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Can anyone recommend a local century?

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Can anyone recommend a local century?

Old 07-17-11, 04:35 PM
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RaeEllen
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Can anyone recommend a local century?

It was suggested I post this in the local forum!

Can anyone recommend a century ride for my husband and me? He's a long-time cyclist and century veteran. I'm new to the sport, in-shape, but really prefer running. We have a two year old we normally cart around in the trailer, so if we are going off without, we want to make it worth our while!

With all that said, can anyone recommend a century thats:
1) Within 500 miles of Atlanta
2) Has a half-century option for me
3) Is scenic, or in a place worth visiting for the weekend
4) Not too hilly. (Six/three gaps are right out! One gap would do me in!)

Any suggestions welcome!
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Old 07-17-11, 06:23 PM
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A few options:

The Roan Moan on the 30th of July. You can stay in Burnsville, Spuce Pine or Bakersville. I particularly like Burnsville as its a quaint little town sort of stuck in time. People there go about life kind'a slow while the world keeps on spinning. Lots of scenery around Burnsville. The Toe and Cane rivers are really beautiful. And Roan mountain is a honey to climb. The metric is all you will need, though they offer the full century too.

The Blue Ridge Brutal out of West Jefferson on the 13th of August is another nice mountain/country side ride. Both full and metric centuries are offered, with the option of climbing Jefferson Mountain at the end. This is one of the more popular events in NC so the turnout is good. The scenery is nice around Jefferson and West Jefferson. Good place for a weekend getaway.

On the 20th of August there is the Blue Ridge Breakaway. Probably the most scenic route of all in NC. And a healthy amount of climbing on the century route. Plenty on the metric too but, the century offers a good deal more scenery since quite a bit of this route is on the Parkway (possibly the most scenic section of the entire Parkway). Stay in Waynesville or anyplace nearby (Franklin, Sylva, Asheville, etc). Its all extremely rustic and nice around these parts with plenty to see and do outside cycling.

Last edited by NealH; 07-17-11 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 07-17-11, 06:33 PM
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Look thru this for some local rides.
http://www.bicyclegeorgia.com/gac.html
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Old 07-17-11, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by NealH View Post
A few options:

The Roan Moan on the 30th of July. You can stay in Burnsville, Spuce Pine or Bakersville. I particularly like Burnsville as its a quaint little town sort of stuck in time. People there go about life kind'a slow while the world keeps on spinning. Lots of scenery around Burnsville. The Toe and Cane rivers are really beautiful. And Roan mountain is a honey to climb. The metric is all you will need, though they offer the full century too.

The Blue Ridge Brutal out of West Jefferson on the 13th of August is another nice mountain/country side ride. Both full and metric centuries are offered, with the option of climbing Jefferson Mountain at the end. This is one of the more popular events in NC so the turnout is good. The scenery is nice around Jefferson and West Jefferson. Good place for a weekend getaway.

On the 20th of August there is the Blue Ridge Breakaway. Probably the most scenic route of all in NC. And a healthy amount of climbing on the century route. Plenty on the metric too but, the century offers a good deal more scenery since quite a bit of this route is on the Parkway (possibly the most scenic section of the entire Parkway). Stay in Waynesville or anyplace nearby (Franklin, Sylva, Asheville, etc). Its all extremely rustic and nice around these parts with plenty to see and do outside cycling.
Those all sound like fantastic options. (Well, maybe the first one is a bit too tough for me, but my husband would love it....he's trying to talk me into doing the gaps!) Do you know anything that's into the fall or winter though?
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Old 07-18-11, 06:30 AM
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If a metric is OK I would suggest this one. Three routes metric century, 42 mile and 22 mile. Foothills, not mountains. Very scenic. Good support. Easy drive for you from ATL.

http://www.tourdetugaloo.com/
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Old 07-18-11, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by RaeEllen View Post
It was suggested I post this in the local forum!

Can anyone recommend a century ride for my husband and me? He's a long-time cyclist and century veteran. I'm new to the sport, in-shape, but really prefer running. We have a two year old we normally cart around in the trailer, so if we are going off without, we want to make it worth our while!

With all that said, can anyone recommend a century thats:
1) Within 500 miles of Atlanta
2) Has a half-century option for me
3) Is scenic, or in a place worth visiting for the weekend
4) Not too hilly. (Six/three gaps are right out! One gap would do me in!)

Any suggestions welcome!
Wilson100.org

Hosted by Southern Bike League
Benefit: Leukemia Society
Cheap: $35-54
Nearby: 40-50 miles south of Atlanta
Easy: http://wilson100.org/faq.php
I'm not sure I'm in good enough shape; is this a difficult ride with lots of hills?
The terrain is very similar to the popular Covington Century, and the hills are defined as "rollers". Like the Covington, top riders can finish in under four hours (sub 4-hour Century). Also in 2007, the Concourse Athletic Club had multiple participants complete the Wilson 100 as their first ever Century ride! Hills mean different things to different people depending upon their skill set, training, and personal conditioning. The Wilson 100 has a 16 mile, 31, 54, 63 (metric century), and 100 mile options to choose from. Please consult with your doctor before attempting strenuous outdoor exercise for the first time. In summary, this is one of the easier and more fun century rides! We hope you will participate!
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Old 07-18-11, 12:19 PM
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I might have recommended the Fletcher Flyer (if Neal concurs), but you're a couple months too late for this year.
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Old 07-18-11, 02:27 PM
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These are all great suggestions, please keep them coming!

Between my work schedule, childcare schedule, etc etc, we have to plan things several months out. Is it just that these things are not planned until just ahead of time, or are most organized rides in the Southeast in the summer. I'm suprised at that because of the heat!
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Old 07-18-11, 04:42 PM
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The Tour de Tugaloo is also a good recommendation, as is the Fletcher. But, as the Ex Pres mentioned, its too late on the Fletcher event. The Tugaloo is an easier drive for you and much of the route is scenic.

A sister event to the Fletcher is the Hilly Hellacious event which is held on Sept. 25. This provides both a metric and full century options. Asheville needs no introduction to places with lots to see and do. You need more than a weekend to take it in.

In October at the peak of leaf changing, there is the Tour de Leaves which traverses the Saluda area and includes the infamous Green River Cove climb - a switchback climb in the best tradition of switchback climbs. The Saluda area in general is a nice place for a weekend get-away. Since it is a relatively large equestrian community, people seem much more considerate of cyclists, runners, walkers, horse riders, etc. Saluda has an interesting history and is another one of those little mountain towns kinda stuck in time. A little tourism keeps it going. This event does not have a century option although I still highly recommend it.

A bit later in the Fall there is the Tour de Franklin, aka Halloween Hunnard. The website is not updated yet, but should be soon. It has both route options and offers some very pristine and rustic Western Carolina riding. Its a great event to finish the season around here.

Last edited by NealH; 07-18-11 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 07-18-11, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by RaeEllen View Post
These are all great suggestions, please keep them coming!

Between my work schedule, childcare schedule, etc etc, we have to plan things several months out. Is it just that these things are not planned until just ahead of time, or are most organized rides in the Southeast in the summer. I'm suprised at that because of the heat!
Yes it's hot, but it's easy to carry plenty of hydration on the bike and cover many miles between SAG stops.

Your also up off the pavement, moving at speed, 15-22+mph, so there is always a nice breeze. In the winter... those aspects make cycling particularly rough and many put their bikes away during the winter months. Sad... I know... but that's just my observations.
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Old 07-19-11, 10:50 PM
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If you can make the jaunt down 75 to Ganesville there's the Gainesville Cycling Festival (see www.gccfla.org) in October. Two days of 50 and hundred mile routes through some nice scenery with a mob of wonderful folks. I'll be the guy on the 20yo steel frame everyone oohed and aahed over as an antique last year. Seriously, check the website; you'll find route maps and pics of past years' rides.
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Old 07-20-11, 06:03 AM
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October 1 is the Sequatchie Valley Century near Chattanooga, TN. The scenery is absolutely beautiful without having to climb any mountains (which is hard to avoid in east Tennessee). It includes a full century, a metric century, and a 25 mile route.

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Old 07-21-11, 07:23 AM
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Here are some rides that are closer to home and (if you live in the Atlanta area) could be done without staying overnight:

Beautiful Backroads Century on September 17. It has a 12, 27, 45, 65 and 100 mile routes. There are a few short and steep climbs, but it isn't too challenging. Although I have heard that the century route has more challenging hills. This is a very popular ride and is well attended every year (arrive early to get a decent parking spot). It is also well marked and a popular route for local cyclists to use on the weekends. Starts at the Anheuser Busch plant in Cartersville near I-75 exit 296.

Cartersville Century (already happened this year, scheduled for late June). Has 15, 30, 50, and century routes. This is one of my favorites. The 50 mile route is enerally flat with only one challenging stretch. Don't know about the 100 mile route. Good one to keep in mind for next year.

One that I like doing in the spring is the Rose Pedal. Has 27, 43, 63, and century routes. For the past two years this has been my first organized ride of the year. It's a bit more challenging than the BBC, with two tough climbs on the 43 and 63 mile routes. The second one can be easily bypassed if you're not up for it. Starting point is in Cumming. This route isn't as scenic as the others and the roads tend to be more crowded with automobiles. Usually the second Saturday of April.
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Old 07-21-11, 10:50 AM
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I'll probably do Wilson 100 in Senoia; not scenic but a nice roll.
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Old 07-21-11, 11:48 AM
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I'm planning on doing Roan Moan again this year (pretty sure that doing something like that twice is a bit crazy) but this ride (Clarksville Sunrise Century-Labor Day Weekend) is pretty much the complete opposite. If you don't like climbing and want to go fast this is the ride. I've done it (and its Memorial Day sister ride) 3 times and it is a blast.

http://www.clarksvillecentury.com/

Clarksville is about 300 mi Northwest from Atlanta, about 40 miles past Nashville.

There is a metric option, but the full century is pretty easy, so I'd give it a try so then you can say you've done one.
As far as scenic, the Pennyrill of Kentucky where most of the ride takes place is farm country, with several Amish communities. I think it is a pretty ride but there aren't any Mt views if that is what you are looking for. Clarksville is close to Nashville so there are plenty of things that you can do for the weekend.

Last edited by mwchandler21; 07-21-11 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 07-21-11, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jbholcom View Post
October 1 is the Sequatchie Valley Century.
Now this is one awesome century. I might come up and join you for that one this year....

Last edited by silmarillion; 07-21-11 at 03:40 PM. Reason: hgvv
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Old 07-21-11, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Dubbayoo View Post
I'll probably do Wilson 100 in Senoia; not scenic but a nice roll.
This is a classic. I have done it several times both on my recumbent and on a roadbike. I might just have to try it out on my CX..
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Old 07-21-11, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by wnl256 View Post
Here are some rides that are closer to home and (if you live in the Atlanta area) could be done without staying overnight:

Cartersville Century (already happened this year, scheduled for late June). Has 15, 30, 50, and century routes. This is one of my favorites. The 50 mile route is enerally flat with only one challenging stretch. Don't know about the 100 mile route. Good one to keep in mind for next year.
The century is awesome. Great ride for those who like to hammer as well as those who don't. Rode it twice on my recumbent.
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Old 07-21-11, 03:53 PM
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I'm on the fence about trying the Six Gap on my CX bike. I have yet to ride this one on a diamond frame...I have done it 2 1/2 times on a recumbent though. 3-4 years ago, I bailed and went for the lower 50. It was raining so hard that I was afraid I was going to crash.

Another challenging century is the Covington Century. I don't know if they do it anymore. I think the old sponsor is no longer affiliated with the century. This is Atlanta's version of the Hotter Than Hell 100. It's light rolling hills except for one section. That's when you go through Hard Labor Creek. But even that isn't too bad. And that is from a recumbent perspective. Although I have done this ride on a diamond frame too.

It's very hot, but it used to be fairly well supported. This is a great hammer-fest type ride. I suggest to get an early start though otherwise, you will get the heat of the day.....

I guess I should check around and see if they still have this ride. It used to be the 2nd or 3rd week in August..
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Old 07-21-11, 04:50 PM
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My favorite this year was Tour D' Oconee. Starts in Watkinsville. Considering it was the first year for this ride, it was incredible. If I could only do one ride next year that would be it.
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Old 07-21-11, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by El Conquistador De Amore View Post
My favorite this year was Tour D' Oconee. Starts in Watkinsville. Considering it was the first year for this ride, it was incredible. If I could only do one ride next year that would be it.
Looking at the map on the OCCO website. Looks like a very cool ride.

How's the traffic in this area? Is this a good route to just go out and ride? Looks like that would be a fun fall ride. Too bad there isn't a century option. Not too far from home for me so I'm going to ride it as soon as the weather cools off a little.
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Old 08-20-11, 01:29 PM
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The Tupelo Fall Century on Oct 1 in Tupelo MS. Has a 36 and 45 mile option.
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Old 08-20-11, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by silmarillion View Post
Looking at the map on the OCCO website. Looks like a very cool ride.

How's the traffic in this area? Is this a good route to just go out and ride? Looks like that would be a fun fall ride. Too bad there isn't a century option. Not too far from home for me so I'm going to ride it as soon as the weather cools off a little.
The traffic is very light. I actually went to ride this solo a few weekends ago and had a day from hell where I used up my last two patches and my spare tube had a hole in it. The locals are pretty friendly and I was able to get a ride back into town. I recommend Chops and Hops in downtown Watkinsville after the ride. Great hamburgers and impressive beer selection.

Speaking of beer, the Jittery Joes' Fall Classic is October 15th. It starts and ends at the Terrapin Brewery just outside of Athens. They have a gift shop too with some really cool jerseys and bibs, but they never seem to have a lot of different sizes in stock.

Last edited by El Conquistador De Amore; 08-20-11 at 01:44 PM.
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