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The Spartanburg Challenge Professional Review and Guide
"This ride is a pleasant tour through the peach groves and watermelon fields of northern South Carolina. The Spartanburg Challenge features two 50-mile loops. They can be cycled individually, or joined together in a figure eight to make a century. The countryside north of Spartanburg rises gradually to meet the Blue Ridge Mountains. Properly known as foothills, their rolling to hilly terrain has elevations ranging form 500 to 1,000 feet. With all the peach blossoms this makes an outstanding spring tour. Terrain: rolling to hilly."
--Elizabeth & Charles Skinner, Best Bike Rides in the South (The Globe Pequot Press).
Really good ride...I took the slightly longer +50 mile loop and there are a couple of things to bear in mind...the beginning is a little different than the description due to re-routes at USCS...after you leave and take a right on to University Way, take the next left and THEN take the next right on to Valley Falls...Also, as of today, when you take the left on to Hanging Rock it states 'bridge out'; though the road remains closed, the bridge is now IN so it is safe to continue on this road...Also, the guide states Peachtree Rd is at mile 11.2 - I had mile 8.3 so I spent the next 4 miles second-guessing myself until I crossed the river and then the miles seemed correct...you will also have some confusion at the very end: when I took the left on to SC-9, I saw no immediate right on to Old Boiling Springs but you can stay on SC-9 OVER I-85 and then take an immediate right and then a quick left up frontage road toward Milliken; at the top of the hill take a right across the bridge which takes you back to USCS and then follow signs to the Hodghe Center where you stared.
Now that that's out of the way, the ride itself is alot of fun...there is traffic in spots, especially on Parris Bridge Rd at end but most of the ride is very rural, through peach orchards and very pleasant....not many climbs so it is physically easy in that respect...make sure you are hydrated if it's a hot day (it was +90 when I rode), as there are many areas without alot of shade...but all in all, this is a very good diversion and a pleasant ride...
I really enjoyed this ride even though the road listed as Green Creek Road is now called/signed Chesnee Highway. So after a few miles of confusion I was back on track. I rode this ride on Saturday solo and traffic at the beginning was a little rushed but the roads were good, much farm scenery, and all in all a ride I'll do again.
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