—UPDATE— Winter Bike League For Recreational Riders.

As of today (Nov 13th), below is the tentative details of how and what the “Atlanta Winter Bike League (our official name) will look like.  Just remember that some things could end up changing but at least the following is the direction I am moving towards.   We chose a location that is accessible from all parts of metro Atlanta and definitely inside of a 1 hour drive time, including areas like P’tree City, Covington, Braselton, Flowery Branch, Gainesville, Alpharetta, Kennesaw and Cartersville.  Honestly, the location was THE hardest part of putting this whole thing together…so far.  

‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE     www.atlantaWBL.com (under construction)

1st Season for the Atlanta Winter Bike League…

START DATE:  Saturday, November 30th and then continuing every other Saturday, with the last ride on April 5th, 2014

START TIME:  9:30am (roll time).  Arrive early enough so that you are ready to ride at 9:30am.

START LOCATION:  253 Peters St SW, Atlanta, Ga 30313 (MAP LINK).

DISTANCE:  Our first ride will be 35 miles and each following ride will increase by (approximately) 5 miles, with our last ride being 75 miles.

SPEED:  Our 1st ride is anticipated to be 14’ish mph (overall average speed- OAS).  The goal is to slowlyScreen Shot 2013-11-05 at 2.28.02 PM increase the OAS over our 10 rides, with that our last ride ending with an anticipated 17-18mph OAS.  If separate speed groups are necessary, appropriate steps will be taken.  It is important to note, for example, that if you are only able to ride a 14mph average on your own, riding in an organized formation (or peleton) dramatically decreases your effort because of drafting.

For those who may not have a high confidence level to draft, coaching will also be provided to help you safely learn this energy-saving technique.

PARKING:  There is limited parking at our Start Location, however Outback Bikes (approx 3 miles away) has plenty of parking at $2/day.  We “may” have our SAG vehicle leave Outback Bikes at 9:15am and follow any cyclists over to our official Start Location for our 9:30am start time.  More details when finalized.

ROUTE:  For those who may have heard of the Sunday ‘Airport Ride’, we will be utilizing most of this existing route but with some variations.  Don’t worry, the Atlanta Winter Bike League will stay separate from the Sunday Airport Ride, since we will be riding on Saturdays.  

RIDE CONDUCT/EXPECTATION:  Every Saturday ride will stay in a 2-abreast (or double pace line) format the entire ride.  All participants will be expected to ride in this organized fashion and be able to ride a straight line at all times.  For any participants who may not have a high confidence level of this type of organized formation, coaching will be provided to help you reach this level.  There will be no sprint points or any other speed competitions, and therefore all participants will be expected to stay riding within the organized formation at all times.  Sprinting off the front is not allowed during the ride.

All participants will be expected to call out all hazards in the road and use visible hand signals at appropriate times.  This, and other basic information, will also be announced prior to each ride start.

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 2.26.43 PMSAG VEHICLE:  Every ride will have a SAG vehicle at the rear.  The purpose is to provide support to participants, as needed.  The SAG vehicle will also have miscellaneous items such at tubes, tires, brake & shifter cables, chains, etc to help with most anticipated mechanical issues.  If any participant who has a mechanical issue, the SAG vehicle will stop with you.   Once your mechanical has been completed, the SAG vehicle will load your bike and leapfrog you back up to the peleton.  Please note that the peleton will not stop for individual mechanical issues.

COST:  You will have the option to either register for all 10 rides ($80), 5 rides ($50) or any single day ride ($15).  Day-of registration will be available (cash only).  An online registration portal is being created for easy registration process and (hopefully) we will eventually have the ability to accept credit cards for any Day-of registration.  More details to follow on this.

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 10.33.43 AMYour registration fee mainly goes to cover the cost for your SAG vehicle, gas and supplies.  Outback Bikes very quickly jumped on board as our 1st Official Sponsor.  We hope that as each season grows, to draw more sponsors and expand the level of services you receive.

CURRENT NEEDS:   RIDE LEADERS.  These individuals will help maintain a consistent pace and be on the outlook for any cyclists who may need help.  Ride Leaders will complete a 1-hr introduction session that includes a riding segment and a basic mechanical segment.  Ride Leaders registration fees will be waived.   Please submit your interest to robert@mycyclecoach.com, with the words “RIDE LEADER” in the subject line.  Obviously, time is of the essence.          SAG DRIVERS.  We need at least 1, if not 2, SAG DRIVERS to follow the peleton during our rides.  Your vehicle will need to be able to transport at least 2 bicycles and also have enough cargo space for bicycle tools, parts and accessories.  Please submit your interest to robert@mycyclecoach.com, with the words “SAG DRIVER” in the subject line.  Obviously, time is of the essence.

Lastly, I am SUPER excited about this dream becoming reality for our cycling community…thanks to your overwhelming responses.  For now, help get the word out to ALL your cycling friends and contacts and then be ready to ride on Saturday, November 30th.   It will be a great opportunity to ride off all that Thanksgiving Day food.

See ya on the road…

Coach Robert

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17 responses to “—UPDATE— Winter Bike League For Recreational Riders.

  1. I’m with Camalita…..

    There is no “Athens WBL”. That is the WBL, The Other Season. Did you consult The Humble Chronicler before deciding to use the brand? I know it isn’t trademarked but give it the respect it deserves.

    Every take off on The Other Season (Greenville WBL , BirminghamWBL, or wherever) have been started by like minded individuals who have experienced the WBL and are looking to emulate what it stands for. Which is a training ride for experienced cyclists designed to average 20 mph and roll for 4+ hours….as a starting point.

    I have no issue with what you are trying to get started and see it as a positive for those looking for such a ride but don’t dilute the brand. Find your own brand/name for it is not the same thing.

    • Hey Greg,
      Thanks for your comments. OH, I absolutely did speak w/David Crowe before moving forward. Not doing so would have been very unprofessional, in my mind, and was not an option. David was excited about the whole thing and gave me his blessing.

      My apologies for inserting ‘Athens’ into the WBL wording. It has already been changed, so thanks for catching my mistake.

  2. The two abreast, tempo training sounds great and I commend you on your efforts. I, however wonder if the SAG is really needed at this point or really ever. 1. Cost for obvious reasons. 2. This isn’t the same rural roads as the WBL and you will have a vehicle following a group of riders through a much more congested area. I live on the southside and knowing that another ride is heading down the same roads the day before with a vehicle following behind just sounds like the potential to piss off more southsiders who will have to now pass a slow moving car then a potentially large group of cyclists on Saturday’s? They already have to deal with a bunch of… insert colorful adjectives here… riders on Sundays. I’ve been riding for 30+ years on the road and never needed a sag… Never on the WBL or any massive tours like RAGBRI or BRAG, centuries, etc. etc. That’s what your pockets are for on your jersey…. Why not just create a controlled, well managed ride and leave it at that?… like the real WBL started with years ago?

    • Thanks Wayne for reaching out and sharing. B/C the overwhelming response is from more recreational riders, knowing there is a SAG vehicle creates a sense of security and that if it is needed…it is there. Just a totally different mentality from the more racer groups. You do make good points and I assure you we will do our dead level best to be respectful and courteous to motorists. That means actually helping them to pass at every (safe) point possible.

      Hope you consider joining us on at least one ride. Who knows, you may be able to think of something we have totally overlooked.

  3. I get where you’re coming from, but in the age of toddling people for everything we do today, they’ll just grow to expect it on every ride and not learn anything, when they should: 1. learn their limits before attempting something like this beforehand or pay attention to the route in case they get separated. 2. Learn to take care of their own equipment and check it before walking out the door… always. 3. Learn to fix your own stuff. I’m baffled and dumbfounded by the sheer number of people who can’t fix a flat. 4. Have designated “no drop” riders who can act as a sweeper as the ride progresses. I get that you’re catering to more of a “touring” type of rider, but I still don’t see the need even for them… especially considering that most of the route you’re talking about has MARTA next to it. You can always just jump on the train if you over do it…. Good luck. Again, I applaud your much needed efforts, I just think it can, and should be done without the SAG, but it’s not my ride.

  4. Pingback: Southeastern Cycling | November 2013·

  5. Coach Robert, I appreciate all of the effort you have put into this series of rides. I, for one, was very comforted by the SAG vehicle’s presence. I am a recreational rider and new to this type of ride. If it is not appropriate for me to join in, then let me know now! I hoped to use this opportunity to give me a challenge that helps me reach my goal of riding a century (or two or three!) next year. I am very excited about this opportunity. For cycling to become a sport of even greater appeal, I think these types of opportunities are invaluable. See you on the 30th!

    • THANKS for your kinds words, Julie. Nothing worth while is easy, and creating this Series is just that. Long way to go but I am excited you are joining us. Its gonna be great!!!! See ya Saturday!!!

  6. Hi Robert – I plan to try to ride this weekend. I get Mark L’s emails as I’m a former Northlake/Pizza/Airport rider but have lost my fitness somewhat while working on my PhD – I heard about this through his email blast. I really like this idea and will come out to participate as I’m mostly interested in miles not racing these days. I may even offer to be a ride leader – I used to (still do sometimes) lead rides from Peachtree Bikes on Sundays. Thank you for putting this together – it sounds like an opportunity for the recreational community that is much needed.

  7. I echo Julie’s remarks above. I think this is a great opportunity for riders to receive guidance and assistance from more advance riders while we increase our mileage and speed. Everyone starts from somewhere. Helping to build cycler confidence and knowledge in a group environment makes the roads safer for ALL. Thank you for putting this together.

    • Thanks Dee. And that is exactly what everyone will experience. My desire is for this to be a great learning environment for anyone who needs help but also a place where others to get together and ride w/o the typical hammerhead scenarios that exist elsewhere. It will only get better each year.

      THANKS for helping spread the word to all your cycling friends!!!! See you Nov 30th

  8. As a swimmer turned triathlete, this opportunity to improve my cycling is SO helpful. The ride was great, the people I met were very encouraging and positive. I did need the SAG car because my lungs gave out before my legs did. But I learned a lot of great things: I now know why it helps to stay close to the pack and avoid headwind, I know that I have to keep my face warm so I don’t breath in cold air, and I know that Coach Robert is as good as gold and will be coaching me onto greatness!!!! I also got good coaching in the SAG vehicle from Pete who taught me about riding in the small ring in the winter. I’m kinda glad I needed the help and got a special tidbit. See you in two weeks and will be fiercer and better than before.

    • Hey Wendy,
      you did great out there and I look forward to seeing you grow thru the Series. yep, that headwind coming back was strong and ‘spin in the wind’ is what will get you to the finish line…or the parking lot in this case. Excited to see you again Dec 14th

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