Longest route you can coast on your bicycle without pedaling?

What is the longest route that you know of that you can coast on a bicycle without having to pedal?

For the purposes of this question, I would not count mountain roads that just stay on one mountain and switch back and forth.

The reason I ask this is because when I was in school, I could walk out the front door of my university library, hop on my bike, pedal one or two strokes, then roll past the academic buildings, past the dorms, coast into my neighborhood, down my street and roll up to my front door without having to pedal (ok, maybe one stroke here or there). It was about a mile, but it was a lot of fun. Wasn’t fun pedaling back.

There is a rails to trails type of bike path outside Yellow Springs, Ohio that seems to go on for miles like that.

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A Rails to Trails path near me which I ride a couple of times a week has a section where you can coast at 10 to 12 mph for 3.1 miles from a standing standing start.

There are a lot of mountain passes and grades down and up canyons in the northwest where you can coast for miles and miles. You feel like you are barely moving as you sweat and swear up one side but that all changes once you crest the top. It’s the opposite when you go down a canyon grade and then have to go up the other side. For example: Ride down the Rattlesnake Grade and you are :cool::D. Cross the Grande Ronde and start going up Bufford Grade into OR and you are like :(:smack:

DOH! I just reread the part about mountain roads. Well, technically, my Rattlesnake Grade example is not a mountain. That’s over 10 miles down.

Accepting the OP’s conditions, I expect the answer will be a long level road or paved path with weather that yields a brisk tailwind.

If we go with gravity as the sole motive force, I note that heading west on I-70 in Utah, the 25 miles that end near the town of Salina are continuously downhill.

In Jamaica I rode on an old, dilapidated school bus up into the Blue Mountains. At the top the bus unloaded passengers and bicycles. It was a fun ride down.

Possibly of interest: Coast-to-coast coating. Look for paths with a 1/500 slope.

There is a road route off the Back Mountain north of Wilkes-Barre where you can do about 5 miles or better; I’ve done it in neutral on my motorcycle and in the car so I’m figuring a bicycle would have no issue at all.

I think once you crest the Saddle Road on the Big Island, you might be able to coast the rest of the way.

The longest continuous road descent anywhere in England [not sure about Scotland and Wales] is a mere 5.5 miles, 3% av gradient, at Cragg vale. Seems surprisingly short, really, but such is our geography.
Actually quite a difficult climb on the bike if you want to throw a dig into it - it’s not steep or excessively long so you can go very hard, and it’s easy to blow up. With something really steep it’s easier to feel what is a sustainable pace.

Just to be clear, it is OK to start on a mountain, as long as as you end up somewhere other than the mountain. I have done the downhill routes on a mountain bike after being taken up the mountain by a ski lift. It is fun and you could ride for a long time, but it not like you are going from one place to another.

I am imagining starting in a mountain town somewhere in New Mexico or Colorado and ending up somewhere in a town out in the desert or plains somewhere.

I didn’t think about rails to trails routes. I betcha there is one with a long smooth downhill grade somewhere.

I grew up on the side of a high valley ridge. Numerous roads ran down the ridge, some a little windy but not really switching back. It was easy to coast for about a mile down the roads and some distance across the valley floor which had largely been leveled for farming and housing. The height of the ridge in PA wasn’t all that great either, deeper into mountainous country, especially out west in the Rockies there must be much longer possible rides. I’m not sure how long the freeway over the Santa Susanna Pass between LA and Simi Valley was but anywhere outside of the snow zone there could be very long straight downhill slopes. As I think about it now, the whole Tujunga neighborhood in LA seems to be built on the sloping side of a mountain, there must be a lot of long coasts that could be done there. And the Bear Mt. Parkway in NY was a long steep road, though I don’t recall if bikes were allowed on it. The Bear Mt. Bridge road is also famous for it’s long winding path following the profile of the mountain. There were dips and rises along the way but it’s possible it’s length of at least a couple of miles could be traversed without pedaling. If you could somehow start on the mountain on the other side of the bridge and still coast across the bridge it could be quite a long ride. And that’s just another foothill type mountain, nothing like the taller ones just in the Appalachian region.

I’ve biked between Las Cruces, NM and White Sands Missile Range many times. I generally start pedaling as soon as my speed drops below 20 mph or so, but if you’re willing to coast a bit slower, I’m pretty sure you could coast for about 5 miles of it.

Over on Maui you can bike 26 miles down the slopes of Maui’s Haleakala volcano. Parts are quite steep, so it would behoove you to check out the brakes before you take off.


When I lived in Santa Cruz we used to shuttle to the top of Nisene Forest and coast the forest roads back down - 11 miles.

The proof would be in the pudding, but I’d like to try leaving Cloudcroft, N.M., elevation 8600, on US 82. I think it’s entirely downhill to the stoplight in Alamogordo, 16 miles away and 4000 feet lower.

Here are 12-24 mile long ‘coasting’ rides. From the top of the continental divide.

All trips require a certain amount of bike riding skills. Each rider must be able to exhibit a minimum level of proper use of brakes and turning ability.”

What they really need to know is the rules of the road. One of these folks sent my Wife (who is an avid biker, and IronMan) to the emergency room. Pulled right out in front of here.