First up, the Family Route. The longer routes will be announced in the coming weeks. Check back often :-)……and REGISTER!
The Family Ride is the least challenging of the options available as part of the Tour de Madison.
Our route this year is the same as last. It provides an opportunity to enjoy the beauty around the Syria area without the challenging climbs or distances the longer routes involve.
Like all the routes in the 2013 Tour de Madison, the Family Ride starts with a wonderful four-mile run down the Old Blue Ridge Turnpike, a road built in the 1850s to connect the farms in the Shenandoah Valley with the railhead at Gordonsville. You will be riding through the gorgeous valley created by the Robinson River. At the intersection with Rt. 231, Family riders will turn around and head back toward Syria.
About a mile and three quarters after the turn around, past the village of Criglersville, you have the option to turn left across the Robinson River onto Quaker Run Rd. Enjoy the gentle climb through a charming mountain vale. Be sure to turn around before the serious climbing starts and head back to the main road. This is the road that President Herbert Hoover used to get to his Presidential Retreat, “Camp Hoover,” high up in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
After another half mile on Route 670, the main road back to Syria, you can take a right turn onto Bohannon Rd. and enjoy the narrow winding route along the river, much of it near enough to hear the babbling brook. You might even have a chance to visit with a trout fisher along the way.
At the end of Bohannon Rd., take a right on Weakley Hollow Rd. and go as far as you wish up toward to the White Oak Canyon trail parking lot. (Don’t go past it. We may never see you again!) This is a gentle climb toward the headwaters of the Robinson River with a few short sections that will provide your legs and lungs a challenge. The beauty of the forest and the nearby river makes it well worthwhile.
Head back down Weakley Hollow Rd. all the way to Syria. Turn right on Rt. 670 and you’ll soon be back to the starting point at Graves Mountain Lodge where great food will satisfy the ravenous appetite you have generated. Did we mention the cold beer and local wines to slake your thirst? Maybe you will be inspired to visit one of the nearby vineyards after the ride for a full wine-tasting experience. We recommend of course our partners this year: Early Mountain, Prince Michel, and DuCard.
Here’s a link to the map: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/86068747
And here’s the link to the Cue Sheet for the Family Ride: Cue.2013.Family