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

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