Yes, this is going to be a long but PUH-LEEZE read it!
It’ll make your awesomest day on a bike this year even better!
It’s shaping up to be a great day. The weather will be excellent, the food for rest stops and the Festival is being assembled and big fun is in store. We will have a few surprises out on courses. The Century and Metric Century routes will have the option of chowing down on a delicious BBQ hot dogs out at the Miller’s Landing rest stop in Tomales Bay. Just enough protein packing to get you up the Marshall Wall.
Backroad Challenge 2017: What To Expect
What Should I Bring?
- Your ID (Required — you MUST show ID to check-in)
- Helmet (Required)
- Bicycle in good repair/ready to ride. Getaway Adventures will be onsite if you need a quick fix!
- 1 or more water bottles
- We recommend layered clothing such as a lightweight cycling jacket or arm warmers/knee warmers/vest for the morning (you can shed what you don’t need at the first two rest stop, as described below)
- If you like, you can download the GPX routes files here
- A grin from ear-to-ear (you made it!)
- Optional – Change of clothes if you’d like to shower at Active Sports Club (they have towels!) and then kick back.
Getting to the Backroad Challenge – Click Here for a Venue & Parking Map
- Ride your Bike
- Venue: All 3 rides start and end at the same place as last year: Penngrove Park
- Parking: Once you are near the ride, volunteers will direct you to park. No parking passes are necessary — note that parking will be in a field but we have plenty of room.
- Contact phone number: 707-953-4060
When do I Check In?
- All riders must check-in Saturday, May 20th….registration opens at 6am.
- Registration will be a breeze!
- Saturday you can start off with a yummy complimentary breakfast provided, including coffee and Cliff Bars.
- There will be espresso drinks for sale.
When you check in, Every rider will receive:
- Route Map for your ride length, which includes turn-by-turn details and emergency contact information.
- Wristband necessary for the rest stops and Finish Line BBQ Celebration. Your wristband color will be the same as your route marking color.
- T-Shirt and Commemorative Pint Glass (for those that signed up timely) that are downright swaggy! We know who you are, but if in doubt, check at the Rotary Table where the pint glasses and t-shirts are distributed.
- There will be a limited number of pint glasses available for purchase those that didn’t register early and don’t want to be caught drinking from a plastic cup.
- Our awesome t-shirts will also be available for purchase just in case you want more
What About Non-Rider BBQ Tickets?
- Non-riders must also check-in and receive a wristband as well — and are welcome to hang out at the venue throughout the day. However, the real festivities don’t start til about 11:30am, so the early morning will be slow. Non-riders can lounge in the park, enjoy the town of Penngrove, groove to live music, and — of course — enjoy incredible food throughout the day. You can purchase non-rider BBQ Tickets at the ride for $20. Beverages are $5 each, unless you purchase a commemorative pint glass for $10. That’ll get you unlimited beer!
What Time Can I Start Riding?
While we don’t have a mass start, part of the fun is riding en masse:
- Century 99.54-Mile: (start between 6am & 7am)
- Metric Century 100K (65.74 miles): (start between 7am & 8am)
- 1/2 Metric Century 50K (36.52 miles): (start between 8am & 9am)
We prefer that you do not leave earlier than you recommended time as the rest stops will not be ready for you. Also, for safety reasons we do not let riders start before sunrise, and we will bust you if you try to leave before then!
Most important, we recommend you time your ride start so that you can get back between 1 to 3 pm.
What Can I Expect DURING the Ride?
- Road Markings – The roads will be marked with color arrows per the ride you are on (50K=Red; 100K=Green; 100 mile=Blue). That said, there are numerous route markings on the course from prior cycling and running events. Please look for the route arrow example at the start/registration and watch for new, bright, bio-degradable, red, green and blue arrows on the road! There will be 100’s of these, with an emphasis before, during and after turns. You should have not problem navigating if you look down periodically.
- Bag Drop – At the first two rest stops (only) you can shed any extra clothes/gear, for pick up back at the Start/Finish. Use the bags & markers and leave your stuff for pick up at the Finish Line Celebration.
- Incredible SAG & Mechanical Support – We have LOTS of support for you — should you experience any mechanical difficulties or decide you just-wanna-be-done, call or flag down our abundant SAG or marshalling crew (details will be on your ride sheet).
- Emergency phone number: 707-953-4060
- Tasty rest stops – including Rip Van Wafels, Clif Bars, GU, fresh fruit, trail mixes, and much more!
- Look for our photo opportunities! Post them to our Facebook Page and Instagram at #backroadchallenge.
- REMEMBER: OBEY ALL LAWS, Helmets required. Be courteous. Ride Single File. This is a ride, not a race!
What Can I Expect AFTER the Ride?
When you return, the fabulous BBQ with Lagunitas, Petaluma Hills and HenHouse Brewery will be waiting. Note that the Festival closes at 6pm, so make sure you’re back in time to enjoy the fabulous food and fun! After you pass the Finish Line, you can park your bike at our free Bike Corral. If you used a drop bag at a rest stop, it will be waiting for you nearby the Bike Valet.
There are showers available at Active Sports Club after the ride. Please NO DOGS!
For Century & Metric Century Riders Only
LISTEN UP! The Backroad Challenge has some fast & technical descents, and you can easily get over the speed limit and get into serious difficulty. Some portions are plain-old nasty roads (some areas worse than last year). We see this as the necessary fee for awesomeness you won’t get elsewhere. It’s all part of the Sonoma experience you’ve heard about, but be careful!
We’re looking forward to an incredible day with you!