Within A Weekend’s Drive: Ride Ten Thousand, Illinois
For more photos from our ride, click here.
For more photos from our ride, click here.
Day One Route: Government Road to Holston Mountain.
Day Two Route: Creeper Trail to Whitetop Mountain
Resources: Places to stay and things to do
Woodchuck Hostel A hostel price for a bed and breakfast experience! Chuck is the best!
Virginia Creeper Trail for the the family bike ride!
Hey Joe’s Tacos Awesome environment with live music and great food!
Mt. Rodgers Outfitters A cool little outfitters with everything you need to experience Damascus to the fullest.
Hike the Appalachian Trail The town is a hub for hikers along their journey to hike the Appalachian Trail. You will encounter people of all walks of life while getting to hike some of this legendary trail yourself!
Saturday, June 28
Social Ride: Ride from SBW to the Hyde Park Blast
Join us for an evening of bike riding, bike spectating, beer, and food! We are going to ride our bikes to the Hyde Park Blast! The plan is to depart from the shop at 4PM in order to arrive in time to watch the Men’s Category 3/4 Race, The Women’s Category 1/2/3 Race, The Pro Run, and The Men’s Pro Race. The 17-mile route that we will take includes the bike trail, roads with traffic, roads with bike-lanes, and some hills.
GPS Route: Click here.
You are on your own for the ride home. Stay as long or as short as you would like, ride home, or meet a friend with a car. We will be riding home at some point in the dark. You are welcome to join us, just let us know you plan to do so, and bring your brightest front and rear lights.
We suggest bringing a lock for your bike, lights, a picnic blanket/chair, money, ID, and plenty of water.
Sunday, June 29
Adventure Ride: Gravel road ride through Jefferson County, Indiana.
Join us for a 50-mile gravel road ride in Southern Indiana. Carpool from the shop at 7AM or meet us at Camp Meeting Ground around 8:30AM for a roll out by 9AM. Be prepared to see some beautiful Southern Indiana scenery, cross some creeks, meet a dog named Holly, and enjoy a day out with other cyclists.
This is a self-supported ride in which you will be responsible for your own repairs, food, water, and ride completion. We will not be providing a map or cue sheet for this ride. Download the GPX file, or print off the cue sheet if you are concerned about separating from the group. This particular ride only has one opportunity to refuel, and it’s only a vending machine, and sometime it does not even have water… Bring enough food and water for a hot day (we can’t stress this enough, we have run out of water on this ride before and it sucks!). By joining us on this ride, you have agreed and understand the terms of the ride listed above.
GPS Route: Click here.
If you have any questions, shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to riding with you!
Stinging Nettle Forest
Join us for a fun opportunity to engage in some non-competitive competition. Yes, this is a race. No, there are no prizes for first place. Come out, ride hard, and have fun.
Expect to meet us at the shop at 6pm on Friday 6/13 for a casual roll down the bike trail to Milford (approx. 7 miles). We will get off the bike trail at the Milford trailhead and pedal up the hill to the North entrance of Valley View Park (between Club dr. and Cleveland Ave.). From there we will roll down the single track hill and gather at a picnic table and fire pit on the east side of the park which is where we will leave all of you, while we cone the course. After we are finished, we will preview the course as a group, before we line up to race. We will race 3-4 laps (depending on the length and difficulty of the course). The course will be rough, muddy, overgrown, fast, and fun. Bring whatever bike you have with wheels. After we finish we will casually get back on our bikes and make our way back to the Little Miami Bike trail, then back to the shop. You will want lights on your bike for this ride!
If you plan to meet us at Valley View Park by parking at the Elementary School, pedal straight into the park along the most eastern tree line to find the picnic table, with fire pit. There will be a trail entrance into the woods from the picnic table. We will get to the park around 7ish.
Waiver of Liability: This is a self-supported ride. By joining us on this ride you are assuming liability and responsibility for yourself, your bike, and anything that may happen to either one of you on this ride, or on the way to this ride.
See you there!
What we are doing.
Today we embarked on a westbound journey to ride our bikes in unfamiliar territory. Unfamiliar in the sense that we will be riding further than we have ever gone in places we have never been. Don’t worry; the shop is still open for business! Go in there and talk to Doug, John, Lennice or D.A. about your next big ride.
Two specific rides draw us out of our normal life as bicycle shop owners by weekday, and bicycle adventurists by weekend, the Almanzo 100, and Oregon Outback. These two rides share more than riding challenging distances and terrain; they share a common community, a community that we feel some connection with, and a community that we find is growing in our small pocket of Southwest Ohio. Like our own rides, the Almanzo 100 (held in Minnesota) and Oregon Outback (held in Oregon, obviously…) provide riders with an organized, but informal, setting to tackle a challenging route in which the riders must support themselves. Oh, and they are also free to do. For us, these rides give us an opportunity to ride routes in new places without having to worry about the potential for a five-mile, six creek, hike-a-bike (see our Hocking Hills Overnight write-up), allowing us to fully enjoy and focus on the challenge at hand: purely riding our bikes. More importantly than the convenience, are the people that we meet during these rides. These people are from all walks of life, some are racers, some are not, some ride road bikes, some ride mountain bikes, some ride cyclocross bikes, and some ride a hybrid of all three. The common thread that connects all these people is their desire to ride bikes and experience some element of adventure over long distances and interesting terrain. We are going West to participate in these unique rides to not only challenge ourselves physically and mentally, but to gain insight on a culture we wish to help grow at home.
Below we have included a rough riding itinerary of our trip. If you are interested, the best way of following along will be through Twitter (@swallowbicycle) or Instagram (@swallowbicycleworks and #sbwrideswest). If you are reading this from one of the places or rides we are headed to, we would love to meet! E-mail us at email@example.com. Finally, if you wish to track our riding status during the Oregon Outback starting Friday, May 23, you should be able to do so at, https://www.trackleaders.com/oregonoutback14.
Saturday, May 17: Almanzo 100, MN
Monday, May 19: Going to the Sun Road, MT
Wednesday, May 21: Portland, OR
Friday, May 23- ?? Oregon Outback, OR
Saturday, May 31: Mohican 100, OH
On Sunday, a group of more than 30 cyclists road together on the second annual Highlands Passage, a 108 and 35 mile ride on primarily paved roads from the Red River Gorge region of Daniel Boone National Forest, around Cave Run Lake and back. Some had done this ride, or one of the rides we have put on before, and some were new to the experience. These rides are an informal opportunity for large groups to ride long, challenging routes together in scenic places. In our case, informal means that there is no sag vehicle supporting the cyclists with water, food, or mechanical services, and also no fee. Every rider is responsible for themselves and their bicycle. In the spirit of giving large group rides freedom, we provide each individual with a map and cue sheet of the route. This gives individuals and groups the opportunity to ride their own pace and stop when they would like to stop and allows folks to “race for glory” (as there are no prizes), or simply set out on their own soul ride with new and existing friends.
We like this ride because it reminds us of what is great about where we live. The landscape is rich with diverse features, particularly in the Gorge region and out near Cave Run Lake with scenic vistas of sandstone cliffs, and roads that run through man-blasted canyons. There are also four clearly defined seasons. Highlands Passage gives us an excuse to visit Red River Gorge during Spring which offers a rain forest-esque experience with the constant sound of running water, humid air, ferns, and deep green jungle like plants that hide large mossy sandstone rocks with broad leaves. There are not many places like it. If you live in the city, these particular rides simply remind you that weekend riding trips are totally within reach.
These rides are long and challenging. We like long rides because they allow everyone to show their strengths.Those who are not fast can show their endurance. Those who are fast can share the work. Some people have hidden talents that only become apparent when a particular opportunity arises, such as a sandy corner on a descent, or an off-road short-cut through a construction zone.
On this particular day, we rolled out on the ride together, embarking on a common route. We shared water, tubes, food, and sunscreen, and rolled on like some sort of haphazard bike family. Some of us took a cool dip in Cave Run Lake and some of us had foot tall ice-cream cones. We also watched a few riders push on through their first 100-plus mile ride.
Miguel’s Pizza, a rock climbing shop that happens to offer delicious “build your own pizza’s,” is the light just beyond the end of the literal tunnel as riders pass through the Nada Tunnel at mile 102 (or 30 if you did the 36 mile route), it is all down hill from there, kind of… Riders relaxed on picnic tables eating the wonderfully non-gourmet pizza, spending some quality time with one another in a very stationary way. Thanks to everyone who joined us and made it a great day!
Check out the rest of our photos on flickr, here!