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MrBigStuff
Post subject: Beautiful Backroads recap and video  PostPosted: Sep 17, 2018 - 04:15 AM
CenturyRider Level
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Joined: May 23, 2011
Posts: 161

Rode the 68 mile route of the BBC on Saturday. I usually wait to register the "day of" in case the weather goes south. Well, the $60 walk up fee got me paying attention to the weather predictions right up until the preregistration deadline. I went ahead and signed up and tried not to worry about Florence dousing things.

Turned out to be cloudless conditions although it was surely going to be hot as the humidity would be lower once the sun got up. I got up really early to ensure a good parking spot near the lunch area and pretty close to the VIP parking area. Okay, so I got there really early. I can remember several years ago when there was a line of cars on Busch Drive waiting to get in. Not so much these days. Walked in the dark to the registration desk where I got my wrist band and tshirt. Chilled out back at the truck sippin' coffee and waiting to get "suited up". Eventually made my way over to the start area saying "hi" to folks I knew.

Mass start went off with no trouble as far as I could tell. As usual, I bypassed the first SAG at about 10 miles and pushed on to the 2nd stop. It was really muggy and the sweat was pouring over my sunglasses. I welcomed the sun getting up and burning that humidity off; I was noticeably "drier" mid-morning. I rode with several groups in this segment. After stopping, I rode quite a bit solo although I could see riders off in the distance. I welcomed the northwesterly breeze hoping it would not shift later. Rolled into the 3rd SAG at the school and watered up. I carry 2 water bottles but only fill 1 until the last parts of a hot ride. I certainly filled 2 bottles here. Still felt pretty good but I knew some of those all-to-familiar hilly sections would take something out of me. I yo-yo'd with some riders but there were no big groups. Turning onto Evans, I was really looking forward to taking a break.

SAG #3 which is Sosebee #2 was a welcome sight. I was bone dry for both water bottles and headed straight to the jugs to fill up. That's when the I hear the volunteers announcing that they were out of water. Wait, wuuuut!?! That's like a Mexican restaurant running out of chips and salsa. I figured I was going to have to get to Sosebee #1 to get water. I sat down in a chair for a while and later someone said there was a well up the hill above Sosebee #2. Somebody went up there and brought back a full jug of water. The volunteers then toted all the empty jugs up there and filled them up. Didn't have any ice, but the water was cool enough. I rolled on not planning on having to stop again. I started to get some cramps climbing up the curve to Grogan, but pedaled through it. Pedaled back to the truck with no additional problems. Man, it was really hot and my arms and legs were a little sunburned. I crawled in the truck and jacked up the A/C full blast while changing out of my riding kit. Sat there cooling off for a good while before lurching over to get lunch. I wasn't very hungry (as usual when I'm really hot) but ate a hot dog and some pasta. Slammed multiple cups of tea, too.

Since I usually ride solo, I like the opportunity to ride the big group rides even having to pay when I can ride the same roads for free anytime. I had a great time. Several of the roads on the 68 mile route had fresh asphalt.

Highlight 1: I can't remember having any "dog sprints" out there on any BBC route, but I had a short sprint at Old Mill Farm. There's sort of an S-turn there and as I rode into the S-turn I noticed a dog following a lady who was pulling a wagon or cart. Well, I have a pretty good "spidey sense" reading dog "intentions" and I immediately started to increase my pace even before Douglas the Beagle wheeled around and started running. I know his name because the lady kept yelling to get Douglas to stop. He just wanted to run a little bit even if he did get pretty close to me. I'm partial to beagles anyway as we had one as the family dog while the kids where growing up. Burned a match or two just cranking up the pace though.

"Highlight 2": In quotes as I don't know if this qualifies as a "highlight". Made two trips to visit the port-a-pottys near the VIP parking lot. Thought I was going to tip over as the thing got to rockin and rollin. Brace yourself!

Video...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPmHYz0qqxo&feature=youtu.be

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StevenT
Post subject: RE: Beautiful Backroads recap and video  PostPosted: Sep 17, 2018 - 02:35 PM
StingRay Level
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Joined: Apr 04, 2009
Posts: 39

It was good seeing you on Saturday at SAG #4.

Thanks for posting the recap and the video. You summed up my experience as well- HOT and HUMID! I too was out of water by the time I reached SAG #4. I had looked at the route on line and I knew the final SAG was at Sosebee, but I did not realize there were two Sosebee Parks. Man was I happy to see that SAG stop when I thought I had a few more miles to pedal to get hydrated. I was off the bike at 1:20 pm and according to my phone, it was 90 degrees with a heat index of 95. Dang, the heat and humidity was brutal on those last 20 miles or so.

Although I had ridden a lot of those routes before, that was my first BBC. Overall, it was a great experience. I just wish they would do it in mid-October vs mid- September.

Steven
 
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MrBigStuff
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 17, 2018 - 03:21 PM
CenturyRider Level
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Joined: May 23, 2011
Posts: 161

Great seeing you, too, Steve! I wanted to stick around and catch up with you, but I had already sat for too long and wanted to keep moving to avoid getting stiff (more like "stiff-er") and cramping up.

I knew the main Sosebee park would have water available out of the permanently installed spigot there. I would have REALLY been concerned about making it all the way back to the brewery with no water.

While usually warm, mid-September is usually not quite so hot. I enjoyed it being bright and clear. Tightened up those tan lines, too! Razz

The BBC is the only time I launch out of the brewery these days; I always start/end at Sosebee. I had to play a little mind game on Simpson Rd telling myself, "you ain't done at Sosebee..."

Kudos to TimH and all those who took that right turn for the full Century.

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TimH
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 17, 2018 - 04:10 PM
Ultra Distance
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Joined: Feb 11, 2007
Posts: 1148
Location: Acworth
Very good writeup and my experience up to the turnoff for the century was similar. Thanks for doing another great video!

There was one dog but he was pretty tired from chasing cyclists by the time I passed. It was pretty funny. Someone yelled "Dog!" and he started to come at us but stopped and just stood there with his tongue hanging out. The 4th SAG stop had water and Gatorade when I got there. Pickles are always a treat. Overall the ride was well organized and well run.

This is always a great ride and one of the highlights of my year. Two downers were some of the more aggressive riders who come out from the city and the century route after the 4th SAG stop. It was the first time I did the century route.

A couple of the riders from Atlanta Velo were very aggressive, bossing people around and barking orders to other riders. They yelled at a slower rider doing the shorter option to the point where he almost ran off the road. I was glad to let them go after the 4th rest stop. It was really only a couple of guys and there were a few riders who were amazing to follow, smooth and predictable, never showing fatigue or discomfort. Fornell calls this "Class" and it is always a treat to find and follow these guys.

Speaking of smooth and predictable, I looked up a few times to see BJP pulling some large groups. Looked like he had a strong ride.

The portion of the ride up to the 4th stop is beautiful and fast but it seems like the remainder of the century route are just miles tacked on so the organizers can say they have a century option - not scenic at all and several long sections along busy highways with no shoulder. I'll think twice about doing the long option again.

All things considered, I had a great time and its always great to see old friends and make new ones.

This is the only photo I took.

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9uWcJLrSyhM/W5_DjKKK5FI/AAAAAAAAC4E/_MTfvdkv9wErPIQayrdS3KSEyzziZreTwCLcBGAs/s1600/09-15-18.001.lg.jpg

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StevenT
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 17, 2018 - 04:30 PM
StingRay Level
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Joined: Apr 04, 2009
Posts: 39

Great seeing you, too, Steve! I wanted to stick around and catch up with you, but I had already sat for too long and wanted to keep moving to avoid getting stiff (more like "stiff-er") and cramping up.

No worries.... By time I refilled my water and stopped at the porta-potty, I saw you rolling out. I would have let you pull me back, but I needed to cooI off more before making the final push. I looked for you a little in the lunch tent, but it was really crowed and I assumed I had messed around so long cooling off and walking back up from the grass parking area that you had already eaten and left.

Overall a well organized event. The end-of-ride meal was good and refreshing also.

Hats off to all of those who did the Century!!

Take Care,
 
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gocatscanes
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 18, 2018 - 01:37 PM
CenturyRider Level
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Joined: Aug 22, 2007
Posts: 217

How big was the crowd this year - NGCA passed on the ride this year and I rode the NGCA club ride from Pacesetter on Saturday instead. Since the NGCA has such a large contingency wondered if the crowd seemed similar to prior years and if any other large groups were around. In talking to the NGCA leads - the BBC will be out for upcoming years so I may not ride the BBC for awhile unless the club has a change of heart. Always a good ride - but given how much I ride out there not really missing any of the roads or routes since we do portions of all of it over the ride year.
 
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MrBigStuff
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 18, 2018 - 05:29 PM
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Joined: May 23, 2011
Posts: 161

I noticed the absence of the NGCA tent when I walked up to check in and the corresponding lack of NGCA kits while riding. NARC's tent was there but I didn't see many riders in this year's kit.

I would guess that there were fewer number of riders this year versus last year. The parking area to the far south didn't have cars parked out to Busch Dr like last year when I finished the 68 mile route.

I talked directly to or overheard several riders indicating it was their first time riding the BBC. I didn't hear where they were from. It seemed like there were more smaller groups of friends that tended to ride together. For example, Ye Olde Blind Dog had a tent and several riders but they didn't seem to be as large a group as last year. As you can see on the video, there were some riders from MACC and Atlanta Velo, but no where near the size of usual NGCA group. A few of the Rome area regulars did ride, but several of them had their usual Saturday group rides in the Rome area and they get pretty good turnout for multiple groups. There are more folks from the Atlanta area going up to Rome to ride with their groups (myself and GregH for example). A few weekends ago there were 12 to 15 in our group averaging 15-16 and what looked like at least 20 riders in the 17-18 group.

My own observation is that the more casual riders that would ride the real short routes don't come out anymore like they used to a few years ago. I would say this is true for all of the big group rides. And the rest of us aren't paying to ride as much anymore. Chattooga Century came close to cancelling their ride and Cartersville Century did cancel.

I was surprised at the good turnout figuring the cost especially the "day of" registration would cause a lot of folks to skip it.

Ha, long winded. Got carried away...

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biker1881
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 25, 2018 - 01:54 PM
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Joined: Jun 26, 2007
Posts: 52

I knew I was not going to participate in BBC if I was unable to register by August 31st. No way I was going to pay $60.

I have done BBC twice (2012 and 2017). It's a good ride. Once you register to the time you leave, it's a great ride. But getting there is another story.

The traffic and parking are typically awful. I already live 2+ hours away. Driving on 75 northwest of I-285 and going through Atlanta have been a massive pain this year for me as well (drive from Warner Robins). I was able to do UTC and Chattooga as well as the BRAG rides that started in Rome and Dalton. So I have been to that part of the state plenty. But guess I just had enough between what I said above and past experience with BBC. Offering that 49 mile option is a major plus though and I may consider it next year.

Not related to BBC but wanted to touch on the other comment about other rides. I am seeing rides with an early registration of $50-$55 now. Some of the good fall rides (One Love, BBC) are holding steady at $35-$40 for early registration. But if I see any uptick, I may start thinking about staying home. After doing an out of town mostly every weekend from March to November for the last 7+ years, I am already starting to stay at home more anyway just from the travel and fatigue factor. Cost has never been a factor but it may start to be.

The Cartersville Century started at $85 with a day of price of $100. That was a little rich for me and made my decision to register for the Jackson County Brevet easier since they were on the same day. The date change and massive price increase seemed to be a bad move for a ride that got over 900 riders every year. I talked to the ride organizer and he was unwilling to change the date since "they have been around longer." Hope they regroup and go back to what worked next year.

MrBigStuff wrote:

I would guess that there were fewer number of riders this year versus last year. The parking area to the far south didn't have cars parked out to Busch Dr like last year when I finished the 68 mile route.

My own observation is that the more casual riders that would ride the real short routes don't come out anymore like they used to a few years ago. I would say this is true for all of the big group rides. And the rest of us aren't paying to ride as much anymore. Chattooga Century came close to cancelling their ride and Cartersville Century did cancel.

I was surprised at the good turnout figuring the cost especially the "day of" registration would cause a lot of folks to skip it.

Ha, long winded. Got carried away...
 
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