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youcoming 12-14-08 08:05 PM

Club Making Changes to Tour
As a member of my local cycling clubs century ride planning committee I am looking fo rideas or suggestions tips anything that you could offer to make a successful century ride. Some details, after 26 years our old route obvioously needed revamping, it was flat easy but unsafe in some sections. The new route is planned to have about 6000-8000 feet of climbing but shorter routes aval. with less. We are going to a mass start for the first time as well. We are a small club about 100 members with really only about 25 serious riders. What have you seen that has made a century ride memorable to you. We have not even come up with a name. The route will be in a section of the Oak Ridges Moraine a huge aquafuar in southern Ontario. Lots of hills, all paved, great views abound. I realize not many here are from my area but please make a suggestion or two.

StephenH 12-14-08 08:58 PM

It seems to me that really good cyclists seek out hills because that's what it takes to really challenge them, but in doing so, you automatically eliminate a lot of average cyclists. You have to decide whether you want some sort of iron man competition where only the tough survive or whether you want a fun ride for a lot of participants.

Personally, I would rather ride a 100 mile flattish course than a 25 mile hilly course. That is, cutting the course length down doesn't accomplish much if it's a course I don't want to be on in the first place.

What makes a ride memorable- good weather, for starters- nice scenery- good roads, little traffic- meeting new people. The ideal route is a loop, not an out-and-back.
Bad things for a ride- heat/ humidity- running low on supplies, especially liquid- traffic or roads worse than expected- flats.

mkadam68 12-14-08 10:40 PM

My club in Santa Clarita is planning our first century event for February 2009. I am one of three (3) organizing the event. So I also asked a similar question here.

First, StephenH's comment is spot-on: you have to decide if you want a select group of riders or you want the entire cycling world coming to your door. A general rule of thumb is: the harder the course, the fewer participants will show. In the SoCal King of the Mountains Challenge (3 rides, 100+ miles each, 10,000+ feet each), only about 300 riders complete it.

Second, hillier rides should be later in the summer to allow riders to build up to the challenge.

Now, here's the list of responses I got to my question:
  • Convenient SAG stops: not too close or too far
  • Well-stocked SAG stops with a variety of foods & beverages
  • Good post-ride meal
  • Quality products
  • Free samples
  • Lots of friendly volunteers who talk/socialize with riders at stops
  • Roadside assistance vehicles that are pro-active ("How can we help you?")
  • Constantly visible & present roadside assistance vehicles
  • Clear signage
  • Easy-to-read cue sheets/maps
  • Detailed cue sheets (should list any dangerous areas or upcoming landmarks)
  • Easy-to-see arrows/markings on the road (before turns and after turns)
  • A unique ride symbol to go with road markings where other ride markings exist
  • Traffic control where needed (dangerous and hi-traffic areas)
  • Good spot on the calendar

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