This is a little ride out to Minerva, OH, and back; a nice opportunity to stretch one’s legs before CtC, if one is so inclined. WPW membership is required (yay, insurance), but, if it’s your first brevet with us, the brevet fee is waived.
I’m planning to take this one easy, in order to save the legs for CtC the following week. That said, the route starts out with a transit to Prospect via the Red Belt, Franklin Rd, and 528, so there’s a good bit of climbing just in the first 35 miles or so. You have been warned…(bumpbumpBAH!)
Jeez…I guess my naturally sunny and optimistic disposition has been misleading people more than I realized.
Let’s restate the 300K blurb for more realism, shall we?
“It’s an all-day slog, starting with 40 miles of continuous climbing, and it only gets worse from there. By the time you reach the potholed gravel roads of rural Ohio, you’ll be so far outside cell coverage that your only way to bail out (and you WILL try to bail out) will be to beg a ride of someone in a pickup truck with more guns than teeth.
When you get right down to it, this is a roach motel of a ride…cyclists check in, but they don’t check out.”
The 10 miles between Evans City and Prospect has a couple of minor grinders. I do this road a lot on my weekend solo rides. Otherwise, most of the previous 30 miles are gradual uphills.
There will be headwinds coming in to Salem, the first town in Ohio, but no hard climbs.
The only part of the ride that I really don’t like is the 20 miles between Salem and Minerva. Fairly busy road, with a barely-there crumbly shoulder.
The “roach motel” leg between Minerva and Calcutta has some minor grinders and a few gravel bits, but is very low-traffic.
The last leg isn’t bad at all. There’s a long gradual climb to cross the ridge between Calcutta and the Ohio river valley, but after that there’s a long, fast downhill, and mostly flat river valley riding for the rest (except that this time we have to go up Stoop’s Ferry, since the Ambridge Bride is down).
Just make sure to be constantly eating and drinking…never let yourself start to get hungry or thirsty. Just keep spinning the pedals around and you’ll get there eventually.