We’re getting close. The ride is coming up this weekend and I’m pretty excited. I rode down there on Friday to check-out how things looked after a big rain and to confirm a few sections. Good news, after getting over an inch of rain on Thursday, the course, while washed out in a few places was not overly muddy. The creek crossing in the 65-mile route was a little high, but again, it was just after over an inch of rain.
The ride is on, according to the weather, it’s supposed to be a pretty nice day, but at this point we’re not backing out, so see you Saturday at 10:00am EST ready to ride.
First, Are you still coming?: Now that we’re getting closer to the date and we all have a better understanding of what “life” looks like next weekend. If you don’t think you can make it, please let me know so that I can fill your spot with a few people on the waiting list.
—- new info I forgot in the email —- There is no day of check-in. (Please don’t come if you haven’t registered, or start at the location listed below) Group start at 10:00am EST. We will all leave as a group and will slow roll until we hit the first gravel section at mile 2.4. If you are doing the 35-mile option, please allow the 60 riders to move up towards the front. The ride follows the same roads until mile 16 where the 35 will turn left on route 455, with the 60-mile going straight.
There are NO COURSE MARKINGS. Just making sure you all are fully aware. The TCX file is pretty accurate and includes additional cues.
Difficulty of the course: I have been asked numerous times, so I just want to clarify. BOTH COURSES ARE NO JOKE. This should not be your first rodeo on gravel. I mean that with all sincerity. Both routes have steep inclines and declines and they are both constant up and and down all day. Each route has a variety of gravel surfaces ranging from scraped down to the core of the earth, to what I call “baby head doll” boulders sticking out of the road, some are rutted more than others, and a good portion are absolutely perfect and pristine. There is a “for real” creek crossings on the the 65-mile route. The best way I can describe the roads, is if you are doing Southern Cross the following week, this is the perfect tune-up for it.
Now with all the said, the route is awesome, remote and beautiful. It’s just challenging. I hope the challenge is still accepted.
65-mile route. After my trip down, I did make a few adjustments to the course. Thanks to a few new dogs and a farmer who decided it’s his right to close a public road. It is now final and your GPS/TCX files should show 59.8 miles. I am keeping the creek crossing in the route, just note that at mile 22 just after the first aid stop, you will be crossing a creek that is bottom bracket high. If you’re not keen on that, you can bypass it using route 451 which runs parallel to the route. (go straight after the aid stop on 112 turn right on 451 and right on 103 to get back on the course. Route 451 is not in good shape at all, but ironically does have a bridge across the creek)
Download the RidewithGPS 60-Mile TCX File here.
35-mile route. Is in unchanged and ready to ride. There are only a few creek crossings that are no more than the depth of a tire and very easy to cross.
Type of bike to ride: I’ve been asked this several times too. Gravel, of course is preferred with a minimum of 36mm tires. Mid 40’s would be perfect. MTB’s of course would work well. Please do not come on your road bike, unless you plan on plenty of flats and probably a few bruises from eating gravel all day.
Start Location: 1435 Stoney Point Rd, Roopville, GA 30170
Note: Google maps puts you out in the middle of a field, which is incorrect. See the map below. This start is only for this weekend. This is private property. If you doing this ride any other time, start from Ephesus.
Parking: Again, special thanks to Ben Sundling for letting us use his property for the start. Parking will be tight. PLEASE CAR POOL if you can. We will have volunteers there helping get you parked. The ride starts at 10:00am EST so please don’t show up at 9:55 and expect to park and get on your way. Parking will start at 9:00am
Ride Support: We will have two support stops. One for both rides around mile 18ish and a second for the 65-mile route at around mile 35. We will have water, sports drink, bars, gels, pbj’s, and a few other things.
Drop or No Drop?: Both will be quasi no drop, meaning we will wait up for you within reason. If you are having a lot of mechanicals or just not having a good day you will be left behind. We will have a few volunteers out picking up stragglers, but DO NOT COUNT ON THIS. As I mentioned when you registered. You are responsible for you, and that means getting back to the start. I suggest looking at the map and making sure you have a few “out” options that get you back.
Go at your own pace: By all means, go out like a rocket from the start or take time to sniff the winter flowers. I will be riding at a steady pace for the 65-mile option and we have Jason Cormier who will be doing the same for the 35-option. We’re hoping most of you decide to ride with us.
GPS: BRING IT!!! There is no reason in today’s day and age that you would not have GPS on at least your phone. RidewithGPS. STRAVA, MapMyRide, etc all have a free option. Use one of them!!!
Post ride party: Is still on. Barman and a few of our volunteers will be cooking burgers & hotdogs and I hear rumor that we might get a smoked brisket and jambalaya to devour. Beers, soda’s, chips and few other things. If you have dietary restrictions, but want to grill, please bring your own.
Can you still ride if you haven’t registered. Yes, but the party and parking is not part of the deal. Please park either in Roopville or Ephesus and meet us at 10:00. Ephesus is just off the course, Roopville is a little closer. If you want to stay after it is BYOB.
Roopville Elementary School60 Old Carrollton Rd, Roopville, GA 30170
Ephesus Baseball Fields.