Re: Special Saturday Ride

Sounds like a great ride!  I wish I could come.  For those who are: The dirt roads off 33 from Swift Run do all connect.  I'd turn left onto 634 (Bull Yearling Rd). You will make it to Graves Mill and eventually head south towards 230.  I've ridden them.  An alternative would be to go down the Rapidan Rd to Quaker Run and eventually out to 670 and into Syria.  Is there a gate on Red Gate Rd when you hit the park boundary?  In my experience the park service has signs at all boundaries stating the rules on bikes, but I've never ridden Red Gate. 

Have fun.


On Thursday, May 3, 2012 2:20:12 PM UTC-4, crista wrote:
Dear Friends,

Bennett Minton has planned a very special ride for us on Saturday, including some dirt-road adventures, and I hope you'll take the plunge and join us on what is sure to be a memorable day!  Bennett's cue sheet is posted on the DCCenturyRides blog,  Just click on "Cue Sheets" (on the left side of the page), and you'll find it there!  Please print out your own cue sheet.  If you're unable to do so, let me know and I'll bring a hard copy to the ride start for you.  I won't be bringing extra copies of cue sheets to the ride start unless you email me directly and advise me that you're unable to print out your own.  Please don't try to use the so-called "cue sheet" that appears on the left side of the RWGPS map!

Here's Bennett's ride description:

We're going exploring. From Sperryville, we'll climb up and down Thornton Gap and then ride south along the base of the Blue Ridge for 10 miles before climbing up to Skyline Drive on the gravel Red Gate Road. After a pit stop to gaze into the Page Valley from Big Meadows Lodge, we'll ride down the east side of Swift Run Gap. This is where things get interesting, as we turn left onto back roads that may or may not exist up to the springs of the Conway River and, if our luck holds, to Graves Mill. Somehow, we'll make our way back to Wolftown on VA-230. After riding through Madison, we'll weave north between VA-231 and US-522 back to Sperryville. 103 miles. Good stretches of gravel guaranteed.

Directions to the ride start: To Sperryville: I-66 West to exit 27, the second Marshall exit. Left over the highway and then right on SR 647 for 17 miles to Flint Hill. South on US 522 3 miles to US 211/522. Right turn 8 miles to Sperryville, to the big red "School House" (aka The Links, aka the old Emporium. Park in the southwest corner of the lot near the Thornton River. Note: Reconstruction may have begun on the US 522 bridge over the Thornton. This is unlikely to affect us, as the parking lot is east of the bridge.

Or here's another way:

RAPPAHANNOCK LINK, 12018 Lee Highway, Sperryville, Virginia  22740-2154
From I-66 West, take exit 43A to Lee Highway/US29 S., toward Gainesville/Warrenton.
In 11.5 miles, merge onto US211 W./US29 Bus. S toward US15-Bus./Warrenton/Luray.
In 2.1 miles, turn right onto  Frost Ave/US211 West.  Continue to follow US211 West.
In 27 miles turn left into the Rappahannock Link (@ "big red schoolhouse"), just before US522 goes left into Sperryville.

The ride is 103 miles, of which I estimate 20-25 miles will be gravel.  RWGPS indicates over 11,000 feet of elevation gain, but it always overestimates.  Still, be prepared for 9,000 - 10,000 feet and a long day in the saddle.  You know you want it :-)