I have been working in recent weeks on a 200K permanent route that starts/finishes in Altoona, near my house. There is a big hole in the RUSA Permanent Map in this region, and EK and I aim to fix it. Here are the results of my current efforts thus far:
Essentially, it’s Altoona-Bedford-Breezewood-Williamsburg-Altoona. 130 miles, 9200 feet of climbing (as per RWGPS). I tried to keep the climbing down, but the only way to do that would be to ride on less pleasant roads (busy state routes and the like). You have to earn your low traffic and nice scenery, folks.
I have ridden about 2/3rds of the roads that are on this route at one time or another, but never as one ride, or in this succession. The first 1/3rd and final 1/3rd are flat-like, by central PA standards, but the middle section is a bugger. Overall climbing density for the full 130 mile route is about 70 feet per mile, but the 40 mile middle section that follows PA Bike Route S between Bedford and Breezewood (also the Crush the Commonwealth route), and then up to Loysburg, is about 110 feet per mile.
The route is still in development, but I don’t foresee major changes. I might eliminate the Martinsburg controle, however. The 50 miles from Breezewood to Williamsburg is still a reasonable controle gap, I think.
I will do some car scouting this winter to further improve the cue sheet, and in early spring I will do the full ride. After that, if I am pleased with it, I will submit to RUSA.
Am I doing this to encourage more rando / LD activities in this area? To provide a handy place for EK to continue his R-12 streak? Just for the heck of it? I guess it’s all of the above.