6:51 pm - Tue, Jul 15, 2014
5 notes

Within A Weekend’s Drive: Ride Ten Thousand, Illinois

Event Details and The Route: 125 Mile Gravel Road Race over 10,000 ft of rolling hills through Northern Illinois. 

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For more photos from our ride, click here.

6:49 pm
4 notes

Within A Weekend’s Drive: Damascus, Virginia

Day One Route: Government Road to Holston Mountain.image

Day Two Route: Creeper Trail to Whitetop Mountainimageimageimage

Day Three Route: To Roan High Knob and BackimageimageimageFor more photos of our rides, click here.

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!

12:07 pm - Fri, Jul 11, 2014
1 note
We are off to spread some SBW ride vibes in Illinois! Because of this, the shop will be closed this Saturday, 7/12. 

We are off to spread some SBW ride vibes in Illinois! Because of this, the shop will be closed this Saturday, 7/12. 

3:10 pm - Wed, Jun 25, 2014

SBW Rides! This Weekend.

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 howdy@swallowbicycleworks.com. We look forward to riding with you!

11:41 am - Fri, Jun 20, 2014
2 notes
Soma Smoothie, so smooooth. #somafab #somasmoothie

Soma Smoothie, so smooooth. #somafab #somasmoothie

4:19 pm - Fri, Jun 13, 2014
Also back in the shop, are these @rivbike summer gloves. These are our favorite gloves and will keep your hands comfy for all your rides, long or short. Photo by @wildleaves !

Also back in the shop, are these @rivbike summer gloves. These are our favorite gloves and will keep your hands comfy for all your rides, long or short. Photo by @wildleaves !

10:42 am - Wed, Jun 11, 2014
1 note

What to Expect

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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!

10:42 am - Fri, Jun 6, 2014
1 note
Join us for some fun bike rides this June!

Join us for some fun bike rides this June!

4:34 pm - Thu, Jun 5, 2014
119 notes

To read our account of SBW Rides West and the Oregon Outback, click here

6:35 pm - Fri, May 16, 2014
2 notes

Swallow Bicycle Works Rides West

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.

Follow along.

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 howdy@swallowbicycleworks.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

2:00 pm - Wed, May 14, 2014
2 notes

Highlands Passage Recap

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Film photography by Adam Lytle

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.

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Film photography by Adam Lytle

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. 

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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.

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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! 

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Check out the rest of our photos on flickr, here!

10:41 am - Wed, May 7, 2014
This is the final update for Highlands Passage. The ride will be taking place this Sunday, May 11 at 9:00 AM. Whether you are riding 36 miles or 108, you are in for a memorable day! We look forward to riding with you. Here is some updated information for you to review as you finalize your plans. 
Parking
We will depart from Miguel’s Pizza Parking Lot at 9:00 AM. Please note that their parking lot is extremely limited and is available on a first come first serve basis. If it looks full, consider parking here and riding your bike over to meet us. 
The Route
For a PDF file of the route map and cue sheet, click here. 
Official GPS route links: 36 Mile and 108 Mile
Familiarize yourself with the cue sheet and map as these are your tools for planning your stops, and navigating the route on your own.
*Remember to bring a front and rear light for Nada Tunnel
*36-Mile Participants: Aside from the occasional natural spring or drinking fountain, your only water/fuel stops will be at mile 6.8 and 34.8. Come prepared with enough water!
Self-supported 
This ride is 100% self-supported meaning you are responsible for yourself and your bike. If something goes wrong; you bonk, get a mechanical, run out of water, etc. It is up to you to self-rescue. By joining us on this ride, you are acknowledging this responsibility.
Self-paced vs. Riding with us!
A lot of you are coming down to ride with friends. Go your own pace and ride within your limits. If you are riding in a group, keep an eye out for one another. This route is challenging so expect a long day. 
For those of you interested in riding with us on the 108 mile route, expect a pace that will be quick at times and casual at other times. We like to take in the sights, but we also enjoy pedaling hard and feeling the momentum of the road. We will be stopping for mechanicals if we come across them, and regrouping at major turns. Please let us know if you intend to ride with us so we know to keep an eye out for you. Be prepared with a back-up plan in case our pace is not comfortable for you.
T-Shirts
We will have t-shirts with a graphic illustration of the Highlands Passage route available at the ride. These are printed in Cincinnati on super comfy American Apparel tri-blend t-shirts and designed by local artist, Mary Lytle. Grab one from us for $20 before or after the ride!

Post Ride
When you complete the ride we suggest riding right up to Miguel’s Pizza and placing your order. Typically the wait time is 15-30 minutes so that gives you some time to change and put bikes away etc. Click here to view their menu ticket and start planning for your mouth watering pizza. NOTE: Miguel’s Pizza is located in a dry-county. For those of you bringing alcoholic beverages for after the ride, bring your “party cups” and please be respectful to the local businesses. 

This is the final update for Highlands Passage. The ride will be taking place this Sunday, May 11 at 9:00 AM. Whether you are riding 36 miles or 108, you are in for a memorable day! We look forward to riding with you. Here is some updated information for you to review as you finalize your plans. 

Parking

We will depart from Miguel’s Pizza Parking Lot at 9:00 AM. Please note that their parking lot is extremely limited and is available on a first come first serve basis. If it looks full, consider parking here and riding your bike over to meet us. 

The Route

For a PDF file of the route map and cue sheet, click here

Official GPS route links: 36 Mile and 108 Mile

Familiarize yourself with the cue sheet and map as these are your tools for planning your stops, and navigating the route on your own.

*Remember to bring a front and rear light for Nada Tunnel

*36-Mile Participants: Aside from the occasional natural spring or drinking fountain, your only water/fuel stops will be at mile 6.8 and 34.8. Come prepared with enough water!

Self-supported 

This ride is 100% self-supported meaning you are responsible for yourself and your bike. If something goes wrong; you bonk, get a mechanical, run out of water, etc. It is up to you to self-rescue. By joining us on this ride, you are acknowledging this responsibility.

Self-paced vs. Riding with us!

A lot of you are coming down to ride with friends. Go your own pace and ride within your limits. If you are riding in a group, keep an eye out for one another. This route is challenging so expect a long day. 

For those of you interested in riding with us on the 108 mile route, expect a pace that will be quick at times and casual at other times. We like to take in the sights, but we also enjoy pedaling hard and feeling the momentum of the road. We will be stopping for mechanicals if we come across them, and regrouping at major turns. Please let us know if you intend to ride with us so we know to keep an eye out for you. Be prepared with a back-up plan in case our pace is not comfortable for you.

T-Shirts

We will have t-shirts with a graphic illustration of the Highlands Passage route available at the ride. These are printed in Cincinnati on super comfy American Apparel tri-blend t-shirts and designed by local artist, Mary Lytle. Grab one from us for $20 before or after the ride!

Post Ride

When you complete the ride we suggest riding right up to Miguel’s Pizza and placing your order. Typically the wait time is 15-30 minutes so that gives you some time to change and put bikes away etc. Click here to view their menu ticket and start planning for your mouth watering pizza. NOTE: Miguel’s Pizza is located in a dry-county. For those of you bringing alcoholic beverages for after the ride, bring your “party cups” and please be respectful to the local businesses. 

10:00 am - Wed, Apr 23, 2014
4 notes

Location: Athens, Ohio

Route: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4456524

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/79517887@N02/sets/72157644220125091/

Last weekend Tom, Mary and I geared up for our final pre-ride/camp-out before we head out West for Oregon Outback (a 360-mile dirt road ride across Oregon). I have always wanted to explore the appalachian landscape, and glacial cave systems out near Hocking Hills so what better way to explore the region than high mileage bike ride. My goal with the route was to include as much dirt and distance as possible to get us ready for what our first day goal for the Oregon Outback is; to reach The Cowboy Dinner Tree for our 7:30 PM reservation (115 miles of dirt roads in under 12 hours). 

Day one was tough. I had planned for us to ride about 90-ish miles west of Athens, to Tar Hollow, then north to Hocking Hills from there. At mile 15 we hit what looked like a fantastic double track gravel rail-trail, the catch was that all the train bridges that once crossed the deep creek gullies had been removed. Rather than turning back and taking a major paved detour around the trail, we all chose to push forward, a decision that ultimately made for a lot of hike-a-biking, 6 creek crossings, a 3-hour time penalty, and more water consumption than what we had planned for that distance. At mile 30, it was 3 o’clock, we were running low on water, and had (what we thought at the time, “only” 60 miles to go…). At this point we were solely focused on finding easy water and going the distance.  We found salvation at a glorious water spigot in Tar Hollow which would be the only water we would take until mile 90. Gradually, night rolled in, hiding the landscape from view. We could easily feel that we were nearing Hocking Hills as the grades became steeper, and steeper (13-25% grades with heavy bikes!!). I wish we could have seen some of those roads in daylight. Climbing steep, loose, cat litter gravel, and then bombing down the backside becomes a different, smoother, blacker thing in the cool night. Our headlights flashed scenes of rock walls dripping wet and fern covered as we pressed on in survival mode. The whole time I was thinking “my mom and dad are going to kill me for torturing my sister like this!” but the kid won’t crack. She’s tough stuff.

After becoming one with the hills, we setup camp at 10:30 PM, enjoyed luxury camping with our 3-person tent, inflatable sleeping matts, inflatable pillows, more food than we needed, and a bathroom nearby. Ultimately, we rode about 100 miles (due to a few more detours along the way) for a little over 12 hours (including the hike-a-bike). I like to think that we increased our relative toughness scale by a healthy percentage. 

Day two was a luxury day compared to day one with perfect weather, perfect scenery, a Bob Evan’s binge stop, ultimately making our 70-mile day a typical joyful bike ride. I fell in love with the narrow, punching roller-coaster gravel roads throughout Hocking and Vinton County. If you have never been out there- check it out! Although, don’t say I didn’t warn you about this particular route…

We rode the bikes as pictured above with frame mounted bags from Porcelain Rocket and Revelate Designs. In our experience with loaded riding, bags like this handle loads well on and off road, quietly, without sacrificing ride quality. They also create a very compact, organized packing system. I was experimenting with a basket and rack built by Tom which worked great and allowed for a lot more capacity, which I used, and it was a bit front-end heavy to lug up steep hike-a-bike sections. In the bags we split the weight of a 3-person tent, each carried our own food, sleeping bag, mat, pillow, water (2500 ml each), lights, and basic necessities. 

So like anything we do, we encourage you to try it out! If this seems at all interesting to you then why not select a do-able route for you and a friend to tackle. Most folks already have some camping equipment. You don’t have to go far, just go somewhere fun!

6:31 pm - Fri, Apr 18, 2014
9:51 pm - Thu, Apr 17, 2014
1 note
We build a fair share of wheels here.

We build a fair share of wheels here.

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