Sunday, March 1, 2015

More winter dreaming - D2R2 2015

It's still winter and more snow is expected tonight.  The great melt started already but it's been slow and will come in fits and starts.  We expect rain and temps in the 40s on Wednesday but I'll be shoveling snow tomorrow morning.  It's not great fun at this point in this long, heavy, cold snow season and it impacts travel a lot.  And that means, for me, very limited opportunities to commute to work for bike, let alone recreational riding.  So, I continue to dream of summer rides, and that includes the D2R2.

I've done the D2R2 in various forms for the last two years and also in 2009.  I rode the 100K version in 2009 and loved it, in a way.  The roads were crowded, especially the narrow dirt and gravel sections and the more experienced dirt road cyclists barreled past me in ways that made me feel uncomfortable.  You can read my thoughts that I wrote right after the ride here.

I had a second child the next year and it was impossible to even consider doing the ride and it remained out of mind until 2013 when a colleague. Alex,  and his now wife were interested in riding it.  Carla's family runs a Franklin County farm and she has long been aware of the Franklin Land Trust, which benefits from the D2R2.  So I looked at the ride again and did the Green River Ride, which worked.  Another friend, Carl, joined us and we all loved the ride, which was pretty easy compared to the 2009 100K version.  You can read about that ride here.

Alex and Carla were interested in going beyond the Green River Ride in 2014.  There had been an extra loop for people like them, people who could do the dirt road ride and maybe wanted to see what the rest of the D2R2 looked like.  Unfortunately the covered bridge at the lunch spot was closed so the extra loop that the ride organizer, Sandy, planned on was not feasible, unless we wanted to cross the Green River on foot, which we didn't.  Very fortunately, Sandy emailed us instructions on how to extend the ride in a different direction, giving us 4 loops that we could take and see if we still wanted to do more.  His instructions were impeccable and I used these to make a GPX file for my Garmin.  As it turned out, Alex and Carla did the first loop but, with social activities planned for the early evening, bailed on doing more.  I decided that I should go through with at least one or two more of Sandy's extensions, which brought me onto the 100K route, some roads not on any route, and later to the 115K route after their lunch stop (which made more than a few people question their route finding skills, not mine).  I loved this ride and really enjoyed the quieter dirt roads and the busier roads, and I got to ride the last 15 miles with Mike Flanigan, which was a pleasure.  You can read more about it here.  Carl came with me to take pictures with his large format camera and hung out at the cornfield.  You can see his picture of Josie and Tyler here and his picture of Alex and Carla here.  I'm still waiting to see the picture he took of me.

So now people are planning on riding the 2015 D2R2, with a deadline of less expensive registrations fees expiring yesterday.  Alex and Carla already registered for the 100K.  I'm a fair weather dirt road rider and will pass on it and may pay the higher fee the week of the ride.  Or maybe I might just be happier taking the road less traveled while still participating in the big event.  I compiled all of Sandy's route extensions here and it looks like a fabulous ride for late summer, especially from this snowy vantage point.  Maybe Carl will join me for the ride or maybe I'll just do it on my own, joining other riders when I'm on the official route.

[Edit: I did the 2015 D2R2]

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