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Cyclists to take on the thrill of Georgia 400 Century ride

Residents of Roswell and surrounding areas can partake in the opportunity to experience a different ride on Interstate 400, a bicycle ride.

The GA 400 century ride, sponsored by Roswell Bicycles, returns for its eighth year on July 10.

Riders will have the opportunity to “soar down the entrance ramp at Holcomb Bridge and you get the greatest feeling of freedom as you take to the highway,” as stated on the event website.

Riders can register and have the option to participate in one of five courses: 9, 27, 45, 62 or 101 miles; all with varying degrees of difficulty.

Eric Broadwell was President of Bike Roswell when Mayor Jere Wood approached him about creating a century ride for Roswell.

“Other municipalities and I previously designed a century race for Alpharetta. I had already been investigating the option of having it on 400. We had a meeting about the century at the visitor’s bureau and we combined the two ideas,” he said.

Broadwell states the ride has “continually improved” since its inaugural year, noting the race now has an official start and finish line.

The conditions for this year’s 62 and 101 mile race have changed slightly, according to Broadwell.

“The 62 mile ride is a bit flatter and stays with the 100 mile ride a bit longer. The 101 mile ride is also flatter and stays south of state road 20,” he said.

Portions of the race that are above Highway 20 were re-routed to accomplish this.

Broadwell felt keeping the two rides together longer makes it safer and more enjoyable.

Cyclists can ride reassured as Roswell Bicycles certified technicians will once again be available to assist throughout the day and race.

“We will be providing mechanical support before the ride starts, for anyone with last minute dilemmas; furthermore, we will be driving multiple support vehicles during the ride to provide service or transportation for any mechanical failures,” said Todd Kaib of Roswell Bicycles.

Kaib suggested a road bike for the race, “especially for the longer ride options,” but noted that any bike is capable of making such a journey.

To prepare, he recommends “seat time” and “hill work as this course has some very challenging hills to climb.”

“The more riding the better is the motto for most of these types of endurance road events,” he said.

The 45, 62 and 101 mile rides include “’the three sisters,’ steep climbs that come at the end of a long ride. Each are different degrees of length and grade. The Big Sister is the longest and steepest and is in Mountain Park,” Broadwell said.

The “Little Sister” is at Waverly Hall and the “Middle Sister” is at Wildwood Springs.

In order to get to the finish line, riders have to conquer a climb nicknamed, the “mother-in-law,” which is “even meaner when tackled in the very last half mile of the ride,” Broadwell said.

“To get to the finish you have to climb up from the river to the Market Place shopping center at Sky Zone, this climb is at the very end and is a very difficult climb, but the sense of accomplishment felt by all is overwhelming,” Broadwell said.

Riders will average between 10 to 20 miles an hour.

He estimates about 1,400 riders participate each year.

At the finish line, attendees and riders have the opportunity to enjoy live music and barbecue.

“[We received] calls from Louisiana yesterday, people from there are coming here to ride. [GA Century 400] is drawing people from all over the southeast,” Broadwell said.

The event website describes the ride as the opportunity to “get the thrill of a lifetime.”

More information and online registration, available until July 6, at www.ga400cetury.com.

Cyclists to take on the thrill of Georgia 400 Century ride