North Shore & Lester River Road | Jean Duluth Road | Howard Gnesen Road | Skyline Parkway
Suggesting road-riding routes could be this simple: grab a gazetteer, head to your favorite online map site or Google Earth, and plot a route. Better yet, just get on your bike and ride somewhere you haven't ridden. Leave bread crumbs if you need to.
Those are the methods most of us use to find new ways of satisfying, entertaining, and abusing ourselves on road bikes (or on mountain bikes on the road, if we're into that sort of thing).
"Telling new-to-the-area folks about road rides is a bit more vauge than telling them about mountain-biking routes," says Ski Hut cycling guru Mick Dodds. "I just point people toward particular roads and tell them that a lot of possibilities exist."
"There are so many roads north and northeast of town," says former Duluth resident Patrick McEnaney. "I don't even know the names of 'em, but I couild show you on a map. It's like a roadie's dreamscape. Pick a distance or an amount of time, and just go. There aren't too many dogs to chase you."
Hard-core roadie Mike Weispfening, who lived in Duluth and Two Harbors for a long time before defecting to Ashland, WI, has maybe explored more northern-Minnesota and Wisconsin roads than all but a small handful of bike riders. Do not take his insight lightly:
"It's a good time to be a road rider in and around Duluth," Weispfenning says. "It's kind of come through a re-birth. Not even very long ago, there weren't nearly as many options as there are now. It's hard to pick a favorite."
"A lot of it depends on where the good pavement is," says Ryan Nelson. Road riding is something that Sherie [his wife] and I have just started to delve into. Aside from the classic road routes, there's also of cool urban cruising if you have the right sort of bike."
Most of us do have our favorite routes for various purposes. We'll share a few of them with you, as long as you reciprocate when you find your own.