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Union City Gran Fondo FAQ

Spin the District Frequently Asked Questions


Gravel Gran Fondo Routes

  1. What are the gravel courses like?
  2. ToughSkin150, Husky100 and Denim60 go through some of the prettiest areas of South Metro Atlanta. Most of the route is on smooth, rolling rural paved roads or very scenic rolling gravel, through horse and farm country. You may even see some wildlife. There are no hills that are too long or overly technical, but there are plenty of “punchy” climbs. The elevation profiles for all three rides look more like a sawtooth. At 10,000’+ of elevation for the ToughSkin150, you will need to train your legs for more than mileage. Spectacular views of fields, creeks and wooded forests should keep you pretty occupied. There are a few intersections where there could be some traffic, but there shouldn’t be too much. Most of the roads are used by cyclists on a daily basis. The gravel roads have almost zero traffic.
  1. How much gravel does the course have?
  2. All three gravel events will be close to a 60/40 blend of gravel to road, give or take, depending on route conditions and adjustments needed to keep riders safe.
  1. Will there be any single-track?
  2. All three routes will have a little single-track depending on route conditions leading up to the event. The ToughSkin150 will have more that could include several creek crossings. The Ride Bible will have full details as they become available.
  1. How difficult is the gravel?
  2. Georgia gravel varies greatly depending on the road usage. Most of the gravel roads are in good shape with a decent amount of gravel on them. However, there are several roads cut by the paper industry that are more clay than gravel and, if wet, can get pretty sticky, with the longest dirt/gravel section being 3.5 miles in length. The Ride Bible will include a ranking of all gravel sectors once the route is finalized in August. They’ll be ranked from 1 to 5, with a five ranking as extremely difficult. Most sections rank between two and four.
  1. How difficult is the single-track?
  2. The single-track will include tree roots and some minor rock features and will be more of a “Flow” trail. The Ride Bible in August will include full details of the single-track sectors, including difficulty rankings. These sectors will only be ridden weather permitting.
  1. Can I ride the gravel on my road bike?
  2. Gravel, Cyclocross and Mountain Bikes are highly recommended. It’s your preference, but assuming the weather is good, we believe you can get away with riding a road bike for the Denim60 with 28mm tires or greater, but you can probably manage it on 25mm (though that may mean some walking in a few sections). For the ToughSkin150 or Husky100, we recommend 32mm tires or greater. If you use a road bike, bring a few extra spare tubes, decrease your tire pressure to 70–80 psi, and just take it a little slower. We’ve ridden every section on a road bike during our earlier training rides to prove it can be done, but we’re not really recommending it.
  1. Is outside support, or drop bags allowed?
  2. The ToughSkin150,  Husky100, and Denim60 are mostly self-supported rides with no drop bags allowed. The event will provide SAG support at marked locations on the final map(s). Each stop will be well supplied with drinks, bars, snacks and basic tools to keep you going. No outside support will be allowed at these stations, minus the half-way stop for the Toughskin150 only (Centralhatchee City Park). This stop will allow outside support to refuel or make repairs to your bike.
  1. Why only limited support?
  2. Half the challenge is planning. You need to carry the gear you think you’ll need with you. Remember this isn’t your Grandma’s Gran Fondo with cookie stops, Kool-aid and shoulder rubs. The strict cut-off times help us guarantee no one is out chewing their arm off from starvation, plus we will have some SAG stops to augment what you bring. The main reason is we are trying to keep the roads clear of traffic. Your support vehicle means just one more car on the road to worry about.
  1. What do you recommend we bring?
  2. It depends on the event you’re riding and if you have specific dietary needs. But here’s a suggestion: GPS system that can last for up to 10hrs, phone, battery charger to keep them going, several extra tubes, quality tire levers, patch kit or dynaplug, pump or several C02 cartridges, multi-tool with chain break, extra chain links, a few zip ties, duck tape and maybe an extra derailleur hanger. For those who are picky about their drink and food intake, bring extra. Put your drink powder in a bag and mix it with our water.
  1. Do I need lights?
  2. Only the Toughskin150 should need lights for the early morning start and maybe as dusk settles in. ALL RIDERS WILL NEED FLASHING FRONT AND REAR LIGHTS.
  1. Ride check-in points
  2. Only the ToughSkin150 will have a check-in point to make sure you are on course. This check-in point will be in Centralhatchee City Park. The check-in points will be the support stations. Do not continue through this aid station without confirmation that your number was recorded.


Road Gran Fondo Routes

  1. What are the road courses like?
  2. The family ride is mostly flat with one busier intersection, but pretty quiet in general. The 30, 60 and 100-mile options all follow the same route, for the most part, through some of the prettiest areas of South Atlanta. Most of the route is on smooth, rolling, rural paved roads through horse and farm country, with great panoramic views of pastures and forest. There are a few intersections where there could be some traffic, but there shouldn’t be much. Most of the roads are used by cyclists on a daily basis.
  1. Is there any gravel on the road course?
  2. Maybe. In 2019 we had a .25 mile section of very compact, smooth gravel that put riders on a spectacular paved road as soon as possible. The shortcut was well worth a little, slightly rough, road. We do take this serious, however, knowing that if you wanted gravel, you’d sign up for one of the gravel rides. If we do put a little gravel on the course, it will be for a very good reason.


General Gran Fondo Questions For All Events

  1. Why are the times staggered?
  2. We stagger the start times to help riders keep an eye on their course markers, and to try to get everyone back at roughly the same time. Each route uses many of the same roads (with the gravel and 100-mile options diverting the most).
  1. What is mandatory?
  1. Is this a race?
  2. The ToughSkin150, Husky100, Denim60, and Polyester100 will have medals for the top finishers of the categories listed and we have the timed-segment challenges on safe sections of road or gravel. However, we’re not calling it a race, because you can take as long as you want, and the course is open to the public with road crossings that could take longer for some. We will be keeping track of your progress within the route, and will have finishing times for these three events, as well as Timed Segments for prizes. The Rayon60, Velour30 and Corduroy11 are family fun rides designed to ride at your own pace—fast or slow.
  1. Will there be time cutoffs?
  2. The ToughSkin150, Husky100 and Polyester100 will have time cutoffs at designated points for your safety. Cutoff times will be announced in the final August Ride Bible edition. If you come in after designated times, your number will be marked as not completing the course. You will be given a choice to use a shortcut back or to wait for a SAG vehicle to take you back. The SAG ride could take a little time to arrive, so please be patient.
  1. How will the course be marked?
  2. We’ll have the course marked with small blue “Spin” standing yard signs with arrows. They will be color-coded for Road and Gravel and will either say “ALL” with an arrow, or 30/60, 60/100, 100/150 etc., or have individual instructions as necessary. We highly recommend printing a map and cue-sheet or putting the rideGPS course on your device to help you easily follow the course. We will do our best to mark the course, but as a participant, you must be alert and aware of your equal responsibility for staying on course. The Toughskin150 will have limited signage from around mile 50 until mile 100.
  1. Will there be aid stations or SAG support?
  2. Yes! We will include key aid stations along the route, which you can find marked on the map with a red “A.” (We will also call out gas stations and any public restrooms along the course.) Our aid stations will include some tools for repair, extra tubes, water, performance drinks, sodas, and plenty of snacks. The mid-point stop for the ToughSkin150, Husky100, Polyester100 will have more real food (soup, cheeses, meats, sandwiches or similar) to help keep you fueled up. There will also be an end-of-the-day SAG Sweep to pick up riders who have had non-repairable mechanicals or who will not make it back by the ride finish times. For full details on SAG support, consult the Ride Bible.
  1. Can I bring my own SAG support?
  2. The ToughSkin150, Husky100 and Polyester100 will not have any drop bags stations and are mostly self-supported events. Only the ToughSkin150 will allow for personal SAG support at the halfway point noted in the Ride Bible’s final course map in August. NO SAG VEHICLES WILL BE ALLOWED ON THE COURSE AT ANY TIME. We will provide recommended routes in the Ride Bible to get to and from the start to the halfway point of the Toughskin150. If you are provided support outside of the SAG stations, you will be disqualified and asked to leave the course immediately. Please respect the rules and the safety of other riders.
  1. Are the roads closed?
  2. No. This is not a closed-road course, and all the rules of the road must be followed. We will have route marshals along the route to offer directions and help with crossing busier intersections. Please ride knowing that cars will be passing you. We will do our best to notify the public to expect riders on the roads.
  1. How do I get my pre-ordered swag?
  2. We have jerseys for purchase online. You will be able to pick them up the day before the race near the airport (exact location will be announced in the Ride Bible), or at registration the morning of the race. The same goes for the Spin the District rider t-shirt that comes with pre-registration.
  1. Is there day-of registration?
  2. Yes, for all events except the Toughskin150, if we have space available, though we would prefer you to pre-register if you can. Please arrive early to avoid the rush. T-shirts will be given out with day-of registrations until they are gone, so there is no guarantee that we will have any remaining. There will also be an additional $15 cost per rider added to all day-of registrations for the 30-60-100-150 mile options and $10 for the family ride.
  1. What do I get if I “win” the Gran Fondo?
  2. Lots of glory! This is really more of a ride than a race, but we will have patches for everyone who finishes a 100-mile+ route and special patches for the 150-mile route, medals for the top three finishers of the 150, 100, & 60 gravel routes, as well as the 100-mile road route in the men’s and women’s categories, and giant “Masters of Gravel” and “King of the Road” championship belts for the fastest Time Segments for male and female times on the ToughSkin150 and Polyester100. You’ll also get to pose for magnificent podium pictures and be featured for a year’s worth of bragging rights on our website. We realize this makes it seem like a race, but it’s not! It’s not. We just love to celebrate our riders. We will keep track of times for our riders—even though it’s not a race, just a fun ride out with friends—but if we find out anyone has cut the course or blown through an intersection, they will be disqualified from “winning.”
  1. What happens when I get back?
  2. It’s a party! We will have lots to do, from music, great food and drinks for both adults and kids, massage table, lounge area with comfy chairs to watch the Big Screen, games and so much more until 7:00. All the entertainment is free and each participant will get a meal & drink ticket at the finish.