On July 2, I’ve planned a day trip that’s a typical “touring” day of cycling, without the commitment of an overnight event. We are meeting at my house at 8:30 in the morning and heading over to Powhatan to have breakfast together (12 miles or so). From the restaurant, we will head west to Cartersville to cool off in the James river and to laze beneath the elderly oaks that have stood sentinel over the boat landing for generations (27 miles). After cooling off and enjoying our leisurely afternoon, we will begin our trekking anew, with our 26 miles jaunt back to my home and a cookout! Each person coming, should let me know and should bring a picnic type side dish to share. We put them in the fridge before we leave in the morning;) This trip is great for folks who are already cycling and fairly fit, as it is a 64 mile day. The cycling is broken up a good bit though and the hills are all class 5 hills. You can see the route map on mapmyride. It’s title is Cherri’s Cartersville Casual.
July 22-24 Next, we have a touring weekend trip. It’s a great route, and it was my first group tour. Some of the touring cyclists in RABA had this trip planned last year, and I was fortunate enough to be included. We will begin our trek in Marlinton, WV (sounds very far from us, but actually, it’s just about 4 hours driving. We can do some ridesharing. Friday evening, we stay at the Old Clark Inn and roll out Saturday morning. We will cycle The Greenbrier River Trail to Cass,WV where we will camp and do some sight seeing. Some may want to ride the scenic railroad, others will have other ideas. Sunday, we will cycle back to Marlinton and head home. This tour is along the Greenbrier river, and we do have some scenic bridges, and a trail tunnel to enjoy. This is a great trip for folks who love the outdoors and photography. Again, the trail is composed of crusher run gravel, so it’s probably not suitable for 1″ tires, but I’ve done it with 35mm tires on my road bike with great enjoyment. I’ll be on my touring bike, with big fat, 1.75″ tires, but they are not necessary. I’m just too lazy to change my tires, when what I have will work.
On Aug 5, I’m heading to Pulaski, VA to ride the New River Trail. Again, it’s about 4 hours to the trail head. Though I haven’t chosen accomodations for Friday evening, there are many available in the area and I’ll be looking for a friend, or friends to share the cost of whatever I chose. It’s 52 miles from trail head to trail head. I’d like to see it all, but am willing to go with the comfort level of the group. There are 2 tunnels and 30+ bridges that are a part of this trail. Three of the bridges are trestle bridges, I think. Camping will be in New River Trail state park, so we need to get a head count pretty quickly to make reservations. Since we will be so close to Galax, non-campers can find accomodations in Galax. Yes, there are many non-camping bicycle tourists! And we can often find ways to enjoy cycling together, and still have different sleeping arrangements;) We will cycle back along the same route returning to Pulaski and heading home on Sunday.
Both of the touring weekends are on Rail trail type trails. This means they aren’t hilly. In fact, they are usually very level. They have water and restroom facilities on the trail. And both of these trails are along rivers, which make them very scenic. Folks who enjoy cooling off in the river might want to bring along a bathing suit.
If you have never done any touring, but have an interest, feel free to ask questions. It’s a pleasure to help introduce new folks to this great way of experiencing cycling, the great outdoors, our country and each other! Come with?
Go make your own breeze and remember: if you’re not having fun; you’re in the wrong gear.
Pictures of previous trips on Virginia’s rail trails: