My First Gravel Grinder Ride

My first Gravel Grinder Ride

This is my “Almost Week off Work” Vacation. Today I decided to travel over to the Woodbury Wildlife Area in Coshocton County and follow a “gravel grinder” route that I found on Ride with GPS.

Woodbury Wildlife Area

Woodbury Wildlife Area in Coshocton County is the largest public hunting and fishing area in Ohio. Their 19,000 acres is operated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources specifically for wildlife recreation. This area was strip mined back in the 70’s.

What’s a Gravel Grinder?

Gravel grinders are gravel road races and rides that combine riding on surfaces such as asphalt, gravel, dirt, some singletrack trails and maintenance or B roads. Like county roads or township roads in the country.

Ride with GPS

I stumbled upon a FB Group called Ohio Gravel Grinders, who had recently completed a ride at Woodbury. I had never thought to go ride there! It’s all deserted country roads, not as hilly as my neighborhood-that’s a good place to ride! I downloaded their Ride with GPS route and set out for a bike ride.

Issue One

My turn sheet mentions turn on Township Road 70. This definitely says 

Township Road 62. My map is not detailed enough to discern (later, this road does become Township Road 70, as 62 branches off, clear as mud..)

Down the road I go. It’s quiet, except for the critters chirping, no noise in my headspace. I am pleasantly surprised to find woodland here in Woodbury! I thought it was going to be all open space due to the strip mining.

 

The ride is going okay. I’m breaking HARD on the downhills-the loose gravel makes me nervous, I don’t want to crash my bike. Maybe I need to look at disc brakes instead of the more traditional caliper or V brakes that I have.

I Lose the Phone

I am still following my planned route when I stop to double check on the phone. Doh! The phone has disappeared! Luckily, I remember where I last checked it. Back UP the hill I just coasted down.

dropped phone

Now I’ve doubled back a mile or so. I decide to make the turn instead of continuing my planned route. I don’t feel up to a 32 mile ride on gravel today.

I am keeping on eye on my phone battery power. Since I’m now relying on the Google Map, I don’t want it to die on me. It is amazing that I have cell phone coverage in Woodbury. This is a desolate area. Cell phone reception has come a long way.

My route goes well, the road turns appear as they should. My last road is County Road 17, which is asphalt-YAY! Asphalt makes for a nice change of pace from gravel.

I don’t like the two little (BIG) hills that I have to bike up in my littlest gear to get up. At least I didn’t have to walk it. Note: I did walk up a few hills on gravel. A few were too steep for me, and one had gravel that was loose and I wasn’t getting traction, the rear wheel was sliding around. Not safe enough for me.

It was a good ride. I will ride over at Woodbury more often.

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