As is my usual practice, I pre-ride the anticipated Ramble route each year. Reconn for the 2014 version was today. Even with the event still 8 weeks away, it was important to check a few things. Not only have I moved the date from December to November, I’m also pondering a new route.
The new route (if chosen) would combine features from past Rambles. It would include stops at the Greenwood Grocery (a popular burger stop for ride participants) and the Rosston General Store (with the wood stove, crooked and creaky wood floor, and famous Lone Star poster with the bicycle model)…(oh yeah, and the catfish heads on fenceposts that weren’t included on the route in the last two years would be back)..
By including both amusing stopping points, the route would be longer. This route is about 51 miles, includes about 2370 feet of climbing, and is mostly gravel roads.
The longer route would obviously take more time than past Rambles. Further, since the Ramble occurs on the last weekend of the Coffeeneuring Challenge, I’m planning to stop somewhere long enough for a brew-up on the route.
Daylight savings time ends on November 2, so we’ll have less afternoon/evening light. So more time required on the route means an earlier start. Unlike the 10am start of the recent versions of the Ramble, I’d roll out at 9am with the longer route.
Let me summarize the changes I’m pondering for this year. New date (November 15, and that’s fixed), more miles, a little more climbing, two feature stops, a definite brew-up stop (for me at least), and starting one hour earlier.
Would any of those changes make the event undoable for folks who are hoping to participate?
I’m probably going with the new route, unless I get a preponderance of comments from folks who can’t manage the distance/time/earlier start.
As you consider participation, don’t underestimate the wind in these wide open spaces or the challenge of riding large, chunky gravel in a few locations.
All photos in this post were taken from today’s reconn ride. I had a delightful ride and think most participants would enjoy the new route.
Oh, I almost forgot, Nick (Rosston store owner) told me today that the Lone Star poster model came by for a visit recently. He said she plans to stop by again sometime in November. I’m not going to say that the celebrity would be there when the group arrives, but you never know.