Friday, January 18, 2013

TOSRV 2013: Will you join me in Columbus this May?

I am an avid fan of the Tour of the Scioto River Valley, held Mother's Day weekend (May 11-12, 2013 this year) out of Columbus, OH. (  It is a two day, 210 mile ride, now in it's 52nd year. I have just signed up for my 14th time (since 1979) to this event, and I am rider #208 this year.

My first TOSRV in `79
I have ridden it 9 times as a tandem captain, 4 of those with my son Tyler.   The other 5 times were with 4 different guest stokers (1 repeat), all tandem captains, who all let me captain most of the way. A few of those tandem rides were as the pace tandem for a larger group (that is something I would love to do again).

While challenging due to it's early timing, TOSRV is a great base for the Indiana RAIN Ride. I am also working to get 100 Indiana riders (up from 56 in `12) on this event. If possible, it would be fun to ride or start as an Indiana contingent this year.

South of White Lake,  TOSRV `79
Along with wanting some company, I have some other motivation for this appeal.   For a number of reasons, just about every ride in the country is hurting for riders right now.  Besides the economy, it is the demographics; the riding population is aging, and not adding younger riders fast enough. So along with getting existing riders to try TOSRV for the first time,  I am hoping that we can all encourage younger riders to try group distance events.

The ride format is very simple.  On Saturday, you ride 105 miles from downtown Columbus, to the town of Portsmouth (Ohio) on the Ohio River.  The route follows a mix of urban sides streets (leaving Columbus) and rural state highways and county roads.  There are good quality foods stops about every 25 to 30 miles, with a lunch stop half way.  The route then returns along the same route, stopping in the same towns, on Sunday.  Your overnight baggage is carried for you, to your assigned accommodations for sleeping bag space (mostly high school or a gym at a local college).  TOSRV also has a 100 mile option (2x50) that is great way to split the difference - the HALF TOSRV rides the last 50 on Saturday and first 50 on Sunday, on the most fun part of the out and back route. 

The ride has a great history, great volunteers (some food stops have had 4 generations of the same family working them!), and is a part of midwest cycling history. Some of the original participants went on to create the Bikecentennial project, which became the present day Adventure Bicycling.   In the past, bicycle clubs from across the midwest actually chartered buses to get their members to this event. This is the closest thing to the Boston Marathon that cycling has to offer.  
With my son Tyler at the Portsmouth Murals, TOSRV 2008

Online TOSRV registration is open now, and they have a really great looking jersey for this year. If you think you are riding please drop me an email (, or connect to me on Facebook at either Jay.Hardcastle or my Ride So Far page.  I look forward to hearing from you.