2016 IHC Ride to Dayton/Fairborn details!

The first event in the Iron Horse Challenge is the 74mile ride from Columbus to Dayton/Fairborn, OH on the morning of Sunday Sept. 11th, 2016

Details from last year read as follows and updates for 2016 are in RED:

The riders are free to assemble starting at 5:30am in the back parking lot of Staufs Coffee Roasters at 1277 Grandview ave. Riders will have the ability to park in the back lot and get themselves warmed up.  I will be there at to get the coffee flowing and go over basics and hand out maps.

It is usually a crisp morning ride.  Riders are encouraged to check the weather and dress accordingly.  In the 8 years prior, the weather has been great for this ride, with cool mornings and warm afternoons; slightly overcast early and full sun later.  Not a guarantee, but not discouraging either.

The riders leave the lot at 6am, start out right on Grandview, down the hill and over to the Grandview/Hill top connector bike trail (so at the fork about a mile in a right and up and over the bridge – usually a beautiful view).  The route goes through the west side and then through to Big Run Park; this is often a wonderful, short wake me up, as the park is often quiet, the sun is rising, and its cool and has a few hills.


Unless we get a very strong team that feel confident in a 15mph/ave pace,

ride out time from Staufs Coffee Roasters is : 6am

We will be utilizing  the Hilltop Connector Trail after leaving Staufs and heading down Grandview hill.  Please note the road at that time should be clear, but it is in moderate condition and the entrance to the trail is often covered in fine gravel.  No need to take a fall so early, so we will travel together and take it slow.


The route is about 30 miles on low traffic, in some places narrow, roads till we pick up the Rails to Trail at the entrance to Battelle Darby Park.  Riders who may be looking for a later start, a shorter ride, and a less ‘in-city’ ride can shave about 15miles off the route and start and hour later by meeting us as we pass this juncture with the Park parking lot and the trail head.  Please note the entrance to the park parking lot is in the belly of a big downhill (often the top speed of the whole course) and slowing to cross traffic on a left turn is tricky.  Please maintain safety as you navigate this downhill.

We generally take a short break at London’s ‘bike’ park (hard to miss with the red bike and London sign and the obvious shelter).  There is a clean bathroom, water, benches, and a photo op here and its around mile 34.

On the trail we head to South Charleston, where signs for the Ohio to Erie trail start popping up.  Note: there are tiny little arrows on the signs that hint at taking turns – ignore them!  The IHC leaves the trail and begins taking quiet, open back-country roads from here.  There is a turn off, just north of town that most times of day, you can’t see the sign.  Unfortunately this is our turn off.  Miss it and you will follow the curve and add a few miles and turn around logistics.

From the back roads we eventually pass by the airforce air field and a few miles after will intersect with the Little Miami Trail (heading right takes you to Springfield – left takes you to Yellow Springs) and we take a left and head down the lovely shaded path on a slick downhill that at mile 65  is a treat.

Once in Yellow Springs, we take the Yellow Springs/Dayton road (you will know you are heading on the right road through downtown because the comic shop, bike shop, laundry, and health food store is on your right – making good time, feel free to grab a drink, stretch, get a snack).  If our group is very diverse in their riding skill, I try and have them all stay together by meeting up at the parking lot at Ha Ha’s Pizza.  They will be closed at that time, but there are plenty of places nearby to grab a drink, bathroom break, or second cup of coffee.  Once assembled we will take the remaining 4 miles to the ALS walk site.  The park is just off on the right and you will see the signs.  It should be noted that you can arrange to be picked up at the walk if you don’t feel up to the walk and the additional 4 miles or if you have a time constraint and don’t want to stick around for the Ha Ha pizza finish.  Volunteers will be staged here and will be walking with us, so any early departures will have to be arranged personally or with plenty of advance.  The ride is the action, the walk is the Reason.

Once at the walk site there will be tents and registration tables set up.  If you arrive early, feel free to approach registration and find our team (ALSWARRIOROHIO).

Donations can be given here directly:


if you haven’t already made an online donation to the team.  Any donation is appreciated and while not enforced, donations of $20 and up are generally looked for.  Ideally we all will have people who will have heard about our ride and will have wanted to make a donation to us for our efforts.

Each year we have been lucky enough to get some wonderful sponsors.  I am still waiting to hear back on our full list for this year, but please know that any riders who an new to the event will get a special welcome gift and also any riders who recruit a new member will also be in the running for special prizes.  

Once we finish the walk, we head back to Yellow Springs and meet back at Ha Ha Pizza, for a celebrational lunch, meet up with our support crew, and a car ride back.  We are generally back no later than 3pm.  Riders are free to arrange for thier own pick up. You are welcome (and encouraged) to have friends or family pick you up, join us for pizza, and they are very welcome to join us for the walk.

Additional swag is often in the works and is different from year to year (so its usually a surprise and often given out at the finish line at Ha Ha’s Pizza or if at the starting line at Staufs – so you can use new gear or stow it in the car).

Final basics.  Coffee “mug up” at Staufs Coffee Roasters 530am – covered

Updates for 2016 – covered

Pizza and option for a free ride back to Columbus – Covered

What you need to do:

Go to this link:  (this may mean right clicking on this and opening new tab or copying/paste it into a search engine)


Join the Team:  ALSWARRIOROHIO  (this is located to the right – in red – under the IHC logo)

This is your official sign up to ride!  If you don’t sign up, I don’t know how many of you I am providing for and without signing up I cannot guarantee you a ride home or budget to provide food or swag.  Please sign up on contact me directly if you want to be recognized as a rider.

Support Crew:  You are also expected to sign up!  If you don’t sign up, I may not be able to help with getting you parking, maps, and giving the ALS chapter an idea of what kind of crew we have.

Start promoting the ride and help raise awareness!  Share the email link to the donation page.  Start linking it through your blog, facebook, or other social media pages.  90% of the funds are raised through asking and reminding.  Keep it simple, always thank them, and please let me know if you get any support or feedback: I would love to thank them myself!

Here are some of the views for the upcoming ride to Dayton; this is just a taste of the ride.  Hope you enjoy!

2 responses

27 03 2011
Shane Neal

Met Sean at the Urban Active the other day and want more info on how to ride in the Iron Horse and raise money for it.


Shane August Neal/ Augi Neal.

6 04 2011

Hope you got my email OK and look forward to seeing you at the Wendy’s! Can’t wait to add ‘rolling for John Blais’ to my list of celebrational acts to bring awareness to the fight against ALS!

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