Swallow Bicycle Works is a full service bicycle shop located at 10655 Loveland Madeira Road, Loveland, Ohio. We are hardworking bike people working to bring truly enjoyable cycling to you, through thoughtful and skilled preparation of equipment and the selection of hardware, soft goods, and sundries for the ride ahead.
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How did you spend your rainy Sunday? Cyclocross nerds from the Ohio Valley, Indiana, and Kentucky regions came flooding down the road, with the rain, to Miamiville for a long time favorite cyclocross event, Gun Club CX. The radar did not lie. For most of the day we received light to heavy rain which quickly changed the vibrant green grassy course into a slushy, slippery, mud pit. This is what we like about cyclocross. The fun lies within the accomplishment of riding a challenging section of the course without crashing, or simply the camaraderie of a group of strangers working together to pull a fellow participants/spectators car out of the mud. We hope everyone had as much fun in the mud as the little kid pictured above.
Last weekend was quite a weekend for bike events local to Cincinnati. Cyclists throughout the city spent the week preparing themselves for their own upcoming riding adventure whether it be the MS150 ride, the John Bryan 6-Hour Mountain Bike Race, Ironman Louisville, or the KingsCX Cyclocross Clinics. While a lot of bikes were rolling through the shop for last minute preparation for the weekend, we were getting ready for our own bike event. This event would be the most challenging organized ride we had ever committed ourselves to and it was far from local.
The ride is called the Deerfield Dirt Road Randonnee, or D2R2 for short. Held annually in Deerfield, Massachusetts, D2R2 is a multi-distance (180k, 150k, 115k, 100k, and 40 mile) dirt road fundraiser ride for the Franklin Land Trust, a local non-profit organization responsible for conserving the historical land in which we went to experience its character.
Randonnee is the big word for this ride because it is in no way a race. In the words of the event promoter, “A randonnee is supposed to challenge you as much as possible while eliminating competitive behavior between riders.” We certainly felt the challenge part as the distance we chose was the longest version at 180 Kilometers (110 miles) with 16,000 feet of mostly steep climbing. The goal of our day was simply to enjoy the culture of the ride; the beautiful scenery, landscape, and last, but not least, the beautiful variety of bicycles built specifically for doing rides like D2R2. Oh, and it was also our mission to complete the ride before they stopped serving dinner!
We spent 12 hours traversing the dirt road route laid out for us and only missed one turn which ultimately tacked on about 5 miles. We got caught up talking to a nice guy doing the 115K about his very neatly built Surly Ogre, rather than paying attention to our own cue sheet. Hardly a setback for some good conversation. As usual, we were challenged as bike riders, as a couple, and as bicycle outfitters, ultimately lending to new lessons and fresh perspectives as any long day riding will allow. We highly recommend this ride to everyone and hope we can share the experience by bringing more Ohio folks to participate next year!
To get us in the D2R2 mentality we paid Shawnee State Forest another visit on Monday. We started with no planned route other than just to ride and try new roads for fall rides with you all. We quickly ventured off the beaten path onto some over-grown logging roads. Due to recent high humidity the forest was very alive this trip with butterflies, wild turkeys, owls, deer by the dozens, and stinging nettle.