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  1. #1
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    Hospitality Highway Century July 12

    Hospitality Highway Century”*temporarily shuts down GA 400 on*Sunday, July 12 to benefit the Georgia Transplant Foundation.

    Be a part of history when the inaugural*“Hospitality Highway Century”*temporarily shuts down GA 400 on*Sunday, July 12 to benefit the Georgia Transplant Foundation.
    *
    Registered riders will promtly start at*6:30 a.m.*from the former Home Depot parking lot in Roswell, at the intersection of Holcomb Bridge Rd. and Market Blvd., and pedal their way down*GA 400 from exit 7 and exit 6.*Cyclists will then wind through the cities of*Roswell, Sandy Springs, Milton, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, and other scenic areas of north Fulton County.**

    I'm planning on riding this with some very nervous friends... Granted this is a vague question, but is this area noted for its hills? We're planning on doing 31 miles so maybe it won't be too bad...

  2. #2
    Fred wnl256's Avatar
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    I'm planning on riding in this too, hoping to do 61. Looks like the 31 mile route has a few short 4% grades and varies from 900 to 1000 feet. http://bikeroswell.com/ has route maps with elevations. The official site is http://400century.com/ but it just links to bikeroswell for the maps.

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    thank you so much! I will check out those links. That'll really help us get an idea of what we're in for.

    I think it's so wonderful that they're going to do this. I just hope I can get up that early...

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    Fred wnl256's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moneal View Post
    I think it's so wonderful that they're going to do this. I just hope I can get up that early...
    Yeah me too! As I understand it you have to be there for the 6:30 start or you don't get to ride on GA 400. They will only keep the highway closed long enough for the riders who start on time.

    As for how "hilly" it is around here, I'd say it is definitely hilly, but nothing like what you'd find in the foothills of the Blue Ridge (Ellijay, for example) or the Smokies (Tallulah or Clayton). We have hills but they're not too terribly bad.

    Bill

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    Fred wnl256's Avatar
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    Just got my ride info... they want riders on bikes and ready to go by 6:15!

    ***ALL RIDERS MUST BE REGISTERED AND ON THEIR BIKES BY 6:15 A.M. Registration will open at 5:00 A.M.

    *** NO RIDERS WILL BE ALLOWED ON GA 400 AFTER 6:30 A.M.

    So it sounds like they will start rolling out the bikes just after 6:15. Wow that's early.

    Let's just hope it doesn't rain!

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    I just looked at my race info too... 800 riders! That is going to be a great ride! I wondered how many people it would attract.

    Heh, my friends aren't thrilled about the early start time and are wanting to register the day of the ride.... ouch, 5:00am to 6:15! They are so not going to like those hours LOL. I'm so glad I preregistered!

    And really the earlier we can get there, the better it'll be. I went to a popular 4th of July 5k that attracts about 450 runners and I got there 30 mins early thinking I wouldn't have any problems checking in since I had pre-registered... and thirty mins later, the race is about to start, and I'm still in line... I was a little steamed, but really it happens to me a lot, so I think I'll get up in the middle of the night, get there at least an hour early. I'm looking forward to this and I don't want to sitting in that line watching everybody else take off LOL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moneal View Post
    I just looked at my race info too... 800 riders! That is going to be a great ride! I wondered how many people it would attract.

    Heh, my friends aren't thrilled about the early start time and are wanting to register the day of the ride.... ouch, 5:00am to 6:15! They are so not going to like those hours LOL. I'm so glad I preregistered!

    And really the earlier we can get there, the better it'll be. I went to a popular 4th of July 5k that attracts about 450 runners and I got there 30 mins early thinking I wouldn't have any problems checking in since I had pre-registered... and thirty mins later, the race is about to start, and I'm still in line... I was a little steamed, but really it happens to me a lot, so I think I'll get up in the middle of the night, get there at least an hour early. I'm looking forward to this and I don't want to sitting in that line watching everybody else take off LOL.
    Are you sure you can register the day of the ride? I saw something that said you could (Active.com maybe?) but then somewhere else said registration ends Friday. Just saying you might want to verify before your friends show up Sunday and risk being disappointed.

    I'm riding and am not looking forward to the early start. Hope everyone has a great ride.

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    Thanks for noticing that! I didn't think you could, but then when i got the emails, it seemed like you could... but that might be just wishful thinking on my part. I emailed my friends and told them to make a decision tomorrow. That would be horrible if they got up that early for nothing. Thanks for the heads up!

  9. #9
    Fred wnl256's Avatar
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    The page on active.com says that registration closes at 8 am Friday. But that may only be for pre-registration. The Bike Roswell page says "Registration is $35 ($40 if received after July 3, including day of event)" which seems to indicate that on-site registrations will be accepted. But if you want to know for sure, send e-mail to Kristin Stanley who is the event organizer (the info packet was sent by her and contains her e-mail.....I won't post it here).

    I drove the first part of the course today. It winds through Huntcliff (just south of the Chattahoochee) and is very hilly. The first leg (15 miles) could really be tough for some riders, like me!

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    Well that's good because sigh, they didn't pre-register and still want to go, so hopefully they'll be able to. I think I'll email Ms. Stanley tomorrow and maybe I can find out for sure. They'll be okay if they can't ride, but they've never done an organized one so I hope they can because they will love it.

    I appreciate you checking out that course LOL. I'm definitely going to be on the side of the road, resting! My training ride is pretty flat so I'm in for a real experience. Oh well, I'm planning to buy some HEED tomorrow so maybe if I chug that during the ride, I can at least make it to the first rest stop.

    This is going to be so interesting with 800 +sleep deprived people! At least it should be cool...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by moneal View Post
    This is going to be so interesting with 800 +sleep deprived people! At least it should be cool...
    Just got another note from Kristin. The count is now up to 1050 riders! Wow.

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    I'm not sure I've ever been on a bike ride with so many riders... I've been on one 5k with a thousand runners and that was fun, so heh, I'm really looking forward to this madness!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wnl256 View Post
    Just got another note from Kristin. The count is now up to 1050 riders! Wow.
    I'm glad to hear about the good turnout and hope this becomes an annual event.

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    What a Hoot! That was a blast riding down the highway. This is a 4 lane superhighway that was shutdown for 3 miles. We had the coolest time zipping down that stretch at full blast. Wahoo! Though I will say that Roswell has hills. lordy but those just never seemed to quit. I did not expect that many hills. over 1000 feet climbing and descending. Also over 1000 people rode the route down the highway. It was an experience I'll not soon forget. Thanks to whoever set this up. Very cool!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikegeek57 View Post
    What a Hoot! That was a blast riding down the highway. This is a 4 lane superhighway that was shutdown for 3 miles. We had the coolest time zipping down that stretch at full blast. Wahoo! Though I will say that Roswell has hills. lordy but those just never seemed to quit. I did not expect that many hills. over 1000 feet climbing and descending. Also over 1000 people rode the route down the highway. It was an experience I'll not soon forget. Thanks to whoever set this up. Very cool!
    It was fun to ride down GA-400...I doubt I'll go that fast tomorrow during rush hour Roswell is hilly but the route organizer must have been feeling a little sadistic when he made the routes. I did the full century and my Garmin showed over 6300 ft of climbing. I ride many of the same roads and there were some less hilly alternative routes but they must have wanted us to hurt some (Woodmont neighborhood and Mtn Park Rd got me good). Also, I thought for the rest stops could have some sandwiches or something a little more hearty for a ride of that length. Regardless, good ride with very friendly support staff.

    I must say that watermelon flavored Heed is the worst stuff in the world. And I'm not a picky drinker.

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    I was at Roswell Bikes geting some repairs done and they had over 1500 registrants. The shops sag van was still at the start waiting for bikes to leave while people were getting off at exit 6. The rest stops ran out of supplies. If they do it again next year there has to be some changes to the coure/start. I gat take out when another cyclist changed lines then stopped. I went down hard enough to break the crank. Too many people just stoppong in the midle of the road to get off the bike to walk the rest of the climb.

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    I was thinking the same thing... only a sadist could have planned that ride! I enjoyed it, but I felt like I was in San Francisco. Around mile 20, every time the ride went into a neighborhood, I felt like screaming. I wonder why they planned it that way? In one neighborhood, one of the residents told us we were going the hard way, that there was a much easier route... it made me tear up a little LOL. Nobody that was riding near me fared well up the hills. I think a lot of casual cyclists signed up for the ride and were stunned by the course. Everybody seemed fairly happy though.

    The part down Ga 400 was so awesome... It was a little claustophobic at the beginning when we were all jammed together, but it was wild whizzing down the highway with all of those photographers overhead.

    I felt like check in was really well handled and I was so grateful for that pre race bagel and juice because the rest stop was a little sad. But the ride was well marked so I had no complaints.

    I really enjoyed it and am so glad I did it... but I don't think I could do it again. There were just way too many hills.

  18. #18
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    61 grueling miles. Well, not all of them were grueling.

    I have no idea what is involved in putting together a route for a bike ride like this. I imagine that it requires a lot of co-ordination with local authorities and neighborhood homeowners associations. I'm sure that it was a lot of work and I want to say just how much I appreciate all the work that the organizers put in to the ride. There was much about the ride went well. But about the actual course, I have to say: What were you thinking???

    I heard other folks say it was the toughest charity ride they have ever done. I can't compare as it is only my second. But I do have to say that if they do this again next year and the route is the same I won't do the 61 or 100 mile courses. I will opt for a shorter route. I'm not in shape, and for me the course was brutal. It chewed me up and spit me out like last week's bad meat. By the last 10 miles I had nothing left for any kind of climbing at all.

    I arrived early (around 5:30) and for me check-in was very smooth and quick. I anticipated that parking would be in short supply and I was right. By around 5:45 parking was definitely a problem. We mounted up and assembled in front of the old CompUSA. At 6:15 we rolled out. Holcomb Bridge road was blocked in both directions and we were placed on the bridge over 400 to wait for the highway to be shut down. Once the shutdown was complete we rolled down the ramp and rode. What a blast! There were photographers overhead in a "cherry picker" and on the Roberts Drive bridge.

    The entire first segment was police directed. Intersections and roads were closed for us. We even got our own lane on Highway 9 to cross the river. There were also some people sitting on the side of the road in Huntcliff encouraging the riders with signs, cowbells, yelling, and cheering. And there were some accidents. I heard at least two crashes and I suspect there were more. After the first rest stop the crowd spread out and thinned out.

    The course was very well marked. Cue sheets were available ahead of time. I printed and laminated one to take with me. There were typically three signs at every turn: one just before, one at the turn, and one just after. And arrows were spraypainted on the street. Unfortunately on two of the turns the signs had disappeared (non-riding locals probably swiped them because they didn't like them). This caused some serious confusion at those two turns. That's when the cue sheet was helpful to verify the turn.

    One leg went through Mountain Park. After passing the lake there was a monster hill that even the fit riders had to struggle to get up. From Mountain Park we crossed Highway 92 and entered (I think) Steeple Run where there were more tough hills. The rest stop was a welcome relief. I overheard one cyclist ask for the SAG wagon to take his riding partners back to parking. They couldn't make it any further.

    The route went through some beautiful areas (I've never seen houses that big). Most of the roads had light car traffic. And in many of the neighborhoods there were people standing in their front yards encouraging the riders. One stretch went right through old town Roswell (along Canton Street). There was a lot of car and pedestrian traffic for that short distance, but riding through there was lots of fun. The last stretch was along the Chattahoochee River. Nice and flat and a welcome relief from all the hills.

    The rest stops were not well stocked. The first rest stop had plenty of stuff, but the rest of them ran out of the good stuff. By the time I got there all that was left was bananas, oranges, and maybe some peanut butter crackers. They all had adequate water and Heet.

    Bill

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    Quote Originally Posted by wnl256 View Post
    61 grueling miles. Well, not all of them were grueling.

    I have no idea what is involved in putting together a route for a bike ride like this. I imagine that it requires a lot of co-ordination with local authorities and neighborhood homeowners associations. I'm sure that it was a lot of work and I want to say just how much I appreciate all the work that the organizers put in to the ride. There was much about the ride went well. But about the actual course, I have to say: What were you thinking???

    I heard other folks say it was the toughest charity ride they have ever done. I can't compare as it is only my second. But I do have to say that if they do this again next year and the route is the same I won't do the 61 or 100 mile courses. I will opt for a shorter route. I'm not in shape, and for me the course was brutal. It chewed me up and spit me out like last week's bad meat. By the last 10 miles I had nothing left for any kind of climbing at all.

    I arrived early (around 5:30) and for me check-in was very smooth and quick. I anticipated that parking would be in short supply and I was right. By around 5:45 parking was definitely a problem. We mounted up and assembled in front of the old CompUSA. At 6:15 we rolled out. Holcomb Bridge road was blocked in both directions and we were placed on the bridge over 400 to wait for the highway to be shut down. Once the shutdown was complete we rolled down the ramp and rode. What a blast! There were photographers overhead in a "cherry picker" and on the Roberts Drive bridge.

    The entire first segment was police directed. Intersections and roads were closed for us. We even got our own lane on Highway 9 to cross the river. There were also some people sitting on the side of the road in Huntcliff encouraging the riders with signs, cowbells, yelling, and cheering. And there were some accidents. I heard at least two crashes and I suspect there were more. After the first rest stop the crowd spread out and thinned out.

    The course was very well marked. Cue sheets were available ahead of time. I printed and laminated one to take with me. There were typically three signs at every turn: one just before, one at the turn, and one just after. And arrows were spraypainted on the street. Unfortunately on two of the turns the signs had disappeared (non-riding locals probably swiped them because they didn't like them). This caused some serious confusion at those two turns. That's when the cue sheet was helpful to verify the turn.

    One leg went through Mountain Park. After passing the lake there was a monster hill that even the fit riders had to struggle to get up. From Mountain Park we crossed Highway 92 and entered (I think) Steeple Run where there were more tough hills. The rest stop was a welcome relief. I overheard one cyclist ask for the SAG wagon to take his riding partners back to parking. They couldn't make it any further.

    The route went through some beautiful areas (I've never seen houses that big). Most of the roads had light car traffic. And in many of the neighborhoods there were people standing in their front yards encouraging the riders. One stretch went right through old town Roswell (along Canton Street). There was a lot of car and pedestrian traffic for that short distance, but riding through there was lots of fun. The last stretch was along the Chattahoochee River. Nice and flat and a welcome relief from all the hills.

    The rest stops were not well stocked. The first rest stop had plenty of stuff, but the rest of them ran out of the good stuff. By the time I got there all that was left was bananas, oranges, and maybe some peanut butter crackers. They all had adequate water and Heet.

    Bill
    I told my buddy that the route organizer must have been selling real estate in Woodmont since we went through there to suffer a brutal climb that could have easily been avoided We were about mid-crowd waiting to get on GA-400 and I told my buddy that we had to haul butt on GA-400 to get in front of some folks becuase I knew there would be a mess at the first significant climb. Sure enough, those first climbs in the neighborhoods slowed a lot of people and I can't imagine how bad it would have been if you weren't near the front.

    I doubt the organizers planned on such a big turnout and considering it's for charity, they probably didn't want to cap the number of participants. I beleive they tried to keep off most of the heavily traveled roads but when you do that, you end up adding neighborhoods with short but steep grades. I used to do hill repeats in Mountain Park but at mile 82, that was brutal.

    I'm sure there will be some changes made next year and will give it another shot since it's for a good cause and is right down the road from me.

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    I would really like to know who decided on the course and what their thinking was... It was such a great ride on so many levels... and yet, if they do it again, I bet they won't attract anywhere near the same amount of people. I was riding with some first timers and one kept asking me... are all centuries this hard?

    I was probably at the back of the pack, but it wasn't too terrible on the hills crowdwise. I think the hills thinned out the glut of riders. It was a problem on the way to Ga 400, but once we got rolling on the highway, everything was fine.... well except for those hills...

    I'm so glad I didn't do the 61 mile route. I couldn't have done it.

    is anybody talking about the ride anywhere else on the Net? I'd really like to hear the comments LOL.

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    this is a funny thread about it...

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