Pedal for Progress – A fundraising alleycat for Third Wave Fund.

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Yesterday Kathryn organized an alleycat that aimed to raise funds for the gender justice non-profit, Third Wave Fund. As defined by Third Wave’s site, Gender Justice is a movement to end patriarchy, transphobia, and homophobia and to create a world free from misogyny.

The goal for Pedal for Progress wasn’t only to help contribute to the growth of a more inclusive community, cycling and otherwise, but to also help educate and highlight several key issues that contribute to gender inequality and misogyny. Riders were sent all around downtown Raleigh in a type of scavenger hunt, having to complete challenges that related to the International Women’s Day 2018 campaign theme, #pressforprogress.

We sincerely thank all who participated in yesterday’s events. We raised $1500 for Third Wave Fund! A huge thanks to all of our sponsors and volunteers, and a massive round of applause to Kathryn for her work in making the event happen!

But don’t stop there, you can contribute more to Third Wave Fund at anytime as well as other great, similar organizations such as your local Planned Parenthood (Check out the Ride for Choice), the LGBT Center of Raleigh, among others.

All photos by Eamon Queeney. Poster and bottle design by Claire Shadomy.

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TETRACTUS: A Ten Point Mountain Bike Challenge in the Triangle.

The bike challenge: an idea that actually stemmed from a joke. Three years ago while riding the Walnut Creek Greenway toward the newly completed Neuse River Greenway, I jokingly contemplated out loud, “If the Neuse River Greenway is 30 miles long, a full out and back would be 60 miles, or almost 100k. If you did it TWICE, well, that would be 200k! We should do that sometime and call it the Neuse Deuce.” I am pretty sure the general consensus was that it was a terrible idea and that no one would ever want to ride that much greenway in a single ride. At the time, I agreed.

A few days later, David and I got to talking about seriously doing the ride. Well, one thing led to another and as soon as we knew it we had devised a whole plan of hosting an ongoing bike challenge that we would propose to the world and encourage folks to do at their own pace, prove they did it, and give them a patch upon completion. Within the first year we had around 200 riders complete it! The ride, for many, was double or often times more than double the amount of miles they had rode in a single ride. It was amazing to see how excited people were about riding a 130 miles for a little round patch.

High off the success of the Neuse Deuce, we introduced the Lucky Bike 100, an out and back century to Downtown Durham, in 2016. The idea was similar to the Neuse Deuce but a little more challenging in that it featured several gravel roads/trails in the area and a quite a bit more elevation.  Ninety percent of the route was/is exclusively on bike friendly trails and greenways. Since 2016 we’ve probably had close to 300 people complete it with more rolling in for their patch every month!

The Neuse Deuce and Lucky Bike 100 (#neusedeuce & #luckybike100) are on-going. If you have not done either, check the blog posts about these two challenges below.

This time around — thank you for listening to my history lesson — I wanted to do something a little different, but just as fun and exciting. As the progression has gone, our first challenge was all pavement. Our second challenge was mixed gravel and pavement. For our third, we are going all off-road! The triangle area is host to a several amazing mountain bike trails that we wanted to highlight in a challenge! Though to do this properly, we felt it important to acknowledge the people that help make these trails possible. So, the TETRACTUS is a mountain bike challenge featuring the various and amazing trails co-designed by, maintained by, and advocated for by TORC (Triangle Off Road Cyclists).

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A Tetractus, or Tetractys, or Tetrad is a mystical triangular figure consisting of ten points. Thus, here are ten TORC trails within the Triangle (Mileage of trails are from TORC directly and may not be exact to what MTBproject.com has listed):

  1. Briar Chapel – 12 miles INFO
  2. Brumley Nature Preserve – 8 miles INFO
  3. Carolina North Forest – 18 miles INFO
  4. Harris Lake – 10 miles INFO
  5. Lake Crabtree – 9 miles INFO
  6. Little River – 7 miles INFO
  7. New Light – 10 miles INFO
  8. RTP – 4.5 miles INFO
  9. So-Lite – .5 miles INFO
  10. Wendell Falls – 3 miles (currently under construction and trail length may increase over the course of the year.) INFO

THE RULES: To participate in the challenge you must pick up a map at either the shop or from TORC at any one of their many events. We recommend that if you are planning on grabbing a map from TORC directly to contact them beforehand and see if they will have the maps at the event you plan on attending. Once you receive a map, go ride! There is no time limit on how long it takes to complete the challenge, but we do ask that you use either Strava, Map My Ride, or some other form of GPS tracking device to show us that you rode the trail. WE WILL NOT BE CHECKING TO SEE IF YOUR MILEAGE MATCHES THE LENGTH OF THE ENTIRE TRAIL SYSTEM. We just want to see you went out there and rode it! Though we strongly encourage that you attempt to ride the whole trail for each of the listed trails, we want to be sure that riders of all levels have the opportunity to participate in this challenge. With that said, if you are new to mountain biking, please be cautious and careful on more technical trails, and be PREPARED (more on that below). Ride as much as you feel comfortable! If you’re an experienced rider, please do not go out to each trail and ride half a mile and move on to the next one. That won’t count, but then if you really want to drive a 2-3 hours for less than an hour of riding, good luck with that! Also, in case you were wondering, we won’t be giving out stamps retroactively. Challenge begins as soon as this is posted and you grab a map.

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Once you finish a trail, bring your map to the shop (212 E. Franklin St in Downtown Raleigh), and we will stamp off that trail! If you do multiple in one day or, say, a weekend and want to come in on a Monday to get three or four stamps, that is fine. You can only receive completion stamps at the shop at this time. Once you receive stamps for all ten trails you will get… ready for it?

THIS PATCH!!!!

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They’re reflective, too!

THAT’S IT!

Some tips and other things to know:

  • Though a couple of these trails are really manicured and can be ridden with a CX/Gravel/Drop-bar bike, many of them need a proper MTB to ride them. We strongly encourage anyone participating in the challenge to use an actual mountain bike, though if you complete New Light on a road bike, you will still get you stamp for it, and probably many questions.
  • Keeping these trails in rideable condition is crucial. DO NOT RIDE THESE TRAILS WHEN THEY ARE CLOSED. Good rule of thumb, if it is raining, they are closed. If it rained yesterday, they are closed. If it rained a few days ago, check TriangleMTB.com before riding. Use your brain, if it was a torrential downpour a couple days ago, the trail is probably closed. If it was a light sprinkle in the summer heat yesterday morning, the trail will most likely be open. Get me?
  • Be prepared. As always, be sure you have plenty of water. Some of these trails do not have facilities with water and bathrooms, but some do! Carry a spare tube or a tubeless tire repair kit, or both! Multi tools and often times a spare chain link, chain tool, and even a spare derailleur hanger can come in handy. Luckily none of these trails are too long or too “out there” that if you do have a large bike failure, the walk back to the car won’t be several hours. But it doesn’t hurt to prepare for the worse, especially for some of the longer trails.
  • Obey all park rules. Enough said.

 

ALRIGHT! LET’S KICK OUT THE JAMS!!! WHO WILL BE THE FIRST TO COMPLETE THE MAP??

If you have any extra questions, please direct them to squirrely@oakcitycycling.com.

Finally, please consider becoming a member of TORC by joining SORBA (Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association) and IMBA (International Mountain Biking Association). You can join all three with one registration HERE.

A huge thanks to TORC for being into this hair-brain idea and to Casey Robertson for the amazing map and patch artwork. Check his stuff out at http://robertson-designs.com/ and @champagne_rodman at Instagram.

Also, if you take a photos of your experiences and share them to social media, please use the hashtag “#tetractus” . And be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Over the course of the riding season we are going to dive deeper and create original features of every trail on the map. So, stay tuned! No, there is no pizza element to this challenge, but I am not going to stop you from creating one. Go ahead and eat pizza after every ride. That sounds good to me!

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THANKS!

– Jared

My new Salsa Pony Rustler in VA’s Grayson Highlands Park

This past weekend, me and a few of my friends went out to Virginia’s Grayson Highlands and rode the Mount Rogers loop on the north side of the park. The trail starts with Scales Rd, a logging truck grade road that is 1500 ft over the course of 4 miles. The remainder of the trail system is a 14 mile uni-directional loop on top of the park’s bald in the shadow of Mount Rogers’ peak. The terrain is pretty much all rocks, 6-8″ rocks, with several water crossings and, of course, wild ponies. It is dope. This bike is dope. Calvin Berger was there. He was dope. I’m not dope, but here are some dope photos. I hope to go back maybe this summer and incorporate a little bit of full squish bikepacking since there is no shortage of camp sites out there.

-Jared

Salsa Cycles’ Newest Shred Sled

This past weekend Salsa released their latest bike, the Journeyman. Though we are going to call it the Journeydog. It is an extremely versatile platform for those looking for a bike that can do it all: trail, gravel, pavement, touring, overnights, bikepacking, commuting, whatever! There are also 6 different build options. There is a drop bar 650b 8-speed (pictured and in the shop), a flat bar 650b 8-speed , a flat bar 700c 8-speed, a drop bar 700c 8-speed, drop bar 700c 9-speed w/ carbon fork, and, finally, a drop-bar 650b 9-speed w/ carbon fork build. This is such a huge move for Salsa, and we couldn’t be more excited about having the opportunity of getting these extremely fun and capable bikes to a much wider audience. Check out the photos and come by the shop for a test ride!

 

February 15th Third Thursday Valentine’s Tandem Cruiser Ride.

Every third Thursday of the month we roll around downtown Raleigh for a fun, slow, and social cruise. Since this month’s fell on the day after Valentine’s Day, we decided to promote it as a Valentine’s Tandem ride! The result was almost 20 tandems and probably nearly 80 riders! Our friend Eamon Queeney took some photos of the event. Check them out below!

The Lucky Bike 100 – An out and back challenge to Durham, NC.

Ok, folks! Since we had so much fun hosting the Neuse Deuce, we decided to make another challenge. This time around we are having you ride out to Durham and back! Sure, the mileage is less than the Deuceo, but the ride is much more diverse and more difficult. You’ll ride on road, greenway, and gravel, so tire choice will be very important. You will navigate through Raleigh’s “Art to The Heart” greenway system, Umstead State Park, The Black Creek and White Oak greenways in Cary, and The American Tobacco Trail. Most of the route, in fact, is part of the East Coast Greenway and there is an app you can download for your iPhone or Android that may also help you navigate your way. You should also bring your climbing legs, because there is over 4,000 feet of elevation gain over the course of the ride. Complete the entire ride in one go and receive the patch pictured above!

PLEASE BE ADVISED: IF the green way trail is wet, then the bridges can be very slippery (especially throught the Art Museum and Black Creek greenway). Don’t try and turn hard, or get out of the saddle while going over these slippery wet bridges.

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For some turn by turn instructions or a .gpx file, follow this link: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14550678

Some of the sights:

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Facilities:

There is no shortage of facilities along the route. Places to stop and rest, use the bathroom, refill your water bottle, and buy snacks along the way are Yellow Dog Bread Co., Boulted Bread, The North Carolina Museum of Art and the surrounding campus, various fountains in Umstead, the Crabtree Lake overlook on the Black Creek Greenway, The New Hope Church Rd trail head park, CM Herndon Park on the ATT, The Streets at Southpoint, and various stops such as gas stations, grocery stores, and small parks along the ATT when approaching Downtown Durham.

If you need any sort of bike service, there is a service stand along Old Reedy Creek Rd in Umstead as well as a couple of great bike shops in Downtown Durham, Bullseye Bicycle and Seven Stars Cycles.

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We also recommend that you stop and eat in Durham. A decent meal at mile 50 will help you not bonk out on the way home, and there is no shortage of fantastic restaurants, cafes, pubs, and bakeries there, so take advantage of that!

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Tips:

TIRES TIRES TIRES is the name of the game for this ride. What tire will work best for a mix of road, greenway, and gravel? Honestly, it is up to your bike and your comfort level with gravel. For instance, I rode a slick 700x32c tire and felt great! But Brandon had 700x25c tires. And David had 700x35c tires. The only commonality between these tires is that they had little to no tread on them. Knobbies will feel great on the gravel, but that is only a third of the ride. If you feel uncomfortable riding on gravel and your bike will take a larger tire, we recommend going with a fat slick tire like a Panaracer Pasela, Continental Gatorskin or a Compass 32, 35, or 38. If you only have a road bike, see if you can squeeze a 28c tire. That should be enough to successfully navigate through Umstead. And if your bike will not take wider tire than a 25c or 23c, riding through Umstead can be done successfully, but it will be crucial to pick clean lines and avoid sandy patches and heavy gravel. Aim for that hardpack!

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Stay hydrated! Be sure to replenish burnt calories along the ride to avoid crashing. Carry a spare tube (or two) and a flat repair kit. A multitool could also be handy, too. Be prepared! If the weather looks wet, bring an dry pair of socks. That can really make a difference.

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This time of year, keep any eye out for blackberry bushes along the trail. They really are everywhere!

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If you make it to Durham but don’t have the gas to ride back, you can take the Carolinian Amtrak train back to Raleigh or the TTA bus. Both options have racks for bikes!

The fine print:

Deviations from our route on the roads between trails will be accepted, but avoiding any of the main trails such as Reedy Creek in Umstead, Black Creek and/or White Oak Greenways, and the American Tobacco Trail will not be accepted. We will happily give you a high five or, if you’re real nice, a hug, but you WILL NOT receive the patch.

If you live in Durham or near Durham and want to start and end in Durham, THAT IS OK! That works for us! You will, however, have to come to the shop to recieve your patch.

You and your bike will get very dirty. And we rode it on a hot, dry day!

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Finally, much like the Neuse Deuce, we will need to see proof that you completed the ride. This can be done by using your GPS cycling computer, Strava, Map My Ride, or some other GPS app on your phone, or taking a series of photos documenting your progress. Show us you’ve done the whole ride, and we will show you the patch!

When you’re done, we suggest stopping at your favorite bar or brewery for a cold cruiser. Person Street Bar is right across the street and have a great selection of bevys for that post-ride buzz.

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Please tag any photos with #LuckyBike100

NOW GET OUT THERE! WE’VE GOT A LOT OF PATCHES AND WE ARE ITCHING TO GIVE THEM AWAY!

And if you are interested in another challenge, the Neuse Deuce is still live. Info can be found on this here blog, or you could just Google “Neuse Deuce” to learn more.

– Squirrely

2016

The Neuse Deuce 200k — A Bike Challenge on Raleigh’s Greenway!

For our shop’s fourth birthday we wanted to do something a little different. We created the Neuce Deuse Challenge and had some fine folks join us for the inaugural ride.

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We started at Yellow Dog Bread Co. right across the street from the shop.

HERE IS THE CHALLENGE: 200k along the Neuse River Greenway. Complete it and earn the #neusedeuce patch.

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Use either Strava, Map My Ride, or any GPS computer to prove that you completed it in its entirety. You have to do it all in one go to earn the patch. Don’t have any GPS tracking devices? No worries. Timed photo documentation will also work.

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HERE’S THE ROUTE: The ride starts and ends at Oak City Cycling Project. OCCP➡️Falls Dam via The Crabtree Greenway to Anderson Point Park, North on the Neuse all the way to the dam➡️South to the very end toward Clayton with a Mingo Creek Greenway detour(out and back) just north of Anderson Point➡️Back North to North Wake Landfill Park via Abbotts Creek Greenway (100th mile on top of Trash Mountain)➡️Back south to the Walnut Creek Greenway➡️Through Chavis Park and Downtown Raleigh back to OCCP.

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Cue sheet and route info: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/7585738

There’s water and restroom stops available at Anderson Point Park, Falls Dam, the North Wake County Landfill Park, Downtown Knightdale at the end of the Mingo Creek Trail, and the BP on Auburn Knightdale Road.

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– Plan on eating, a lot. 124 miles is a lot of energy to burn off, and if you’re not used to riding long distances you need to plan on eating a lot more than you think you do. Jersey pockets alone won’t do it, you should plan on using a handlebar bag, frame bag, rack trunk, or some other way of bringing extra supplies along with you. Energy bars, goos, and chews are good, but you’ll probably need more than that. Pack some trail mix, fruit, sandwiches, and plan on bringing more than you think you need. Bring different kinds of snacks, so you don’t get burned out on eating the same flavor of Clif bar all day. There aren’t many places to buy food on the route, so your best bet is to pack it in. Also, please remember to pack it out! Don’t litter, save your trash and throw it away in trash cans, which can be found at most of the parks.

– You’ll also need lots of water. Much like food, plan on drinking more than you think you need to. Also plan on drinking stuff besides water. While your intial fill of Gatorade in the morning may be good, you may find yourself wanting for some salt and suger later in the day. Single serve packets of Skratch are a great thing to bring with you, or electrolyte tablets like Nuun. These can sit in your bag and be mixed with fresh water from fountains and spigots, helping to keep you hydrated and feeling great.

– There are limited services available on the route. You’ll go through Anderson Point Park several times, which has restrooms, water, and ample shade. This is also a good place to hide a bag with extra food/tubes/tools whatever you may need, so you don’t have to carry everything the whole way. At the north end at Falls Dam or North Wake Landfill Park (Mt. Trashmore) there are more bathrooms and water available. There’s a bike shop (The Bike Guy) at Falls Dam, and they have snacks and cold drinks available. At the southern end in Clayton, there are no services available! Be sure to fill up on water as you come down from Anderson Point. You can ride up from the bottom of the greenway into downtown Clayton to get stuff, but it’s a really steep climb for a mile or two, and you probably won’t want to be doing that at this point in the ride. There is also a gas station very close to the Auburn-Knightdale entrance to the greenway on the southern end, which could be a good option if you need extra fuel. The end of Mingo Creek Greenway in Knightdale is also very close to downtown Knightdale, which has some restaurants and food if you need it.

A few other things to bring with you:

– Spare tubes. Should go without saying, but this is probably mechanical you’re most likely to encounter (flat tire). Bring at least one, and a patch kit. And tire levers, and a pump. A pump is preferred over CO2 inflators on rides like this, because you can use it multiple times if you need to without worrying about CO2 cartridges.

– Multi-tool. In case you need to make any adjustments.

– Ibuprofen. Muscles get sore and cramped, something to alleviate that will be very welcome.

– Sunglasses. Not only can the greenway be sunny, but there’s lots of pollen, bugs and debris. Keep those eyes covered!

– Sunscreen. Especially if you are prone to burning, you’ll be spending a good amount of time outside.

– Snacks. Did I not mention snacks? You will need to eat so much food. So I’m saying it again.

– Lights. Especially if you get a late start, the greenway can get dark earlier due to all the shade.

Some thoughts on bike setup:  a good bike for this ride is one that is going to be efficient, but comfortable. Endurance road bikes, which have a more relaxed geometry and wider tire clearance are ideal for this kind of ride. Drop handlebars give you multiple hand positions, which allows you to change up your riding position to avoid soreness and fatigue. Cyclocross bikes, all-road bikes, or touring bikes will also work well. You’ll want a wider tire than you’d run on the road, because the greenway does have some debris and rough patches. For most people, about 28-32mm should be perfect. A quality steel frame is probably preferred over other frame materials, because of it’s dampening effects. A frame bag or handlebar bag will hold all of your snacks and goodies, and a seat bag should hold your tools and flat repair stuff. You shouldn’t need full coverage fenders, but something like an Ass Saver mini fender can help you from getting greenway gunk on your butt.

Mile 100 is on top of Mt. Trashmore, at North Wake Landfill Park. It’s a short but steep gravel climb, you are going to need to be in a pretty low gear to make it up to the top. This is where wider tires are really going to come in handy. While it’s not required that you make the climb to the top, it’s a pretty essential section of the ride and you’d be missing out on a lot by not doing it. I mean, that view!

We did the Neuse Deuce on a Tuesday, which was nice because there was significantly less bicycle and pedestrian traffic. We are aware many people will only be able to do this ride on the weekend, but keep in mind that there is usually more traffic on a nice Saturday or Sunday, especially on the northern and southern ends of the greenway where there is neighborhood access. Regardless of when you do the ride, please be courteous of others on the trail! Slow down when approaching others, and always announce your passing with a friendly “On your left!” or a ring of the bell. There are a lot of other folks who will be enjoying themselves out on the Neuse while you are out there, so make sure to keep the vibes friendly.

You should do the ride with others. Again, it’s a lot of miles, and they will go by a lot faster when you’re riding with others. Also, this ride is supposed to be fun! Do it with your friends. Have a good time. Go eat a big dinner together afterwards and celebrate your accomplishment.

That’s all for now y’all. Go ride jah bike!

– Squirrely