Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
Definitely make note of all the convenience stores along the way, because they will see increased traffic when the ride goes through. Use your time estimates to figure when people will be stopping for snacks and meals (restaurants) and warn everyone along the route ahead of time.
Excellent point. I was on a ride recently that had about 30 or 40 participants which isn't a lot once we all got spread out, but it was a brevet where we needed to get our cards signed at certain specific ponts, and we were told to go to a particular bakery in a particular town to get the staff there to do that. But the bakery had not been informed and was very busy with real customers. They weren't impressed.
In this case, the participants won't need to get a card signed along the route, but any food establishments around the 20-30 mile point could be quite busy because the riders could still be grouped fairly closely together.
And yes ... have a flexible departure time. I did a great organized tour a couple years in Canada ... if I recall correctly, they served breakfast from 7am - 8:30am, and the baggage truck closed up at 9 am. Riders could go any time after about 8 am and were strongly encouraged to be on the road by about 9:15 am at the latest.
That tour started with a hill about 7 km long which varied between 5% and 8% ... there are always people walking right from the start. But it flattens out quite a bit after that.
Oh and another thing, when you create the route, create it with a program like Streets and Trips or whatever, then take the cue sheet you've created, and drive the route. It's good to do this with a friend driving, and you making notes on the cue sheet. Double check distances. Double check signs. Look for railway crossings and other things you may need to warn the participants about.
Once you've got what you think is your final version of the cue sheet, give it to a friend (preferably one who doesn't know the area very well) and ride the route with your friend following the cue sheet. If your friend runs into trouble understanding something, chances are a lot of the other riders will too.
Then, the week before the ride, drive the route again and look for anything that might have changed. If you create the route in February, the local government may have decided to remove a section of the road in May. This happened to me. When I lived in Alberta, I created routes for the brevet series in central Alberta. I had a nicely designed 600K brevet, which I had ridden the previous year, but when I went out to drive it the next spring and check it, about 1 km of road had been completely removed and the detour around that spot was a very lumpy dirt track that went on for several km. I had to redesign the route.
And on that note, Alberta had a website with a list of proposed road construction that was going to take place in the next 2 or 3 years. They kept it fairly well up to date, and it gave me an idea about some projects going on in my area. You might look for something similar for your area to check to make sure they aren't going to be doing a major repaving job on a large portion of your route when you want to hold the event.