The Metric Century—A 66-mile ride that takes cyclists all the way to the extreme southeast corner of Madison County at Uno. It ends with a dramatic and challenging loop from Criglersville to Etlan and back across the mountain to Syria. (This part of the route used to be a “bonus loop” for those seeking an additional challenge.) Rest stops will be provided at Hoover Ridge (at 15 miles), Good Hope Baptist Church (at 21 or 32 miles), and Hebron Lutheran Church near the town of Madison (at 48 miles). Those choosing the metric century will leave at 8:30 AM.
The Intermediate Route—This is a beautiful and challenging 42-mile route whose first 19 and final 19 miles shares the metric century route. It will feature rest stops at Hoover Ridge (at 15 miles) and Hebron Lutheran Church (at 32 miles). Both are near the town of Madison. Those choosing the intermediate route will leave at 8:45 AM.
The Family Ride (Click for Cue Sheet)
The Family Ride provides an opportunity to enjoy the beauty around the Syria area without the challenging climbs or distances the longer routes involve.
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.