Whaddya do on a rainy day in May when weather conditions are such you don’t want to be riding your bike on a long ride? You PLAN a longer ride.
On this particular morning we’d planned on doing a route scout for a CIBA ride we are co-leading in July, however with downpours all day, it turned out to be the perfect day to plan a training ride for a training ride for our 2020 GDMBR ride.
Wait. What’s a training ride for a training ride?
The end goal is the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) in August 2020, however our shake-out ride is planned for June 2019 in the North Carolina and it’s called the Appalachian Gravel Growler.
We need some time in the saddle on our Salsa Cutthroats so before tackling this more difficult ride, we thought we’d get some miles and smiles in on the Natchez Trace which is a paved 444 mile National Parkway that boasts stellar scenery, ample campgrounds and beaucoup history. The Trace prohibits commercial traffic. There are no stop signs or stop lights and there are bathrooms about every 25 miles. (yay for flushers!)
Wondering how to pronounce “Natchez”? I was. Natchez, rhymes with matches, with an ‘n’ instead of an ‘m” and a ‘z’ instead of an ‘s’.” You’re welcome.
This website made it uber easy to plan daily mileage, resupply stops and camping spots. Randy, the webmaster will even plan an itinerary for you for free if that’s your jam. Or, just use the info on his site and plan your own trip. Contact him with questions. He’s friendly and will get back with you right away.
Although the touring bikes we rode across the country are better suited with narrower tires and larger panniers, we’ll get plenty of practice with the new rigs as well as making our legs work harder peddling bigger tires on the Trace. Getting familiar with the Cuttys, bikepacking bags and other equipment before hitting the higher elevations two weeks later on the Appalachian Gravel Growler will hopefully give us a leg up as well.
Oh and by the way… we did get a little five mile ride in on that rainy Saturday. After all, it is National Bike Month and since we’re streakers this month, we needed to keep our cycling streak going.
Want to see what cycling the Natchez Trace Parkway looks like day-to-day? Click here.