Search This Blog

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Test of will: Is it possible to ride from Columbus to Wheeling, WV on National Road in ONE day. Well, sort of, yes.

After a long and crappy week at work I decided I needed to do a solo adventure ride to be alone for awhile. So I thought, why not try to ride from Columbus to Wheeling, WV via National Road. I was planning on doing this with Brett and Kevin this summer, but I figured I would try it solo first.

So on Friday night I sheepishly announced to my wife that I was going to ride my bicycle from Columbus to Wheeling on National Road on Saturday. Her response was, "alone?," which I immediately confirmed as affirmative. Brett was bummed out when he found out because he was busy, and I knew Kevin wasn't available to ride this weekend.

I started from the east side of Columbus on East Broad and headed down Waggoner to Main and then set out on National Road.

Here are the highlights;
  • Two sections of National Road west of Zanesville and west of New Concord have bike lanes.
  • Zanesville has a Y shaped bridge over the river. Pretty cool. see pics below
  • Cambridge is pretty ugly. no pics
  • Lots of climbing.
  • Passed an amish buggy before Quaker City. no pics, didn't want to offend
  • Mile 85 had 16% climb just past Quaker City - ouch, I had to walk it between the gearing and fatigue.
  • Three dogs chased me. I barked back at all three.
  • Bypass #1 turns into rutted gravel roads. The cows all stopped eating to stare at me as I passed by. see pics below
  • Two friendly honks while passing.
  • Google Maps is not always correct even when reviewing the satellite (see Google snafu below)
  • Mile 120 riding through Bridgeport OH I had a Hummer driver honk for a quarter of a mile while passing me. I didn't have enough energy to catch up to them.
  • This was the most mileage and climbing I have ever done in one day.

Google Map snafu
The issue with National Road is in two sections I-70 replaced the original National Road. The first bypass is marked clearly and provides a viable but challenging detour. The second section is literally less than two miles difference between Rt 800 and the continuation of National Road, but the bypass is either heading south through Barnesville or taking gravel roads 9 miles north of I-70. I found this out the hard way by relying on Google Maps.

The Google map for bypass #2 is incorrect. The road didn't connect to the County Road 100 that I needed to get to. There was a creek that was 4 feet deep and 15 feet wide that I couldn't cross and I was in the middle of a nature preserve with no way out except climbing on dirt roads. I was about to give up when a good samaritan (Thanks Kenny!) put my bike in the trunk and drove me around to National Road. I jumped back on the bike after resting in the car and finished it out. The bypass will need to be expanded further out and may end up being about 9 miles.

My lower back was sore toward the end of the ride from the last few climbs through St. Clairsville, OH, but my legs felt pretty good. The ride starts in the Columbus lowlands and climbs toward the hills of the Ohio Valley and then drops down to the river valley in the last 10 miles. see stats below

I want to send out a huge thanks to my wife Christina for supporting me on this ride. She is an angel! Thank you to my friends Kevin and Carolyn for being there at the end with cheers (and a hot shower). A big shout out to Kenny for getting me around the obstacle and back on track. he truly is a generous person.

The stats

124.6 miles
Ave 12.8mph
Max speed 39mph
6589 feet climbing
Temps at start 30, peaked at 55
Started in Columbus - 8:15am
Arrived in Wheeling - 8:30pm

The ride was powered by
1 NOZ energy drink
2 power bars
2 gatorades
1 chicken sandwich/fries from McDonalds
2 bottles of water

Thanks for reading,



gazer said...

Nice ride!

I think the Ohio Randonneurs' upcoming 600k starts out in the same direction to the WV border, then hooks North to Canton.

If you're up for even longer rides, with more people, I highly recommend that group. Maybe your wife will be happy to know that there are people more crazy than you out there! (Mine sure does).

Ray George said...

I am familiar with the site, but I have not considered doing super distances. I am sure there are crazier people out there than me. Thanks for following the blog.


Jay said...

Wow! That must of been an interesting ride, especially when you got to the creek.

Post a Comment