Thursday, May 12, 2011
On Sunday May 8th, I rode the North Loop for the first time. I had heard that it was a pretty good ride with some climbing involved. This route from my house is 56 miles. The total elevation gain is around 2,275ft. The loop itself is around 50 miles.
The route starts at the corner of Hwy 25 and Hwy 64. This part of the ride has most of the climbs. The first half this course is pretty good pavement as you go past Beaverfork Lake, through Wooster, past 225, and finally Burkett Flat Rd. There is a good climb going into Wooster and then another before 225. After passing Burkett Flat Rd, you begin another climb and the road turns into chip seal. Also during the first climb, you may watch out for some dogs. The downhill on after the climb is rough, so be careful. It doesn't allow you for you to cruise downhill and recover. Once reaching the bottom, you begin another climb and downhill that has the same road conditions until you reach Hwy 124 and turn. The traffic on this road was light on a Sunday morning. There is no real shoulder on this route.
Once you turn left on 124, you go downhill a little before you begin to climb again. Upon finishing this uphill section, you are able to cruise downhill in to Springfield. Where you turn left on Hwy 92 and head south towards Plumerville. Hwy 124 is still chip seal but the road is in better condition than the route on Hwy 285. The traffic was still light on this road. There was no shoulder on the road.
Hwy 92 into Plumerville is pretty uneventful. There are a couple of small uphills, but it is maily a rolling route. There is a shoulder on this road. The traffic was heavier on this part of the route and you do encounter more semis. You finally reach Plumerville where you turn left onto Hwy 64.
Hwy 64 back to Conway is a flat to small rollers and is usually a fast section depending on which way the wind is coming from. The pavement is pretty good and there is a shoulder. There is traffic on this route but not real heavy.
Overall, I think this a pretty good route with the climbs and varying terrain. It is also pretty quiet in terms of traffic.