Paved road rides in our area are plentiful. From lonely county roads to totally car-free bike paths. You will be sure to find a great place for those skinny tires.
Hard-core roadie Mike Weispfening, who lived in Duluth and Two Harbors for a long time before defecting to Ashland, WI (NW Wisconsin is littered with great road rides as well! Generally speaking – the roads of northwestern Wisconsin are amazing. If you would consider Duluth road riding as good – you would likely consider our neighbor’s to be silly-good! They are easily accessed from the Twin Ports. Military Road and those adjacent in what we call “the county” south of Superior are the gateway to some really spectacular road rides. Pretty much anywhere around towns like Iron River, Bayfield, Washburn, and Ashland you can find amazing riding with little effort. Expand your horizons a bit a go down towards the Cable, Hayward area – and even more great roads await.), 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 (Every summer a new section gets paved – check with the local shops (SKIHUT) to find out where the freshies are). 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 a ton of cool urban cruising (Lakewalk) if you have the right sort of bike.”
You should also consider some local paved bike trails like the Mesabi Trail, Gitchi-Gami State Trail and the Willard Munger State Trail (which includes the Alex Laveau Memorial Trail). These trails supply hundreds of miles of paved, car-free pedaling. Plus there are tons of great roads that intersect them.
This is the locally accepted century route here in Duluth. Depending on where you actually start riding it can be a bit more or a bit less than 100 miles. But when you say “I did the Hugo’s Loop today.” – everyone who rides knows what you mean. It’s named for the country bar/store at the apex of the loop. Stop in for some refreshments.