After Joe’s ride yesterday I rode the gravel sections on the levee to be sure there were no surprises. I didn’t have to change the routes, although I am concerned about the construction at the end of Linden Rd. where you access the gravel section of the South River Rd on the return.. There was a gate there which was open, but not sure it will be open on Sunday and there’s a tall fence around the gate. However, if the gate is closed you can skip that gravel section and just go back to the Village Pkwy and follow that to where it runs into the South River Rd. That gravel section is only 1.6 miles so you’re not missing much. The lower gravel section on the levee before the rest stop is about 3.5 miles. I also drove Pumphouse Rd. which is dirt. It has a washboard bumpiness, but it is only 2.7 miles and it looked like you might be able to avoid most of the bumps by staying to one side or the other and the views from there are great since it is on a levee.
I originally said I would sweep the short gravel route, but I strained the back of my knee on Joe’s ride trying unsuccessfully to unclip and went down. My knee didn’t bother me when I rode the gravel sections yesterday after my crash, but it stiffened up after that. It feels better today, but if my knee is bothering me when I get to the gravel sections I’m going to skip them. So if you plan to ride the gravel sections, plan to ride with someone else since they are remote. Also the gravel on the levee is fairly deep, so I wouldn’t attempt the gravel sections unless you have gravel or mountain bike tires. I found it was easiest to ride in the tire tracks where the gravel was compacted into the dirt or pushed aside. I also kept my speed down to about 10-12 mph.
Here are the RWGPS links and route sheets will be provided for those who want them.
Road, Short: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/42845511
Road, Long: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/42845523
Gravel, Short: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/42832927
Gravel, Long: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/42832943
Ride starts at 9 am from the northeast corner of the South Hills Shopping Center near Barrio’s.