Back by popular demand, I have another route of great back roads, dirt and beautiful countryside for those big, heavy beasts! The last ride was a blast, and I've tried to improve upon the route and most importantly, the weather!
Here's the details!
When: Saturday, July 9th.
(in the case of severe weather, use your judgment).
Where: Meeting at the Danville Community Park
, in Danville, Ohio at 10am
. Group rides out at 10:30 after a fuel-up.
About the ride...
This meandering route will encompass approx. 150 miles of forgotten back roads, with more gravel than pavement...including some great unimproved roads and light trails, taking us through hilly wooded areas, sweeping Amish farmsteads, and along some of the most scenic waterways in this area of the state. The start and end of the route are all centrally located, and we'll end the route with grand style at one of two very good restaurants to celebrate the day with some grub!
Most of the roads are scenic gravel back roads, and a few connecting paved county roads....
There are also some old, unincorporated roads that offer a big bike a challenge with rocks, ruts and bumps (I'll get to the specifics of these later)...and a couple small stream crossings.
That's a little teaser of what's on the route!
The biggest question everyone wanted to know on the last ride is the severity of the trails and bad roads. Except for 3 or 4 short sections of trail/roads, all of it is no more severe than a gravel road, sometimes narrow, but the surface is passable by a street bike. The last photograph is a picture of the worst of the sections....it's a long grade with deep ruts that occasionally criss-cross the sketchy road. We'll be going DOWN this grade, which is much easier on a big bike than up, and the grade is not steep. If the road is dry, it's not a challenge if you've done any offroad riding. If it's wet? Forget it unless you've got knobbies. I have worked "outs" into the route for anyone who isn't comfortable with offroad on a big bike, and in case of wet trails. Last year's ride saw a few bikes struggle, but it was with greasy places where the previous night's rain left some trenches. If it's dry, this is all doable on a Vstrom 1000 wearing Shinko 705's...in fact I scouted this entire route with my 14 year old daughter riding pillion...but admittedly, I'm willing to put the big Strom where some people will not. So, be forewarned there are some challenging sections if you're a total noob to dirt, but no requirement that you ride them and they encompass a very short part of this ride...you'll still have a ball if you miss them. But, know this, my daughter and I will snicker at you for being a sissy.
Seriously, it's no big deal whether you hit the gnarly sections, they're easily avoided...they're on the route for the challenge, but if you'd rather not that's fine.
Now the next question I got is whether it's ok to ride it on a small bike? Answer: Of course! The route is laid out for big bikes, but I certainly don't care if anyone rides it on a small scoot. The one concern is that the 1st gas stop is at 75 miles, so if you do have a small bike or limited range, be aware of that!
If you want to trailer to the ride, you're 100% welcome to trailer at my place and ride up to the start with me that morning, my place is pretty much in the middle of the route, so it will be preferable to riding back at to the start (the route is not a loop). PM me for my addy. I will stop at the Pioneer Restaurant
in Utica for some breakfast around 8:30, so if anyone wants to trailer or meet up there before heading to Danville, by all means!
The ride will last about 5-6 hours, depending on the size of the group, so we'll be finishing for a late lunch, early dinner at the end...there's no early food stop, so bring something to munch on and some water/drinks. We will make a couple scenic rest stops along the way, and there will be time to snack or fill your belly at the fuel stop if you're peckish. You will not get a junior-adventurer merit badge and commemorative windbreaker if you bail early, because you forgot your lunchbox.
Even more details:
I will make the route available via .gpx/.gdb before the ride, this always helps when more folks have the route on hand. I may do a roll chart if enough people request. This is the approximate route:
Also, if anyone is making a haul here to do the ride, and would like to camp out, again you're welcome to pitch a tent at my place....lots of wooded area, a fire-ring, and facilities...even some single track to hone your skills!
So, with that long-winded, cover-all-bases description, I hope you come and enjoy the back roads it's a very enjoyable route! The pace will be a nice one, not screaming fast or turtle slow, just a good ride through the country side with some friends!
Me and my scouting partner...