We participated in the first day of the Amishland and Lakes bike tour on Saturday, July 29, riding the 52-mile route (which ended up at around 54 miles with the SAG stops). This was our first time at this event. [Ed. note: Allen rode with Julia and Kim. Other club members completed different mileage.]
The route is quite scenic and had mostly gentle hills, with numerous farms and horse pastures along the way. We shared the road with many horse-drawn buggies, and also saw a pony pulling a cart and a few of the local bicycles being transported behind buggies. We saw a mink and some sandhill cranes along the way. Road surface conditions were generally good, but it was important to remain diligent on the road to avoid the frequent horse chips, in addition to the occasional pothole. The vehicle traffic was generally very courteous, with the exception of a couple of commercial dump trucks that passed very close as we were entering Wolcottville.
The SAG stops had lots of fresh fruit (bananas, blueberries, cherries, plums, grapes, and also watermelon), cookies, chips, PB&J sandwiches, water, tea, lemonade, etc. At the finish, there were choices of apple or cherry pie a la mode, and a live band. We saw a few mobile SAG vehicles along the route as well.
In addition to the official SAG stops, several local houses had lemonade/food stands set up for the cyclists, including one near SAG #2 that had excellent root beer floats and sheet cakes available for a donation (and provided lawn chairs, which was much appreciated).
GPS route files and maps were available on the their web site, along with printed maps at the check in. The route was well marked, generally with three Dan Henry arrows as we approached and reached each turn, with additional straight arrows at most other intersections to confirm that we were still on the correct route. Busy intersections had additional warning signage as well.
Overall, the event was well organized and well supported and we enjoyed the ride.
WRCC Participants included