Last Sunday, more than 40 people got together to take on the 50 and 70 mile routes of the 7-Caves Dirty Road Ride. There were all sorts of bicycles and lots of different personalities.
The 7-Caves Dirty Road Ride makes good use of the hilly terrain surrounding Rocky Fork Lake, winding through Fort Hill State Memorial, Pike State Forest, and Highlands Nature Preserve. It's easy to be surprised with the narrow winding roads, long switch-backed climbs, and screaming descents. This particular route highlights the roads less traveled, and covers everything from thick and hard-packed gravel roads, smooth paved roads, and rough, uneven pavement. Most folks brought out their cyclocross/gravel machine of choice, but bikes with as small as 28mm tires and as big as 2.35" made the trip and were just fine for enjoying a day out.
Highlights of the day included a visit to Copperas Mountain, a 270 ft tall shale cliff that shows some pretty cool geological layering, Highlands Nature Preserve, the home of the former 7-cave system, and riding with a bunch of cyclists, including not just the individuals who showed up for our ride, but the Amish and Mennonite communities who cycle these hills daily to work, to fish, or simply for transport. (They're always traveling at a quick pace, so the land must make for strong legs).
Approximate statistics for the day (depending on your GPS device...)
72 miles and 5,200 ft of elevation
51 miles and 4,300 ft of elevation
If you couldn't make it to the scheduled date, don't let that prevent you from grabbing a friend and tackling the route on your own. You can find the 70-mile route, here, and the 50-mile route, here. We also have maps and cue sheets available in the shop.
For more pictures of the 7-Caves Dirty Road Route, click here.
For Ray George's (Ohio Gravel Grinder) photos of the 7-Caves Dirty Road Ride (50-Miler), click here.