage… Very fond memories.
Fellow MN rider here as well. A couple of years ago I stayed in Moab for January/February. The temperatures were on the cooler side (maybe into the upper 40s), but because it’s a desert, snow was never really an issue. It had great road, gravel, and MTB riding, plus with it being in the off season I could drive into any national/state park without having to deal with a line (and lodging rates were very reasonable). SW Utah, near St. George, might be another option, plus you get the benefit of a little elevation.
This is an interesting idea. Definitely hadn’t thought of this! Will do some research
I like to spend a lot of time in the desert in winter. St George area is great for road, even better for MTB. Cold for sure, but you are used to that.
I live an hour from Palm Springs, so I MTB there a lot in winter. But I just stay local mostly because I’m in SoCal.