The 18th annual Georgia BikeFest, sponsored by the Bicycle Ride Across Georgia (BRAG), will be held Friday, October 9, through Sunday, October 11, 2009. Tifton, Georgia, will be the brand-new host location, and officials there have planned a variety of activities for BikeFest riders.
Several route options are available each day, from 10 miles to 60 miles, with an optional Century Ride on Saturday. Sag wagons and bike repair vehicles will patrol the routes. For cyclists who have never experienced a Century Ride, BikeFest is an excellent opportunity to take on that challenge. Cooler temperatures and friendly (flat) terrain combine to make the BikeFest century ride one of the more doable. Riders who complete the century will receive the coveted Century Ride bandanna.
Both indoor and outdoor camping will be available at the Tift County Recreation Department in downtown Tifton and are included in the registration fee. For those who had rather not camp, several motels are located nearby.
Hot showers are available in camp, and registered participants also receive a local goodie bag in addition to route maps with descriptions, cue sheets, and altitude graphs.
BikeFest is an excellent opportunity for cyclists to enjoy loop rides each day without the hassles of taking down and setting up a tent each afternoon. For newcomers, it is a chance to experience BRAG-like ride lengths and enjoy the comradeship of fellow riders on a smaller scale than the full cross-state ride. For those who have never experienced an organized large group ride, an optional first-time riders’ meeting will be held each morning. Weekend rides such as BikeFest are especially appealing to cyclists who like to bring family members along, whether they ride or not.
BikeFest offers an abundance of activities for riders and non-riders alike. An ice cream social on Saturday serves to raise money for local charities. Friday and Saturday night campfires will include S’Mores and an opportunity to meet and socialize with fellow cyclists. Movies will be available for all age groups, and sports fans will be able to keep up with their favorite baseball and/or football teams (Go Dawgs) on television. Live entertainment will be provided on Saturday evening.
Meals are not included in the BikeFest registration fee, but breakfast and lunch options will be available from a local caterer. In addition, Café Campesino will be on hand every morning in camp with their fabulous gourmet coffees.
Temperatures for BikeFest are usually warm for riding but not unbearably hot, cooling off pleasantly in the evenings. The terrain for this year’s ride is generally flat with gently rolling hills. Rest stops will be located every 10 to 15 miles along the routes and will offer water, PowerAde, bananas, apples and pears, fig bars, cookies, and various snacks.
To register, log on http://www.brag.org/. You may also register through active.com at http://www.active.com/event_detail.cfm?event_id=1769109. Questions? Email Info@BRAG.org.