2019 Back Roads Century Route Descriptions

Six routes of varying mileage and challenge offer cyclists of all levels a chance to enjoy the beauty of the Northern Shenandoah Valley.  All routes begin and end at the historic Popodicon Mansion on the Shepherd University campus. The Finish Party has a catered meal and entertainment.

The Century, Metric Century, and Half-Century Routes are moderately challenging rides designed for fit cyclists looking for a physical challenge.   All include a few short but steep climbs that require strength, stamina, and proper gearing.

Three shorter routes, the Short Meanders (29 and 25 mile versions) and the Long Meander (47 miles), have less climbing, and are suitable for more casual riders.  All feature a rest stop at the Yankauer Nature Preserve where you can enjoy a short hike on the Preserve’s trails.  The Long Meander also stops at Jefferson County Fairgrounds for the first rest stop. 

All routes are subject to final changes based on last minute road construction or flooding.  Final cue sheets will be available for printing by September 7.

Century – 100.4 Miles, +3954 feet 

Map:  https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28226542

The Century route showcases the very best of the northern Shenandoah Valley. Offering views of the Potomac River, the Blue Ridge and North Mountain, apple orchards, and rolling farm land, the Century is a mini-tour of the Valley. There are no long or sustained climbs on the route, but there are plenty of rollers and several short, steep pitches over 10% (and one or two over 15%) to make you earn the views and descents. Riders describe this as a hilly route.  

Metric Century – 64.4 miles, +2845 feet

Map:  https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28226658

If you don't want to tackle a full hundred miles but want to claim a century, try the Metric Century.  The route offers much of the sweeping views of the Potomac, the mountains, and the Shenandoah Valley as the 100 mile route.  You can also enjoy the tomato sandwiches at the Henry Arena Rest Stop to keep you fueled.  This route also features several short, steep pitches over 10% (and one or two over 15%) to keep you honest.

Half Century – 52.1 miles, +2400 feet

Map: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30804699

Half the miles but most of the views, the Half Century allows riders to enjoy most of the views and beautiful countryside as the Century route. This is also a hilly route so be prepared to work for those miles. There are no long, sustained climbs, but there are several short, steep pitches over 10% (and one or two over 15%) to make you earn the sweeping views and fun downhill sections.

Local Meander – 47.4 miles, +1554 feet

Map:  https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30804745

For riders looking for a slightly longer route without all of the hills on the Half Century route, we have a Long Meander that gets you out into the rolling farmland south and west of Shepherdstown with views of the mountains at a comfortable distance. We will have two rest stops to keep you fueled and fresh before you head back to Shepherdstown and the post-ride party. ​

Local Meanders  – 29.2 miles (+976 feet)

Map:  https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30804750 (29.2 miles)

Local Meander — 25.1 miles  (+870 feet)

Map:  https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30804763 (25.1 miles)

The Short Meander routes loop northwest of Shepherdstown through gently rolling farmland to Yankauer Nature Preserve.   Both routes can be shortened by about 6.8 miles by following the Half Century route (blue markings) back from Yankauer Nature Preserve.


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