I've now got about 350 miles on my Q. I've been riding exclusively on the rural roads right outside my house. As I've built my recumbent muscles and endurance my average ride has increased from 12 to 18 miles. All my routes have slight to moderate elevation gains/drops and I've seen my average speeds slowly increase.
I recently found a ride mapping website called Bikely (linked on the right) that I really like it. You can easily draw maps of routes you take, or plan to take, and get accurate mileage and elevation graphs. The idea being to share your routes with others. Their application is linked in with Google Maps and so you can see your route in map or satellite form. It's a free service.
I started looking at the maps and playing with routes. In our area there are a lot of dirt roads with varying conditions so after I created a few routes I decided to drive one and see if I felt it was within my ability level.
Below is the Bikely route map of the drive and then ride I took today.
And here's a graph of the elevation gains and losses.
I've done the first 4 miles of this ride before and found the initial climb slow but doable and the downhill is great fun. After driving this full route I decided that, although the weather looked like rain and even did rain a bit, I'd give it a try today. I'm glad I did. I got some rain, on and off, and the stretch from 4 miles to 8 miles was quite a bear being that the road is hard packed dirt with some loose gravel. During the big climb the rain came on fairly hard and the wet road was slow going. Still, I was pleased to find I could make this climb and the downhill that followed was a very fun payoff.
I'm sure this will become one of my standard routes. I love it's challenge, the thrilling decent and the beautiful seclusion of Ramsey Road. Next time I do it I'll take some pictures, weather permitting.