A Frustrating, Fun, Tiring Sunday

I hosted the RCCS ride yesterday.  Turnout was very good.  My neighbors probably think I’m crazy after seeing so many bicyclists arrive at my house.

I need to plan my route better next time.  I knew there would be hills, but I didn’t realize how steep the hills at Clark State Forest are.  I also need to learn my route better.  I went the wrong direction twice, and had to turn back.

Due to the turn-arounds I put around 48 miles, that’s after cutting some of the ride short and taking a more direct route back.  We were still out nearly five hours.

The gravel road was, ummm, interesting.  Tim loved it.  I thought it was okay for a mile-long stretch.  Neither of us knew about it ahead of time.  I should have driven the route before settling on it.  I probably wouldn’t have changed the route due to gravel, but I would have given fair warning.

Some of the riders were under time constraints and left early.  Our “no-drop” group did split into several groups fairly early on.  Seven of us finished the ride together.  Six of us went for pizza and beer at Charlestown Pizza Company (which was excellent).

I’m not going to try to name everyone that showed up.  I’m horrible with names.  I only took two pictures and they were at the beginning of the ride.  Not seen in the pictures are Tom, Jen, and I.

Edit: Tim provided some new photos

6 thoughts on “A Frustrating, Fun, Tiring Sunday”

  1. Jenn and I had our own versions of fun, to be sure. Charlestown Pizza is a gem of a place.

    I made the entire ride without walking any of those hills, on a bike that doesn’t climb as well as my Strada. It was good to go that distance, but like many, I was glad to get back to the car.

    I hadn’t reset my trip odometer, so I’ll take your word for the 48 miles. It felt about like that distance, too.

  2. I think, without the time constraints, that the extra meanderings were fun. It’s interesting, though, that when you’re “in charge” of a good-sized group, you’re less able to make it up as you go along due to the flexibility. Aside the 2 missed turns and Tom’s lady friend unfortunately having turn around, it was a marvelous day. The weather and route really couldn’t have been better.

    I would love to tour this area more if you’re inclined down the road, especially all those small, mystery roads around CSF.

  3. And I put the route into gmappedometer and it came out as 47.5. That’s the number I put into my official chart. I’m still confused where we missed that turn in CSF. I can’t visualize the turn we “missed”, although by that time a direct way home way the best.

  4. The route was wonderful. I just need to avoid taking wrong turns. 🙂

    The gravel wouldn’t have been a problem, if we had known about it, and warned everyone when advertising the ride.

    Maybe a future ride this year will be a “Clark Forest Ramble” where we do some mixed-terrain riding, and explore more. We would start closer to the area though, as the distance was a bit much after tackling those hills.

  5. I love the green “clown camo” bike with pink handle bars!

    40 miles would kill me dead. Maybe someday…

    Longest I ever remember going was 30 and I was a teenager.

    Looks like you all had a great time.

  6. Mark,

    That bike is a fixed-gear. I didn’t think he’d fare well on the hills. I really didn’t see him ride much, as he pulled ahead with the faster pack. He had to cut out early due to time constraints, so I don’t think he did the really steep hills in Clark State Forest, but I heard he rode well, hills and all.

    It was a good time, although there were times during the ride that I questioned my sanity. It was my fault, I chose the route. 🙂

    If you ever want to come up my way for a shorter route, I have routes I’ve ridden many times with distances from 11 to 18 miles. It’s a scenic area (I imagine your is too though).

    On the other hand once I fix Nermal (should be done tonight) I’d be up for heading out to ride with you, and let you pick the route.

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