TOSRV DIRT: A Preview of an Epic Adventure
By: Jack Tomassetti
New for 2013 is an adventure on your bike unlike any other you have been on, and it will be on dirt roads. Capital City Cyclists is introducing a new ride option for TOSRV South this year that is 2 days of approximately 75 miles of dirt road riding from Cairo, Ga to Albany, Ga and back dubbed TOSRV Dirt.
With every new ride option, careful meticulous planning takes places to ensure the course is safe and logistics of rest stops are all planned accordingly. TOSRV Dirt was initially mapped out with the help of long-time CCC member Jim Smart utilizing Georgia D.O.T. maps that marked dirt roads. With an outline of the new route marked out, the next step is making sure the road on this new route exist and doesn’t lead to dead ends.
I’ve had to the pleasure of helping TOSRV Ride Director Paul McManus pre-drive the course on 2 occasions now. The first was on a beautiful day last November shortly after the Spaghetti 100. We drove out to Cairo and started all our high-tech mapping programs including a heavy duty GPS, a smartphone that mapped and streamed the internet to a large touch screen tablet with a map. We started off and immediately got lost (my fault!). We turned around and got back on route wrote down every turn, stop sign and rabid dog along the way in addition to tracking our route via GPS.
I was drooling that day wishing I could be on my bike pre-riding the course instead of pre-driving. It was a warm, sunny day and we saw some really amazing things. The most memorable was the acres of cotton fields that made everything look like soon and the small dirt road through the pecan tree grove.
We did hit lots of dead end roads, make lots of wrong turns, killed the battery on Paul’s truck, and ate some really good chicken tenders from some podunk gas station in Sale City, but we did it to make sure TOSRV Dirt would be a great course.
Paul fixed up the course from all the dead ends we hit and talked me into pre-driving the course again. This time in my minivan and with Bike Eat Shop Tallahassee’s Karen Loewen. The day we picked to pre-drive the course was arguably one of the wettest days in February, but with our busy schedules, it was the only time we had to do it. Paul was excited to see how the dirt course held up in the bad weather. I however, was nervous about what my folks would think about me taking the minivan mudding through the backwoods of Georgia.
In our pre-drive of the course, we drove through shin deep water, under fallen trees with almost no clearance and slipped and slid across the course. Poor Karen was in the back holding onto her dear life, but we survived the hurricane like weather with my nascar driving skills. The dirt course held up really well in the wet conditions, and we nailed down the course with no dead ends. The three of us left super excited about the new TOSRV dirt course and the adventure it will bring.
Be sure to sign up at www.cccyclists.org/tosrv/ and do the ride on April 20-21, 2013.