Please note: The following Q&A reflects 2013-
Check back for 2014 information in December. Read more about our new website launch here!
Where do the Rides begin and end?
We are currently revising both routes because of the new options we are adding, so all of our exact route information is not yet available. We do have two different options for both of our Rides: we have our signature 2-Day Ride (Friday evening-Sunday), and our new 1-Day Ride (Saturday evening-Sunday). You can find out more about the mileage of those options here.
The New York Ride (2-day version) will start from Cold Spring, ride through West Point Campus, through Newburgh, Marlboro, through the Dutchess County Rail Trail, and finally up to Rhinebeck where our camp is located. On Sunday, our 1-day and 2-day riders will start in Rhinebeck, ride through Salt Point, Poughkeepsie, Beacon, Fishkill, and end in Wappingers Falls. Through both days of our New York Ride, we spend a good amount of time in sight of the Hudson River.
In the Midwest, we’ll start from East Troy, WI and end in Milwaukee, riding through the Kettle Moraine region, and ending up on Lake Michigan.
What is the route like?
Both the New York and Midwest routes are scenic, but also challenging. Both contain several rolling hills, and a few larger hills, manageable with proper training. The majority of both routes are through low-traffic, beautiful countryside of their respective locations.
Because of the length of the rides and the terrain, you will need to train to complete this event. GYGIG offers a training guide and can recommend an online coach who is experienced with all abilities of riders.
Additionally, the route is fully supported by sweep vans, and rest stops are located every 12-17 miles (usually 12-15 miles), breaking it up into manageable legs, and you can always hop in a sweep van if your body needs a break from riding.
I am a novice and have not ridden a bike since I was a little kid. Can I do this?
Yes! With proper training and a properly fitted and tuned-up bicycle, you can complete the Ride. In fact, many of our participants include people who have never completed an event like this before. If you provide the training and commitment, we will support you all the way to the closing ceremony.
New riders are able to train for and complete the event with a bit of preparation. When you register, you’ll receive a training guide prepared specifically for GYGIG by a USA Cycling licensed expert coach. Our staff and volunteers will also keep in touch with you about your training.
View Training Tips for GYGIG
On the days of the Ride, we know things happen, such as GI issues, we make sure to and support riders with sweep vans throughout the entire route. Volunteer crew members will be available, should you need to get in a sweep van, and the community will be supportive of your efforts.
New riders are some of the proudest participants when they finish a ride they weren’t sure they could do.
What if I can’t keep up?
This is not a race! We understand that there will be a range in people’s cycling abilities. There will always be an event vehicle at the back of the group to ensure that you are not left behind. Also, we encourage faster cyclists to take their time and enjoy the company of their fellow cyclists.
For all Ride options, there will be established route closing times. For our shorter mileage options, each rider needs to average a minimum speed of 12 mph over varied terrain. Riders choosing either the 1 Day or 2 Day century option will need to average a pace of more than 15 mph.
Can I do a relay with other people?
We do not have relay teams. This Ride is about reaching beyond what you think your limits are. MANY first-time riders or cyclists who had never ridden more than 20 miles before have trained for and completed this Ride, even when it was 3 days and 210 miles. YOU CAN, TOO! Our Rides are 100% supported. You can read more below about the support we provide or contact us to get more details.
What kind of bicycle do I need?
Although a road bike will be the best choice for this type of riding, any quality bike will do! A properly fit bike, good tires, and appropriate gear will help your bike carry you for two days. Before undertaking any type of training on a new (or new-to-you) bicycle, make sure that it has been serviced by a reputable bicycle mechanic. Follow this link to read about buying your first bicycle for an endurance event.
Will the roads be closed?
No. While we make every effort to map a route that minimizes traffic, we will be sharing the road with other vehicles.
Do I need to wear a helmet?
Yes! Safety is our #1 priority. All riders must wear a properly fitted cycling helmet at all times while on their bicycles. Helmets sold at reputable bicycle shops are approved to meet safety standards
Am I on my own when on the road?
Not at all—we’re with you all along the route. Rest stops are placed every 12 to 16 miles along the route and provide water, sports drinks, snacks, and toilets. Sweep vans drive along the route to support cyclists in between rest stops. We also transport your gear bag between camps while you’re out on the road riding, so you don’t have to worry about hauling it.
What sort of lodging does the ride provide?
The Ride provides lodging on Friday and Saturday for both the New York, and the Midwest Ride. (Friday and Saturday for the 2 Day option, Saturday only for the 1 Day option). All sites provide indoor bunkroom or cabin accommodations, though participants may still sleep in their own tents if they choose.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and hot showers will be provided at each campsite, and is covered under your registration fee. Riders and crew must make their own transportation arrangements to get to the check-in and opening sites, and from the closing site, although we will provide registered participants with low cost shuttle options.
I’m riding and need to drive to the event. Can I leave my car for the weekend?
Yes! We have arranged for a location where cyclist may leave their car at either a very reduced rate or for free (depending on the Ride location). We will arrange for low-cost shuttle services from this parking area to Ride check-in for both the 2 Day option Friday, and 1 Day option on Saturday.
How do I get to the start? What about my bike?
Riders and crew must make their own transportation arrangements to get the check-in and opening sites, and from the closing site. We will provide a pre-event travel planner a few months before each event, and a full Ride Guide about a month prior to the Ride.
If you are unable to travel with your bike, GYGIG will also pre-arrange bike shipping services at the most reasonable fee that we can negotiate.
I don’t want to camp. Are there hotels nearby?
First, it’s important to note that our overnight accommodations have changed in recent years. Both of our Rides feature indoor shared bunkrooms, or cabins. Therefore, camping is not required.
In order to get the most out of each GYGIG event and fully experience our community, we recommend that all riders join us at the campsite. Even avowed non-campers have truly enjoyed the camaraderie found at GYGIG’s camps (even when we slept in tents!). However, if you arrange for local taxi transport to and from local hotels, Riders may stay offsite.
All crew members stay onsite with the group
I’m crewing; can I drive my own car?
Probably! Due to space restrictions at some of our sites, we have room for a specified number of personally owned vehicles to be used for specific crew assignments. Once those crew positions are filled, we will not be able to accommodate additional personal vehicles.
Someone I know is riding, and I want to camp out with him/her. Can I do this?
We must provide lists of participants, as well as waivers to the camps where we stay. Therefore, only registered riders and crew are able to stay overnight at camp. If you are interested in sharing this experience with a rider but don’t ride yourself, then consider registering for the all-volunteer crew. Please be advised that our crew slots fill up quickly.
I want to follow a rider along the route in my car. Can I get route maps?
We have always asked that family and friends not follow along the route behind a rider, as this adds another element of traffic to the route, and makes it more difficult for us to support the riders. The best way to experience this Ride with your family and friends who are riding is to join the crew. Our crew keeps coming back because they find their Ride experience every bit as empowering as the riders do.
If you don’t want to crew, we will let you know the location of particular cheering spots each day, or you can volunteer as a day volunteer at a rest stop. We choose these locations based on the availability of parking and the overall safety of the riders.