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.
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 slowly 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.
SAG 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.
Your 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.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…