Q: Is this a race or a ride

A: The 75-mile event is a “race” in the sense that if you are trying to win as best overall male or female or to place within “X” placings, then that event is a race for you. However, most participants are “riding” the event, whether to beat a friend to the finish, finish within a specific time frame or race within themselves to finish. The 45-mile ride is a ride and meant to enjoy, either leisurely or briskly, but it is not a competition.

Awards: We will have podiums for the top 5 finishers for both male and female, regardless of age in the 75-mile race, with yet-to-be-decided kick-ass awards. All finishers will get an event completion badge.

Q: Why the rider limits

A: Two reasons really. Parking is the main reason. We have very limited space and we’re already pushing it with 300 (hint, hint, please car pool) Also, we want this event to stay small and feel small and special. We do have plans for other Border Wars events that will be bigger and special in their own different way. So for now, register early, then you won’t have to worry about it. =)

Q: Will the route be marked?

A: NO! We have spent hours upon hours making sure that the GPS file we are sending you is correct. Please make sure you download it and study it. Don’t make an hour before your ride the first time you look at it.  

Q: What’s the gravel really like? 

A: Would schizophrenic answer the question, or, let’s say, inconsistent? The Georgia side is relatively smooth and, for the most part, groomed once a year. There are a few exceptions to that rule, and a few tiny creek crossings that are more like puddles. Alabama, on the other hand, is wild and wooly. There are a few dirt roads that can be a bit muddy when wet, but we try to avoid those unless they’re just fun to ride. Alabama gravel roads typically have very little loose gravel and are more or less scraped down to the bedrock. So expect baby-head-doll-sized granite sticking up and some rutted sections from being washed out. On the other hand, it’s all ridable, some areas faster than others and in fact my two favorite gravel roads – anywhere – are on the Alabama side and they are very shreddable. The best part is we don’t have to worry about things like peanut butter mud or death shards of flint. 

Q: What’s the best bike and tire for the terrain? 

A: Most likely the bike and tires you have, but… we highly recommend Gravel-Specific or Moutain Bikes with non-slick tires over 36mm. The more aggressive the tread, the better. Cross-bikes with 33mm tires should be fine, but you may get a puncture or two. This ride, even the 45-mile ride would not do well with a road bike at all, and most commuter bikes do not have 1) enough tread/width and/or 2) enough gears for all the climbing. We also highly recommend tubeless; however, bring two tubes to play it safe if you have tubes in your tires. 

Q: Can I ride my e-bike?

A: Electric pedal-assist bicycles are allowed on the 45-mile ride course only. Your e-bike/e-assist bike can only assist you while pedaling and may not have a throttle or other control device that works independently of you pedaling. We do not have a specific category for this type of bike time, and e-assist riders are not eligible for awards but will receive an event badge and be eligible for our raffle.

Q: How hard are the rides? 

A: Both routes are challenging between the road quality and terrain, with the 75-mile upping their punch/bite in both road quality and terrain aggressiveness. Expect both to be a day of constant up and down, with grades reaching 30%+ briefly on the 75-miler and 25%+ briefly for the 45-mile ride. A couple of climbs would be considered Cat. 4, but that’s stringing a couple of roads together. We have ridden these roads repeatedly, and our elevation gain is never the same. So if your computer is telling you 3,000′ to go at the start, chances are at the end you will see closer to 4,000. 

Q: What’s the scenery like? 

A: It is a diverse mix of rolling farmland with amazing pastoral views, filled with cattle, sheep, and goats. There are also quite a few chicken farms, but luckily none that smell bad. For much of the ride you are at the highest point in the area, looking down towards the Chattahoochee River basin, with some spectacular panoramic glimpses of the valley below. Other times you are in pine tree forests in different states of harvesting. This part of both states is very remote, with few houses, some farms, but plenty of churches to take a break under their tree canopy. You could ride for hours and never see another person. 

Q: Outside support. Can I have it?

A: Yes, however, please keep your support off the course. 1) there is a good chance they will get stuck. 2) We want everyone to have as close to a vehicle-free ride/race as possible. If you have outside support, map out your meeting points ahead of time and stick to the main roads. Churches make for good stops. 

Q: What happens if you get lost or have a mechanical? 

A: We will have some support out on course and a phone number for you to call if you get in a serious pickle. (We will supply this closer to the day) Please make sure you have exhausted all options before calling us. We should not be your first thought. 

Q: What happens if I get hurt or someone around me gets hurt? 

A: If it is serious, call 911 and then us. If you are injured enough that you can’t continue to ride, but it is not an emergency, or if it has caused a non-ridable mechanical, then call the contact number and we will get you as soon as possible. It could take us a bit to get to you, so please be patient.

Q: Are the roads closed

A: No. This is not a closed-road course, and all the rules of the road must be followed. Please ride knowing that cars will be passing you. Most of the ride is on gravel, so traffic is limited; even on the paved sections, traffic is minimal. With that said, remember that you are sharing the roads, even on the gravel; someone could be cresting the top of a hill in their car and most likely not expecting cyclists riding 3 or 4 abreast. Please be a good cycling ambassador. 

Q: Will there be aid stations

A: Yes! We will include key aid stations along the route, which you can find marked on the map with a red “A.” (We will also call out gas stations and any public restrooms along the course.) Our aid stations will include some tools for repair, extra tubes, water, performance drinks, sodas, and plenty of snacks. There will also be an end-of-the-day SAG Sweep to pick up riders who have had non-repairable mechanicals or who will not make it back by the ride finish times. Unfortunately, our aid stops will not have bathrooms. Please bring TP or check the route for convenience/gas stations for bathroom breaks. 

Q: What is required to bring on the ride?

A: GPS Computer with route or phone with the route downloaded to it and a program that gives you directions. Or, worse case, printed cut sheets. (Not recommended) You are responsible for getting back to the finish

A: Helmet & Rear flashing light (front and back preferred)

A: Your driver’s license and insurance card if you have them. 

A: At least one extra tube (2 recommended) and something to inflate it (CO2, pump)

A: We RECOMMEND, additionally, quality tire levers, patch kit or dynaplug, multi-tool with chain break, extra chain links, a few zip ties, duck tape, and maybe an extra derailleur hanger. For riders who are picky about their drink and food intake or have diet restrictions, bring extra. Put your drink powder in a bag and mix it with our water.

Q: Will there be early check-in?

A: Friday day/early evening, we will have a location near the airport where you will be able to check-in and get your race number and swag. The location will be announced closer to the day. 

Q: Will there be day of registration?

A: NO!!! We will not be doing day of registration; only pre-registered online with a cut-off date of Feb. 20th, 2022. However, you will be able to check in and pick up your ride number. Please arrive at least an hour early to get checked in. Last year we had a good bit of rogue riders. If you are caught on course without registering and are obviously doing the ride, you will not be allowed to attend any East Point Track Club or Independent Gravel events in the future. (Gravel, Road, Track, MTB) We have reasons for our limited rider counts, and our budget is too tight to feed 60+ riders who decide to show up with a buddy. That also means no signed USA Cycling waiver on file. So please don’t!