For the last few months I’ve been trying to organize a regular Sunday ride. For the most part I’ve failed due to my own poor planning, scheduling and training schedule. That changes this week :).
Starting this weekend, I am starting a regular Sunday OGRE ride. It is open to anyone that wants to join in. These are designed to be “long” rides, and as such, they are going to be ridden at endurance pacing, not go as fast as we can. What does that mean? probably averages in the 15-17 mph ranges. It means there will be stops along the way.
In addition, the routes posted below are preliminary. I suspect they will evolve a little as we ride them and make small adjustments to them for what we want to ride. The plan is to start from the Alpharetta City Center, and go out from there.
100 mile tour of Alpharetta, Roswell, Milton and a tiny slice of south Forsyth
Parking is always tricky for something like this. With just a couple of people, you can usually park anywhere, but as these things grow, we can become a nuisance for a business. I don’t want that, so we are planning ahead and discussing parking now. Please park towards the back behind Endurance House, and if needed, use the parking deck immediately behind the area. I will personally most likely be in the deck anyways. It keeps the car cooler for when I get back and don’t want to sit in an oven.
About the ride. The ride is designed to be a 100 mile loop with multiple shorter options. All of the routes share the first 27 miles. At that point, the shorter routes start to peel off, and head back to the start. Just prior to that, there is a Shell gas station in the heart of Crabapple (Crabapple Rd, Birmingham Hwy & Broadwell Rd), that we will use as a rest stop to gather up, reload water bottles and make sure anyone that is peeling off knows the way home.
33 mile tour of Alpharetta, Roswell & Milton
Ideally, the group should arrive here at about 90 minutes after wheels down. This is where the first split will happen. The 33 mile route will take a right turn on Mid Broadwell Rd right after the ride resumes and head back to the start point. The expectation is that this route should take about 2 hours at 16-17 mph. Fortunately, this route is also the easiest directionally. Turn right on Mid Broadwell, go straight until you get to Haynes Bridge Road and turn right.
The second group that will split off will be the 40 miler group. This group will stay with the group until about mile 32, where it will turn right onto Providence Rd. For what it is worth, this is also the route that I like the least, as I do not particularly like the Bethany Rd/Bethany Bend stretch of road. It is not particularly bad, but the stops fall at inconvenient locations.
42 mile tour of Alpharetta, Roswell & Milton
The directions for this return are not too bad. From the Freemanville & Providence Rd intersection where this route splits off with a right turn onto Providence Rd, the route rolls down hill to Haygood / Bethany Rd. A short little climb up Bethany Rd then bear right to stay on Bethany Rd shooting over to Cogburn Rd. Right and then left on Bethany Bend Rd, you will go through 2 stop lights before turning right onto Morris Rd. At the dead end into Deerfield Parkway, hang a left turn, and go through three stop lights before turning right at the top of the hill on Westside Parkway onto Thompson Rd. Thompson Rd will dead end into the Haynes Bridge roundabout in the Alpharetta City Center. There are a couple of notes about this return though. The hill on Bethany coming off of Providence is pretty steep, but short. The last hill coming up Westside is deceptive. It is both steep and comes in two parts.
54 mile tour of Alpharetta, Roswell, Milton and a tiny slice of south Forsyth
The 54 mile split won’t break off until mile 46. That means it includes the popularThis return route will be familiar to anyone that has done the Endurance House routes from the Wednesday Night Rides. Turning right onto Kennemore Rd / Union Hill Rd, it will follow the Endurance House Wednesday Night Ride route all the way back in. Same right on Tidwell, right on McGinnis Ferry, left on Deerfield, right on Thompson finish as that ride. The same warnings apply as well. Union Hill tends to be a little busy at times, and stay right on Tidwell, as it tends to be a bad spot for cars passing aggressively.
For some reason, the 54 miler finish seems to slow down the average pacing a bit, so while we are showing and estimated moving time of 3:15 minutes, plan closer to 3:25 most days.
65 mile tour of Alpharetta, Roswell, Milton and a tiny slice of south Forsyth
Next up, we have the 65 miler split. This split actually takes the Harry’s Not in a Hurry Wednesday Night route back to the start, routing through Windward and Webb Bridge Rd. So it will stay with the longer routes until Shiloh Rd in Bluegrass, where the 65 milers will take Shiloh to McFarland Parkway, while the longer distances will loop Shiloh in reverse and turn on Pine Grove Rd.
Once we get to these distances, we generally assume that the riders have more experience and will not be daunted by roads that have traffic but also good bike access and facilities. The 65 miler and longer routes all include a couple of “fast mover” sections where the roads are 45+ mph speed limits but have rideable shoulders that are more than 4 feet wide. The sections are short, can be discomfiting for novice riders.
As noted, the return route for the 65 miler is the same as the Harry’s route. McFarland to a left on Ronald Reagan. Left on Windward Concourse, left on Windward Parkway, Right on Clubhouse Drive, Right on Lake Windward Drive. Right on Webb Bridge Rd. Left on Westside Parkway. Right on Thompson Rd. There is a good rest stop at mile 57.5 at the Shell station at the corner of Windward Parkway and Windward Concourse.
80 mile tour of Alpharetta, Roswell, Milton and a tiny slice of south Forsyth
Finally, we have the 80 miler split. This split hold together until about mile 66. At that point the 100’s will go right onto Webb Rd, while the 80’s will go left. Both will do a small inner loop of the northern section of the ride to this point. They share some common sections, but won’t be ‘back together’ until the end.
The 80 milers will take Webb Rd through where it becomes Cogburn Rd and continue on through Henderson Place to Cumming St. Taking Cumming St into Alpharetta then turning right on Hwy 9 down the hill to the light and left onto Mayfield. Mayfeilf to a left onto Bethany, a left on Mid Broadwell all the way back to Westside Parkway, right up the hill to Thompson Rd. Right and into the Haynes Bridge roundabout.
Each of the above routes are mapped in Strava, and can be downloaded to a phone or Garmin for navigation purposes.
This weekend, the plan for me is to ride the 80 and then run about 6-7 miles off the bike. Due to the length and projected temperatures, we are going for an early start with wheels down at 7:30 AM. It may just be me, there may be others, and what I do will adjust accordingly.