An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Capitol Forest Routing

I've been a bachelor for the last nine days. My wife and young daughter proceeded me to Illinois last week visiting family.

Which left me alone (mostly -- my older daughter was with me part of the time) to do a lot of riding and building, and I took two of the days to finalize the routes for the loops I want to use for a 2-day event next summer.

In an entry last July, I lamented the trustworthiness of maps and satellite views in planning routes to ride. Paved roads are easy to find on maps. Gravel roads? Not so much. Some roads aren't marked on the map, and many that are don't actually go where the map indicates. Some peter out into nothing. Some just aren't there at all.

Last Saturday I embarked on the shorter of the two routes (planned for the second day), leaving from the Lucky Eagle Casino around 1:30 pm. With one dead-end after the main gravel section (I was expecting more), I was forced to find an additional few miles.

So on Tuesday I returned to ride the addition to the second day route and finalize the longer loop for the first day. After ten hours of driving and riding, I had it all pinned down. 63 miles for the first day with about 70% gravel roads, and about 31 for the second day with probably 30% gravel (I still need to create them as single routes in Ride with GPS -- they're logged in pieces currently).

So what's left? Picking a date, setting up the event on Facebook, and inviting the guests.

These rides will be very challenging, though not technical. Great vistas, steep climbs, remote roads (meaning little if any motor traffic), clean air, and good company.

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