7-Caves Dirty Road Route: Bainbridge, Ohio – Steep Climbs, Fast Descents, Stunning Scenery!

ohio gravel grinding
Do not adjust your monitor, this is Ohio

“The 7-Caves Dirty Road Ride travels to the hilly terrain surrounding Rocky Fork Lake, With a taste of Amish Country this ride winds through scenic points of interest, such as Fort Hill State Memorial, Pike State Forest, Copperas Mountain, and Highlands Nature Preserve. This multi-surface route follows the roads less traveled, along narrow winding roads, long switch-backed climbs, and screaming descents over everything from thick and hard-packed gravel roads, smooth paved roads, and rough, uneven pavement.” – https://www.ohiogravelgrinders.com

My typical modus operandi is to ride a route of my own design and hope for the best. On this day, late in August of 2020, my mind was a tad numb from all of the driving miles, and I wanted to switch off mentally. Mr Ray George, one of the key players behind the Ohio Gravel Grinders group, gave this route a glowing recommendation. This route did not disappoint, particularly if you enjoy steep climbs and very fast descents. This area of Ohio is a little west of Hocking Hills, which explains some of the topography along the route.

ohio gravel grinding

You can learn more about the Ohio Gravel Grinders group from Mr Ray George himself, in this excellent podcast interview by our Partners in Podcasting, The Gravel Ride Podcast!

ohio gravel grinding
Suffering on a 26% grade

7-Caves Dirty Road Route – https://ridewithgps.com/routes/12833870 (do not make copies of OGG’s route), link / download it instead.

ohio gravel grinding

If you choose to ride this route, exercise caution, the fast descents are many and tricky in places.

ohio gravel grinding
Bring your low gears, these were insufficient!

The ride begins and ends in Bainbridge, Ohio – “Bainbridge is a village in Ross County, Ohio, United States, along Paint Creek. The population was 860 at the 2010 census. Bainbridge is the location of Pike Lake State Park.”

ohio gravel grinding
More amazing sights from Ohio

The village is also home to the Dr. John Harris Dental Museum. “A tiny home museum is the place where all dental education began in America, led by a doctor who then skipped town and abandoned medicine.”

ohio gravel grinding

Links of Interest:

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    • JOM JOM

      DT Swiss, normal noise level from their ratchet drive.

  1. Avatar Stephen

    Really? I had a 350 last year with the standard ratchet and didn’t find it very noisy. Maybe it’s the microphone placement – I thought yours might have been a Chris King.

    • JOM JOM

      Microphone = Gopro stuffed next to wheel at high speed and more!

  2. Avatar Matt Kretchmar

    Thanks for making a video from our part of the world. Almost all of our regular Ohio training routes are like this … steep up, steep down, repeat over and over. It was great bumping in to you at DK and LR in the past few years. Enjoy your content!

  3. Very nice route. Southern Ohio offers a lot of great places to ride with some solid climbing. Don’t underestimate the Buckeye State! Northeast Ohio and central Ohio also offer quite a few places including the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. And last, don’t get this Bainbridge, Ohio mixed up with the Bainbridge area outside of Cleveland.

  4. Avatar RGT

    Thanks JOM, I always enjoy your travelogues.

  5. Avatar Alan

    This and and Ohio gravel site are a great intro to gravel riding in Ohio.

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