Explorer | 40 pts
I consider myself more of a beginner rider rather than an expert, but I am in good riding shape and have great endurance. Since Ohio is not known for too many hilly rides, I thought I'd try the Ridgway Ride in the Allegheny's for the climbs. The road map was very helpful and used often. I also used the elevation map, which was helpful when a large climb was coming up, but the miles did not line up with my odometer. (Chances are my odometer was off.) However, I thought this course was very challenging (it took me close to 4.5 hours to complete) and a very good workout. There was absolutely very little traffic, and my only complaint was concerning the roads. You start out on very nicely paved concrete roads, and end on them as well. HOWEVER, the 10 miles of "effortless riding" along the river (according to the manual) after Mile 10 was definitely NOT the case for my ride. The roads became much rougher, and the pavement gave way to chip and seal bumpiness which I find frustrating and maddening, especially when you expect to rest up and recover before the next big climbs. And it was rarely flat, and I remember having consant hillyness to deal with in that stretch. In my mind it was comparable to the Paris-Roubaix, just not as muddy, for that section of 10 miles or so. The streets where I live are chip and sealed, and the reason I avoid them when possible. Not happy about driving 3 hours so that I can ride on more of them. So expect many bumps and difficult roads to pedal on at that time.
Other than that, be prepared for a workout, bring water and protein bars, and don't expect any bit of cell phone reception. You'll find little traffic, and some gorgeous biking all by yourself, unless you're lucky enough for a bear to pay you a visit (I saw none thankfully!).
I may consider this trip again, but right now I'm on the search for some better paved roads. Hope this helps!