I have not yet set a date, but here's a preview of a new route:
I make no excuses or apologies: It's gravel. It's a LOT of gravel. Hills? Yes.
For now, I've ditched the Hillsdale Lake Metric idea that I had; I went back and looked at the route map and realized that the first stop is something like 40 miles into the ride. I remember that being a problem for a lot of participants.
This route, by comparison, is about 37 miles, give or take, and the mid-way point is the Louisburg Cider Mill.
It's a pretty straight-forward out-n-back route, with a small loop onto K-68 to get to the 'mill. There is no direct north/south road that leads to it, so the highway is a neccessary evil. Bear in mind, however, there is a good shoulder on that road, traffic on the weekends is light, and I have the route arranged so we never have to CROSS it... we make a right turn onto it, hit the 'mill, and make a right turn back north on the way back.
Starting and finishing at the Price Chopper @ 159th and Murlen, the ride will take us down Renner Road until it ends, passing near Chiles and Wagstaff, Kansas, along the old Missouri Pacific R.R. tracks. You'll earn your cider donuts around mile-15 with a "challenging" climb. On the return, we pass through downtown Chiles and return north on Lackman road, after three miles of steady climbing.
Yeah, it may sound like just another Cider Mill ride... but trust me; it's harder, and more "funner".
Mountain and cyclocross bikes welcome; road bikes welcome with 28C or larger tires and stout wheels STRONGLYrecommended.
You're welcome to hit this route ANY time you like -- shoot me an email, and maybe I'll come along! Officially, this will end up on a local ride calendar some time in March or April, with a possible repeat in the summertime.
Think warm thoughts!