the Sky Loop Saturday Training Ride


Base Sky Loop route map link: Sky Loop Route 2017
TCX and GPX GPS files available:    [TCX]     [GPX]
Details: 43 mi +2155 ft of climb
Start Time: 8AM April-September, 9AM October.



http://atlbike.org/images/SkyLoopMap.jpg


Starting from the parking lot at the Silver Comet Trailhead 3470 Florence Rd, Powder Springs, GA 30127.
Map: Florence Rd, Silver Comet Trailhead Parking
For directions from this Google Map, just click the directions button.

Start Time is 8AM April-September, 9AM October.
READY TO RIDE AT the posted start time.

If we have new folks, ride leaders will take care of the sweep and try to keep an eye on things. (see Buddy System below)
NO RIDE if raining, always a good idea to check back early Saturday in the forums for the current ride status or cancellation notice via Slack.
SLACK signup Link

Expected Weather:
Dress appropriately. Hopefully no rain.

The new ride policy will be "the Buddy System" and sweep volunteers.
Print the map out in case you get lost.
Follow the sky blue chevrons, that is how the course is marked, but many are now faded or paved over.

The Buddy System:
Try and hook-up with someone that knows the route and stay with them.
The key to the buddy system isn't just having a buddy, it's riding with someone that knows the route.

Sweep/Lead Volunteers:
Let me know if you would like to volunteer to ride Sweep or Lead, so we can point you out at the rider meeting.
READY TO RIDE AT the posted start time.

The Base Route:   Sky Loop Route & Options
We'll be riding the Sky Loop, distance 43 miles. There will be one store stop ~17mi. We usually have a faster group, but there is no pressure to ride beyond your limits and everyone is encouraged to ride at an enjoyable pace. We also stop at the Tara Drummond Trailhead when we return to the SCT.
Short Cuts: yes, four. The route can be trimmed to < 30 miles.
Challenge Loop: adds on ~8 miles to the base route
Yellow Options: can take the route up to ~58 miles.  see:  Sky Loop Route Challenge Options
Difficulty and Pace:
This is an INTERMEDIATE LEVEL RIDE!! Please invite/bring as many folks as you wish to the ride. However, they should be able to ride at 14-15MPH pace over rolling terrain (not the Silver Comet Trail). If you bring a friend, please stay with them, don't expect others to escort them. We try to not lose anyone, but there is a limit to the number of riders that a sweep rider can manage.
Terrain:
The terrain is rolling with a several steeper sections and extended intermediate climbs to help riders prepare for more difficult rides.
This route is not appropriate for novice road riders and you should be able to maintain a 14-15mph average on the road. A 15mph for the Silver Comet Trail is nothing like a 15 mph pace on an intermediate level road route. This is not meant to discourage anyone, just have reasonable expectations for yourself.
Pace:
15-17mph for the base group. There is usually a faster group riding in the 18-20mph range.
Let me repeat... this ride is intermediate pace and difficulty, not for the road-newbies.
We often have a fast-moving lead group. If you are in this group, make sure you know the route if you get dropped.

Remember:
* Appropriate clothing for the weather. Remember your sunscreen and sunglasses.
* Obviously, don't forget your helmet, it's required.
* Repair Kit/Tool Bag. You shouldn't show up to the ride without stuff to be self-sufficient. Even if you don't know how to fix it, you should still have it.
* Food and Drink. Bring enough gels, bars, etc., for a 2-3 hour ride.
* Cash for Store Stop. We'll make one store stop. If you want a Coke or a snack or something, bring some cash. We usually regroup at the Tara Drummond Trailhead on Silver Comet Trail on the return trip.

Rules for the Road:
* Be Courteous, even to recumbent riders and Gooberheads.
* Car back. When someone announces "car back", make a reasonable effort to single up and allow the vehicle to pass in a safe manner.
* No elitist attitudes, please.
* Group separation. The route is fully marked, we'll be sweeping along to pickup any stragglers. So stay on the course marked with light-blue chevrons and we'll find you.
As stated above, there is usually a faster group, the faster group often does the challenge loop. If you go off with the lead group and get dropped you may very well be off the standard route, so know where you are going... just ask. If you follow the blue chevrons you will end up back at the Silver Comet Trail.

See you all on Saturday!


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