Good afternoon Border Wars Gravel Adventure Riders
Well, this is it; the time is here. Border Wars is happening this Saturday. So here are all the details you need to know. Please read the entire email, so you fully understand what is going on and why.
REGISTRATION IS CLOSED. There will be no day of registration
Time: Everything I mention is in EST (Eastern Standard Time) It is worth noting that when you cross into Alabama you will be in CST (Central Standard Time). If you follow CST Time you will end up an hour behind. Please beaware to stay on EST Time.
Start Location: 1435 Stoney Point Rd, Roopville, GA 30170.
Use this Google Pin >>>, it is more accurate.
This is private property owned by fellow rider Ben Sundling. If you do this ride any other time, start from Ephesus, unless you’re riding with Ben
Note: Google maps puts you out in the middle of a field using the address, which is incorrect. See the map below, and use the Google Pin address above https://goo.gl/maps/X7ZTxLPgHV5DcXg38
Parking: Parking will open at 8:00am. Again, special thanks to Ben Sundling and family for letting us use his property for the event. Parking will be tight. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE CAR POOL if you can. We will have volunteers there to help get you parked. Follow their instructions, last year we had some people park where ever they wanted and caused some headaches, so let’s avoid the headaches. 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.
Early Packet Pick-up. Friday, Feb. 24 from 4:00pm – 7:30pm at Arches Brewing in Hapeville. YOU MUST BE THE PERSON PICKING UP YOUR PACKET (there is an improv show starting then, which is free to the public, so stay longer if you like) It would be 100% awesome if you could be there to help take a little heat off of Barman and my daughter, Isabella, Saturday morning. For an added incentive, besides seeing me and getting your swag bag and number a day early, you’ll get to enjoy your first Arches beer on us – We’ll tell you how at the registration table.
Arches Brewing: 3361 Dogwood Dr, Hapeville, GA 30354
We’ll have swag for sale at the Packet-up. Buddy tshirts, BWGA jersey’s, bibs, cargo bibs, MTB shorts, shirt and cycling caps. We’ll take cash and Venmo. (also available Saturday after the ride)
Day of Packet Pick-up. Starts at 8:30am. AGAIN, YOU MUST BE THE PERSON PICKING UP YOUR PACKET. No exceptions. Period. We need everyone to sign the waiver. Some of you signed online; some have not, and it will just be easier to have everyone sign the waiver again. You will pick up your tshirt, swag bag, raffle ticket and rider number there.
GPS Devise: BRING IT!!! There is no reason in today’s day and age that you would not have GPS directions on at least your phone. RidewithGPS. STRAVA, MapMyRide, etc all have a free option. Use one of them!!! THE COURSE WILL NOT BE MARKED
Also, I suggest keeping your “Off Route Alert/Noise” on, but I highly suggest turning off “Auto Rerouting” when you get off course. This feature fails misarably both on Wahoo and Garmin out here. Just FYI. I worked very hard on the rider cues. Hopefully you don’t have any issues.
Ride Start: 10:00 am – The ride will start at 10:15 sharp after we announce our donation to MTB Atlanta, and provide a few last minute instructions.
Rider Corral: To avoid the accident we had last year at the start, we are asking that the 75-mile riders who plan to “race” the event be at the front, followed by the 75-milers who are going for a “good personal time,” then everyone else who is just riding. If you plan on being in party pace mode, please head to the back ’cause you shouldn’t be in a rush. We will do our best to make clear where to stand. Please be kind and let those racing to the front.
Neutral Start: This will be a mass start with all 300 riders going at once. There will be a neutral section for the first 3.4 miles, including two short paved sections and Denny Creek Rd – the first gravel road and the downhill where the crash happened last year. ONCE YOU TURN RIGHT onto Caney Head Rd at the bottom of Denny Creek, then you can turn on the turbos. PLEASE RIDE NO MORE THAN 15 MPH UNTIL THIS POINT – MINUS THE DOWNHILL, WHICH YOU CAN COAST/FREEWHEEL DOWN INSTEAD OF SITTING ON THE BRAKES. Please be super careful, cautious, and aware of what is happening around you. If you have to stop, please don’t stop, or swerve in front of other riders. Gradually slow down and announce your intentions. Please allow riders racing for placing or time the ability to get past you and to the front should they need to. Please be smart once you turn onto Caney Head. You still have 73 miles to drop the person next to you.
Routes: The GPX files are attached to this email, or you can download them on the website.
75-mile page >>>
45-mile page >>>
Here are the collection of distances on Ride with GPS >>>
or you can go straight to the Dropbox link to download the TCX Files>>>
For most of you with a Ride with GPS account, go to the collection Ride with GPS >>> select the distance you want, then go up to “more” scroll down to “Copy to my account” and that should do it. Or just send it straight to your phone if you are using RWGPS on your phone for nav. This will also get the ride into your profile to work with Wahoo, or export as you need for Garmin.
All riders note on the route: at 11.6 I have included an alternative shorter route. Please see the notes below. If you see someone going straight on the pavement that says you are supposed to be turning slightly right onto gravel, DON’T FOLLOW THEM.
Alt Route: As I have said I created a 35-mile alternative route for a few riders who have reached out with medical conditions or for various other reasons I approved. This alt route starts at mile 11.6 where you continue on a paved road with others starting a gravel segment. Please announce to the people around you that you are doing the alternative route so that you don’t accidentally follow you. It’s still a nice course, more like 50/50 blend of gravel to pavement, and you will miss out on the first photo section, but it does bring you back on the course at mile 14.6 with the other riders for all the other fun on gravel.
SAG Stop One. Earl’s Fork. The same stop as last year. MTB Atlanta will run it, so please thank them. Earl’s Fork is a cool spot, but please only spend a little bit of time here as it will get crowded. Get your photo, chat a sec while you fill up your water bottle, food, etc., then head out. There is also a property not too far off that I want to avoid irritating. Do not enter their property; they have no trespassing signs everywhere, so it should be obvious. Also, don’t lean your bike against their fence. This stop will be from 10:45 – 12:45. Earl’s Fork is in Alabama at the corner of State Route 458 and 459. This is a pin drop to Earl’s Fork should you need it. >>> Click Here <<<
SAG Stop Two: 75-mile riders only – Mt. Laurel. (Mile 57.4) Don’t worry; we’re not making you ride up Mt. Laurel this year, but we will stop at the bottom to take a break. It’s a beautiful stop, so take your time. The Zents’ will be here for you, so give them lots of thanks. This aid stop will be from 1:30 – 4:00 sharp. (Less than 10mph avg) If you are not here by then, I would be worried about finishing before dark. (if you think this could be you, stay focused and try not to dilly-dally throughout the day.) Mount Laurel is in Georgia at the corner of Mount Laurel Rd and Jim T Mickel Rd. This is a pin drop to Mt. Laurel should you need it >>> Click here <<<
All sag stops will have water, power drink, gel/gu’s, PB&J, bananas, granola, oranges, candy, chips, etc. We will also have a bike pump, some extra tubes, a patch kit, and some tools, should you need them.
Mechanicals/Support: We will have some volunteers out and around to pick you up should you have a mechanical. If you have a non-repairable mechanical, please contact Michael Barman at 678-575-4684 to inform him where you are. Make sure your mechanical is not fixable by you or another rider first! This should be your last option. We cannot guarantee when we can get you, but we will do our best to make it in a timely manner. You may end up having to wait at a SAG stop until we can get you back to the finish. The same goes if you are just having a really bad day. Again, we should be your last option, you need to try to gut it out, but we know sometimes you can’t go any further.
The difficulty of the courses: I have been asked numerous times, so I just want to clarify. BOTH COURSES ARE NO JOKE. This should not be your first or even your second 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, some more than others, and a good portion are absolutely perfect and pristine. 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. Just take your time on the downhills for obstacles. There is no reason to take any big risks, we want to see you at the finish with a beverage in hand!
Creek Crossings: There are two creek crossings on the 75-mile route. How deep they are greatly depends on how much rain we get this week. One is at mile 36, the other at mile 43. If you don’t want to get your feet wet, you can take your shoes off and walk across both, or bring some grocery bags to wrap around your feet before you ride across.
There are two very shallow creek crossings on the 45 and 35; they’re more like a puddle than a creek and you will have speed when you cross them, so you may not really even notice.
Post ride party: The course is fantastic. I am thrilled with this year a lot, but I am equally, if not more, excited for the food and refreshments after the ride. We’ll have Veggie and Meat Chili, Jambalaya, Smoked Pork sandwiches, Burgers, Hotdogs, Veggie burgers. In addition, we’ll have plenty of beverages from Arches and Montane Springs and some Coke products.
Awards: We will handing out awards for the 75-mile ride only around 3:30.
Raffle: The raffle will start after the awards around 4:00. We have lots of fun stuff to hand out from Outback Bikes, Grumpy Old Man Studios, Independent Gravel and MTB Atlanta. Don’t lose your raffle ticket.
Swag: I wll have BWGA Swag for sale both at the Friday Packet Pickup Party and after the event only. We will not be selling swag before the ride on Saturday. We have a limited supply of Buddy Tshirts, BWGA jerseys, bibs, MTB Shorts, MTB Tops, tshirts and cycling caps.
PS…. Please Car Pool if you can =)
PSS. In case of a mishap on the course. Call 911 if it is critical – of course. Try to make it to one of the aid stops if you can, but if you can’t call
Michael Barman: 678-575-4684 or Wayne Whitesides 404-314-6983 (though I will be out taking photos)
SAFETY & RIDE ETIQUETTE
- ALL RIDERS WILL NEED AT LEAST A REAR FLASHING LIGHT AND A FRONT FLASHING LIGHT IS PREFERRED BUT NOT REQUIRED.
- ALL RIDERS MUST SIGN A WAIVER WHEN YOU PICK UP YOUR NUMBER. NO WAIVER, NO NUMBER. You must be present to sign the waiver to pick up your number. If you are a minor, you have to have a parent or legal guardian there to sign for you. Please do not ask a friend to pick up your number, because they will be turned away.
- HELMETS ARE REQUIRED.
- ALL RIDERS MUST OBEY ALL STATE ROAD LAWS FOR CYCLING. THIS IS AN OPEN COURSE EVENT. If you need a refresher: https://www.bicyclegeorgia.com/galaw.html.
- YOU ARE RIDING AT YOUR OWN RISK: You (the participant) understand that you are riding on public roads, that there are inherent dangers of riding your bicycle on them, that you are riding at your own risk, and that by participating, you accept those risks. You are ultimately responsible for your own personal safety.
- MINORS must be accompanied by an adult.
- BE COURTEOUS: For the occasional vehicle, please provide them with space to pass you safely. Let’s work together to keep the event fun for you and painless for them.
- BUSIER ROADS: The vast majority of roads selected are very cycling-friendly. There are a couple of roads and intersections that are a little busier than others. Ride single file on these few roads and be extra cautious crossing them. You are responsible for reviewing the route before you ride.
- STOP SIGNS: YOU MUST OBEY THEM. This is an open road course, meant to be a fun and safe ride with friends through the back roads of Atlanta.
- MUSIC & HEADPHONES: It is illegal to ride a bike with headphones, so please leave them at home. We also ask that you keep your portable speakers at home as well. It is a hazard and distraction for you and others, and it’s not fair to make other riders listen to your music no matter how awesome it may be.
- DOG CAUTION: We have ridden all of these routes numerous times and have modified the course to try to avoid any aggressive animals that could be on the course. We’re not saying there won’t be dogs, but we believe we have bypassed the worst offenders. We have never had problems with any dogs on the current course. DOG CONTACT RECOMMENDATION: Yelling at an aggressive dog, swinging bike pumps, and squirting them should be your last resort, not your first. A dog’s instinct is to chase, but most are just curious and won’t get too close to you or even leave the yard if you ignore them; when you start yelling, they feel threatened and are more likely to get more aggressive. Hold your line, because you might be around other riders. Stay calm and keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t get in your way. Try talking to them like your own (or your friend’s) pets.
- GEAR & YOUR BIKE: Please have your bike serviced before the event. Make sure your tires are in good shape, your brakes are working correctly, and your bike is shifting right. BRING at least one extra tube (more if you’re doing the longer ride), CO2 cartridges or pump, tire levers, and maybe a patch kit.
- CELL SERVICE: Be aware that cell service can become spotty for the shorter route, and for the longer distance, it may be limited in places to none towards the southern end. We cannot do much more about it than make you aware.
Thanks everyone. I am very excited for this weekend
Wayne Whitesides & Michael Barman
East Point Track Club