Apple Castle ride (10 miles): This ride is a favorite for casual and experienced cyclists alike; because the scenery is beautiful, and you get to visit the Apple Castle! Bikers will wind through a combination of mostly paved roads (with about a mile and one-half of hard-packed dirt roads) past many quaint Amish farms. You will have a stop at the famous Apple Castle (our mother lode for donuts) before returning to the Westminster College field house where, if you’re up for it, you might take on a more challenging ride. If you have done this ride in the past, you will notice some changes; namely that you will ride fewer miles on the busy highway so that you may enjoy more country scenery.
Green Meadows and Peaceful Pastures (30+ miles): This route takes the cyclist to Plain Grove and back on paved, lightly traveled roads with moderate uphill climbs. You will cross Banks Bridge, a covered bridge built in 1889 that is on U.S. National Register of Historic Places, on your way to Plain Grove where you will have a rest stop at Maria’s Store, an old-fashioned country store (built as a post office in 1842 and moved in 1875 to its present location where it has been a country store ever since). You will be provided with free drinks, fruit, snacks and, of course, donuts. Maria’s store also offers a variety of home-made sandwiches and other food items for a good price. You will cycle past farms, pastures and forests along the way, but are unlikely to see motorized vehicles; and if you do, there will likely be more tractors than cars and trucks. We offered a scavenger hunt on this ride last year, and will offer the same this year, just to add to the fun.
Amish Countryside (29 miles): You will travel past Amish farms and beautiful Western Pennsylvania scenic rural landscape with gradual hills and winding roads beside gently flowing trout streams. There is one downhill section that is not paved, but is passable even on a road bike. You will also cycle past a huge annual Amish Auction which you are welcome to visit. Your rest stop at the mid-point will be at the Fresh Market, a New Wilmington community market offering fresh home-grown vegetables, local musicians, locally raised beef, local artists, and a variety healthy food choices.
The Dirty Dozen (43 miles): This is a ridiculously tough ride designed only for experienced, in-shape cyclists. This route contains at least a dozen killer hills. Although this ride is about the hills, it also affords plenty of rustic scenery and a rest stop. So, if you are a glutton for punishment and are up for a challenge, give it a try. If, however, one of the Tour officials happens to catch you walking your bike up one of our hills, you will be immediately sent home! No donuts for you!!