Short Cut/Easier Route Options: As you make a left onto Brownsville Road after completing the 5 mile stretch of Blue Jay with 800' of climbing to start the ride, many of you will be pooped. The route takes you south on Brownsville Road before turning right onto Brushy Fork. At that intersection, on the northeast corner, there is a small parking area with a bike path. Enter the bike path and hang a right to follow a flat path that borders the river, avoiding the hilly stretch on Brushy Fork and Texas Road (NOTE: the path crosses a concrete bridge that may be slippery from recent rain and mud deposits. Watch for it) The bike path dead ends at Blackhand Gorge parking lot. On the other side of the road that fronts the parking lot, you can regain the route next to the school.
You've rached Zanesville and you're cooked and looking for a way out. Follow the route to Ridge Road but instead of making a left on Morgan, go straight to Rt. 40. Turn left for a much flatter and more direct route to Brownsville where you can pick up the route.
On the return heading towards Blue Jay, the road markings direct you to make a left onto Blue Jay. Or....keep going straight on Brownsville and make a left onto Staddens Bridge Road which dead ends onto East Main Street. Take a left here and keep going on this flat road to down town Newark.
On Monday, the Tour of Ohio makes a stop in Granville with a 2:00pm start, heading to Utica and a return with an ETA of 4:00pm. Not sure if there will be loops around Granville in the hills before the finish, as has been the case in the past. Check it out if you have time.