Wheels North Rider Info

For anyone planning to ride Wheels North, here is information from Ride Director Eric Norris about the ride and the support and accommodations you will receive as a participant:

BEFORE THE RIDE

bullet Train! Start putting in miles, and plan on at least one multi-day training ride in May or June. Be prepared, mentally and physically, to do soe tough rides and then get up the next morning to do it again. It's not as hard as it seems, but if you prepare ahead of time you'll make Wheels North a much more enjoyable experience.
bullet There will be a rider meeting, probably in Santa Rosa the night of July 3rd. Details to follow, but let's plan on a group dinner somewhere in Santa Rosa.
bullet Riders will be responsible to get themselves and their gear to the start at least an hour before the start on July 4th (which should be around 8 a.m.) You will be on your own for lodging if you decide to spend the night in Santa Rosa.
bullet If you are driving to Santa Rosa (as most of us are), please consider your vehicle and where it will be parked for the next two weeks.

DURING THE RIDE

bullet First, and most importantly, please keep in mind that Wheels North is NOT a race. I urge everyone to ride at a friendly pace. Enjoy the scenery. Help your fellow riders. There will be NO prizes for "winning."
bullet You will receive a route sheet for each day's ride. Most of our days will have routes where it's hard to get lost, but please pay attention to the route sheet. On the Big Fix, riders on several occasions made wrong turns that required support crews to drive miles out of their way to find them.
bullet Please plan to wear your Wheels North jersey whenever you are riding.
bullet If you find that you're not able to complete a day's ride, we'll sag you either ahead on the course or to the finish. However, please don't plan on making this a regular occurrence--start training now and be in shape for some strenuous riding by July.
bullet If you can, please carry a cell phone. We'll be collecting cell phone numbers so that everyone (including support drivers) has everyone else's numbers.
bullet I suggest that you invest $20 in a Road ID, and that you wear it for the entire ride. It's an inexpensive way to make sure that emergency crews know who you are in the event of an accident. Info on Road ID is at www.roadid.com
bullet Be prepared to fix your own flat tires (carry tubes, patches, and pump) and to make minor repairs (bring a small toolkit). 
bullet Carry water! It will likely be hot, so two bottles is probably the minimum. You may want to bring a Camelbak-type backpack if it gets really hot.
bullet Wear sunscreen!
bullet We are providing several Flip video cameras for use during the ride. If you have your own, please bring it. We plan to collect all of the footage shot by riders and support crews to create a documentary about the ride.

LODGING

bulletWe'll be sleeping indoors every night (unless you really want to camp out--I suggest that we all try this at least once to be faithful to the 1909 ride). I've lined up a combination of school gyms, churches, college dorms, and a hostel. Count on sleeping in beds about half the time. 
bulletPlan on bringing a sleeping bag/pad for the nights we'll be sleeping on the floor. Also bring your own towel and toiletries.
bulletThe HAA is covering the cost of lodging for the nights of July 4 through July 16. We are providing one night of lodging at the end point (University of Washington) for the night we arrive on July 16th.

FOOD

bulletWe'll provide coffee from our sponsor, Doma Coffee, every morning, and usually some bagels and fruit. 
bulletWe will also have rest stops with the usual stuff (fruit, cookies, energy drinks, etc.). 
bulletYou will be on your own for lunch and dinner. On the Big Fix, we usually agreed on a stopping point for lunch--the first riders would pick the spot. We will be traveling through many more towns than we did on the Big Fix, so we'll have a lot more choices.
bulletIf you have specific food needs (Vegan, etc.), we'll try to accommodate them, but can't guarantee that we'll be able to provide everything for you. Ditto for special drink mixes, etc. If you want something specific, your best bet will be to bring it with you.

SUPPORT

bulletWe plan to have two vehicles leapfrogging the course to set up rest stops about every 20 miles, plus another vehicle providing roving sag support. We will have space to carry your gear (sleeping bags, luggage, etc.), but we will likely not have space to carry spare bikes or other bulky items. I am planning to UPS my bike box to Branford Bike in Seattle before the ride and suggest that other riders who plan to use their own bike boxes do the same rather than get a larger truck to carry empty boxes to Seattle.
bulletWe will have a limited number of spare tires available, and hopefully other items such as chains. We will have basic tools, but if your bike has parts that require a special tool (such as Phil Wood bottom bracket), please bring it with you.

AFTER THE RIDE

bulletWe will stay one night at the University of Washington after we arrive at Drumheller Fountain. We'll have a press conference and a Histio presentation the next morning at the University ... then we're done!
bulletYou'll be responsible for getting yourself and your bike back to Davis. Randy Roten will have space to carry several bikes back with him in his large pickup truck, or you can go to Branford Bike in Seattle and box your bike for shipment (Branford will coordinate, but not pay for, shipping).

If you have any ideas about how to make Wheels North even better,

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