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.
For some turn by turn instructions or a .gpx file, follow this link: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14550678
Some of the sights:
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.
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!
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!
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.
This time of year, keep any eye out for blackberry bushes along the trail. They really are everywhere!
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!
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.
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.