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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    PA: Tour de Chocolate Town

    Has anyone done this?
    http://www.tourdechocolatetown.com/index.php

    I'm curious how the elevation/climbing is. From what I remember, I'd guess it is mostly rolling hills. The site says to check back for maps, I wonder when they'll be available.
    At $40, it sounds like a good deal. Do they close any roads and/or restrict traffic? Or are you pretty much handed a map, there are some signs, and you fend for yourself?

    Although I now live in AZ, I'm from PA and have family there. Could be kinda cool to go back, visit, do the ride, etc.

  2. #2
    Bulky Bullet Sayre Kulp's Avatar
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    I lived right outside Hershey until I moved to Florida this past fall. I never did the actual event, but I did ride the route. It's not bad at all. Mostly rolling. I only remember one longer climb. I know that doesn't exactly answer your questions, but I will say this - it's a really nice area to ride in and I would bet worth every penny.
    "Obstacles don't like me very much. I make them look bad."

  3. #3
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    Don't know how it will go. But I'm planning on attending. Not sure if I'll do the 35 miles on the road bike or do the 17 on my Langster fixed gear. I'll decide after the end of April. I'll have a better idea of my conditioning then.

    Mark Shuman

  4. #4
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    They finally have maps and elevation guides posted:
    http://www.tourdechocolatetown.com/r...course_map.php

    Now the tough question...do I want to do the 100 or the 62.5. The courses look exactly the same, except that the 100 has that loop around Mt Joy. Why do I have a feeling that I'll develop other names for it other than Mt Joy if I take that option...

    I rode el Tour de Mesa a few weeks ago:
    http://app.strava.com/activities/47517662

    and last year I rode in el Tour de Tucson:
    http://app.strava.com/activities/28136005

    My long rides lately have been about 70-80 miles, with about 2000-2500 feet of climbing. But here in AZ, it is either one extreme or the other...flat as a pancake or crazy 3-6 mile climbs. None of this rolling stuff. Any advice which you'd take?

  5. #5
    DomaneFanboy
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    The maps are up but even when I go to the Garmin page to see the details, I cannot see the total elevation displayed... Just visually it looks like <3500 ft for the century, but does anyone know the exact number?

    Mapmyride has the 62 mi version (don't know if it's current) and it's about 1500ft for that user's route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/94861993

  6. #6
    Senior Member Number400's Avatar
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    Thread resurrection! Can someone who has ridden the 62.5 or 100 mile ride contact me?

    I live in Hershey and know the roads/route (it even goes down my street), but have never done the organized event. I am looking for more info on rider safety and support for the longer legs of the ride. Is there any police presence, roving support vehicles, partial lane closures, etc...or are you out there on your own with motorists who may have had traffic jams or long waits and who may have already had it with "all the bikes" jamming the roads. I plan on starting early and trying to keep a decent pace for the 100.

    Thanks,
    Ed
    Barbossa: I'm disinclined to acquiesce to your request. Means "no".

  7. #7
    DomaneFanboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Number400 View Post
    Thread resurrection! Can someone who has ridden the 62.5 or 100 mile ride contact me?

    I live in Hershey and know the roads/route (it even goes down my street), but have never done the organized event. I am looking for more info on rider safety and support for the longer legs of the ride. Is there any police presence, roving support vehicles, partial lane closures, etc...or are you out there on your own with motorists who may have had traffic jams or long waits and who may have already had it with "all the bikes" jamming the roads. I plan on starting early and trying to keep a decent pace for the 100.

    Thanks,
    Ed
    From what I remember, the police presence and traffic direction were only in the beginning, obviously within the Hersey park area, but also for the first few intersections... There was actually a lady who fell approaching one of the first stop signs (it was drizzling)... After that, you are "on your own"... however, the roads are marked pretty clearly with color coded paint according to which loop you are doing, so it wasn't an issue. I did not feel the need to carry a cue sheet. Also, I kept pace with several people and was never truly riding alone for the entire length (I did the metric).

    To answer your questions, there are no lane closures or anything like that, the route is mostly country roads, but on the return, there was some traffic to deal with. I think there was a SAG number to call, but I cannot verify because I never had to use it. The rest stops were pretty reasonably spaced, not excessively far apart. They were well stocked with cool stuff like Honey Stinger treats, sports drinks, and various food items.. Even chamois butter for some reason. Everyone was very friendly and even though I came from Baltimore by myself, I made some friends doing the loop.

    Overall, despite the weather, this was a very enjoyable ride for me. If my family is willing, I would go again this year too. I will say that, the elevation was more than I had thought (My Garmin measured 3,850ft), but still very doable for my pace (avg 17mph). After the ride, there was some additional food and Hershey coupons provided.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Number400's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience!
    Barbossa: I'm disinclined to acquiesce to your request. Means "no".

  9. #9
    Junior Member goldstock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saleemfarooqui View Post
    The rest stops were pretty reasonably spaced, not excessively far apart. They were well stocked with cool stuff like Honey Stinger treats, sports drinks, and various food items.. Even chamois butter for some reason.
    This is going to be my first century run. I'm pretty excited and a little nervous. I'm not sure if its this way for all events, or just the Hershey one, but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of information. Do they send out any type of package before the race with additional information like where the stops are and how far apart they might be?

    As for the elevation, I imported the course into mapmyride and the elevation came out to 2700. Seems like a different total everywhere you look. Only worried about one spot starting around the 80 mile mark. Looks like a pretty serious incline for about 5 miles.
    "It is important in life not only to be strong but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once" myfirstcenturyride.blogspot.com

  10. #10
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    This will also be my first century ride and was hoping more information was going to be provided closer to the event.
    My main concern is the distance between rest areas and planning my drinking/eating.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Pgavindonnelly's Avatar
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    Nice will look into this ride!
    "Nothing ventured nothing gained"
    Gavin

  12. #12
    Junior Member BikeBeagle's Avatar
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    I'm signed up for this years tour de chocolate town. It's my first attempt at a Century... how was your ride last year ? The 3500 elevation gain seems intimdating as all hell.

  13. #13
    Junior Member goldstock's Avatar
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    Hope your ride went well. This was my second century, wasn't sure I was going to make it. The wind was brutal. And it was a new course this year. There also didn't seem to be as many entrants this year, which lead to a lot of lonely stretches.
    "It is important in life not only to be strong but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once" myfirstcenturyride.blogspot.com

  14. #14
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    I did the ride this year. This was my first organized ride since my teen years (I'm 51 now), so it's been quite a while. But I had a blast! The ride starts off riding right through Hersheypark, which was really cool. Upon arrival you receive a packet with a colored wristband that coincided with colored markings on the roads which told you which direction to go. And when you cross the finish line they hand you a bag containing a fruit and nut bar, Reese's chocolate peanut butter dipping....things, a water bottle with "2015 Tour de Chocolate Town" on it, and some other things I can't recall, plus a cold bottle of water in a small thermal bag. Nice little bonus pack for completing the ride. Being an amateur (but an ex-bmx racer), I rode my Cannondale Quick 5 hybrid and only signed up for the short course, which was 17.94 miles. Let me explain before you start laughing. I was supposed to be riding my motorcycle 400 miles to Wildwood Bike Week on Saturday, the day before the Tour de Chocolate Town. Unfortunately it rained all day so I didn't go. Had I known, I would have signed up for one of the longer rides. Anyway, the course was well marked, but there were no street closures, so you had to be on the lookout for cars. It's a very scenic area so I really enjoyed the ride, and the weather was perfect. My riding partner was sorely unprepared for any kind of ride as she hadn't been on a bike in a number of years, so that was a bit of a drag. Plus she had a cold and felt miserable. (I waited for her at the top of all the hills while she walked up). This was another reason for taking the short course. Lesson learned. I will say there was quite a variety of bikes on the ride. I'd say about 75% of the riders were pretty serious road cyclists (lots of very nice rigs), but I also saw several tandem bikes, a few recumbants, one fat bike, and 2 or 3 kids with their little bikes attached to their parent's bikes. One of the nicer features of this ride is that they had photographers stationed inside Hersheypark snapping away. Later that night the pics were up and available for purchase. I bought one 4 X 6 (for about $15 after shipping and handling), because how often do you get the chance to get a pic on your ride in an amusement park? It came out really good, so I was pleased with that, as well as the entire experience. I'll be back next year, for a longer ride. I would recommend this ride for everyone, no matter what your skill level may be.

    Mike
    "Common sense. The least common of the senses."

  15. #15
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    I did the century in 2014. There is fairly good organization at the rest stops (except that by the time I got to the rest stop that only century riders visited they were out of food & Gatorade - maybe it was me...) but very little in the way of marshalling, SAG support, etc. along the route itself.

    The route is marked on the pavement and I think they had someone directing cyclists where the 62 and 100 mile routes split off from the shorter rides. I had ridden the route in thirds as part of my training so the turns I might have missed I hard already missed before the day of the event.

    They've changed the routes significantly since I rode so I can't comment about the current ride.

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