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GONG Ride Update - 7/13 - THINGS

posted Jul 15, 2013, 9:22 PM by Scott Redd
The GONG Ride is on Saturday, July 20, 2013!  Gather beginning at 7pm at Walnut Creek Recreation Area in Papillion, Nebraska.  We'll start drawing for prizes at 8pm and have a rider's meeting at 8:30.  We plan to roll off at 8:52pm.

There may be a ride-to-the-ride.  There might also be a ride-to-somewhere-for-breakfast when we're done.  Reply back via email or on Facebook or Twitter if you are interested in getting some more miles. 

Please consider the following things:

THINGS TO BRING

Lights.  Really important, folks!  Be sure your lights are able to handle a 5+ hour ride.  Bring an extra light and/or batteries.  Please also have a rear flasher so that other riders, and motorists can see you from behind.  Also consider that you may need light to read your cue sheets and bike computer.  A cheap, low powered helmet or head-strap light might work.

Jacket or sleeved shirt.  It might dip into the mid 60s.  It might even rain!

Cash.  If you make it to the Good Times bar in Louisville at mile 35.9, and want some refreshments, you'll need cash, as they don't take debit or credit cards.

Cellphone.  Bring one and have someone you can call if you need help.  Make sure it's charged.  Your phone will probably work just about anywhere on the course.

Water and food.  Bring enough to last for a few hours.  There may not be opportunities to get a resupply.  There might be, but we don't know for sure.

Your legs.  There's anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 feet of climbing, depending on which course you choose.  There's no shame in walking the tough hills.

A camera.  We'd love to see pictures from your experience.

Your sense of humor.  This isn't a race.  We have a gong, and gongs are funny, but we don't joke around with safety.  Don't ride faster than your abilities or the beam of your light.  How serious can this be when we start things off by banging a giant gong?  Yes, YOU get to bang the gong.

THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Dogs.  They sometimes run loose out in the country.  Keep your eyes, and your ears open.  Most just want the chase, but you never know when they are aggressive.  If cornered, get off your bike and stand with your bike between you and the dog.

Pedestrians.  We will start the ride with a very gentle roll out from the Walnut Creek Recreation Area.  Please ride single file and keep your speed under 10 MPH while on the multi-use trail.  This also goes for the Lied Platte River Bridge (if there's anyone else on it).

Dust.  Sometimes a passing vehicle will kick up a cloud of dust.  Close one eye, gear down, slow down, or even stop and wait for it to settle.  

Stay right.  Especially when cresting hills.

Drunks and reckless drivers.  We'll be riding in places and at a time that people aren't expecting to see cyclists.  Visible lighting and clothing are a must!

Bumpy ride.  Watch for changing road conditions.  The gravel is smooth in some places, sandy and loose in others, and chunky rocks in other areas.  Be especially careful of sand and gravel on top of blacktop roads at intersections.  The 3/4 mile stretch of rutted dirt road MMR (Minimum Maintenance Road) at 50 mile course mile 23.1 is overgrown and tricky, especially at night.  No one will think less of you if you get off and walk.

Bollards.  You know, those posts in the middle of the trails to keep cars out at bridges, trailheads, and street crossings.  We've tried to make sure most are marked with reflective tape, but watch out for them, especially when riding around cyclists who might be blocking your view.

Parking.  Be sure to check out the Parking page to make sure you don't get towed or locked in.  http://www.gongride.com/parking

Don't bang too hard.  We'll give a brief lesson on banging a gong.

Sights!  It'll be dark, but there's plenty to see. 

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

Be a guest.  The folks that you'll likely encounter live and work on these country roads.  And they'll think you're insane.  Behave as a visitor.  Smile and wave.  No one-fingered salutes, please.

The law.  Ride and behave correctly, or at least don't let anyone see you doing otherwise.

No littering.  This is pretty serious.  Whatever you carry in can easily go out with you.  Litterers will be shamed and shunned.

Limits.  Know yours.  If you can't finish the ride, then know when to turn back or call for help.  If gravel isn't your thing, you could ride back on paved roads instead.  We'd much rather you excuse yourself from the ride and come back next year than push it too hard and it up injured, or worse.

Sponsors and volunteers.  These folks have chipped in time, products, and money to help make this a thing.  Thank them so they might want to do it again.

How much fun you're having.  While other people are getting ready for bed, you'll be banging a gong.  While they are sleeping, you'll be biking out in the country doing something we hope you'll want to repeat next year.

GONGS.  Aren't they a riot!?!

Visit http://gongride.com for the latest news.  Please also "Like" us on Facebook at http://facebook.com/RideTheGong, or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RideTheGong where you can interact with other GONG Ride participants and enthusiasts.
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