Garrett County, Md
June 24, 2017  
Frequently Asked Questions

Registration and Policy Questions

Well, you get one awesome and beautiful ride with great aid stations and top notch support that you will not soon forget!

Oh, you mean besides that? All Garrett County Gran Fondo registrants receive:

  • One ticket to the Friday Dinner and Pre-Ride Briefing
  • A Garrett County Gran Fondo participant t-shirt
  • A Garrett County Gran Fondo pint glass
  • A Garrett County Gran Fondo water bottle
  • Sponsors Goodie Bag
  • A Garrett County Gran Fondo Finisher's hat given to finishers only at Finish Line
  • One food (bbq) and non-alcoholic drink ticket at the Finish Line Festival
If the event has not sold out, onsite registrations will be accepted. There is a $10 registration surcharge for onsite registrations and no discount codes are accepted for onsite registrants. Additionally, onsite registrants will receive their participant t-shirts at the finish line after the event rather than at packet pickup in order to ensure that all early, online registrants receive their desired size first.
There are no refunds for the Garrett County Gran Fondo for registration fees, charitable donations, or merchandise purchases.

Registration Transfers to another rider will be granted upon request at $25 charge until three weeks prior to the event (June 4).

Registration Deferrals to a subsequent year will be granted upon request at no charge until two weeks prior to the event (June 11).
The Garrett County Gran Fondo will be held in all but the most extreme weather events. However in the very unlikely circumstance of event cancellation event management is not obligated to refund registration fees, charitable donations, or merchandise purchases.

With that said, while under no obligation to do so, event management will make all attempts to "make it right" based on the circumstances of the event cancellation.
No, the Garrett County Gran Fondo is not a sanctioned event. The event is independently insured and all registrants accept the Liability Waiver.
No, your registration fee is not tax-deductible. The registration fee covers the event production costs and reflects the the value of the services provided and is thus not tax-deducitble.

However, with each registration is a required donation to Garrett Trails, and the chosen amount donated is tax-deductible. The registration confirmation email separates the registration fee from the donation amount and serves as the donation receipt for your tax purposes.

Packet Pickup and Pre-Ride, Post-Ride Event Questions

Everything is now conveniently located at Garrett College. See venue layout map here
  • Packet Pickup (both Friday and Saturday),
  • Friday Dinner & Pre-Ride Briefing,
  • Start and Finish Line for all rides, and the Finish Festival with Beer Garden.
Nothing is at Wisp Resort or Adventure Sports Center International like prior years. Do not go to these places!

Packet pickup is in the Community Aquatic & Recreation Complex (CARC) from 3:00 - 8:45pm on Friday and Saturday 6-8am.

Friday Dinner is served from 5:00 - 8:30pm in the gymnasium adjacent to the CARC. The schedule of the pre-ride briefings and the speakers are TBD.

Parking is available in the various nearby Garrett College lots for Friday activities and about 0.3 mile away in the nearby Fairgrounds parking on Saturday morning.

Rides will start promptly (See "What Times Do The Rides Start"), beginning with the Diabolical Double at 7am.
It is strongly recommended that you pick up your packet on Friday and attend the Friday dinner and Pre-Ride Briefing (one ticket included with registration).

But, yes, you may pick up your materials on Saturday morning. Keep in mind that everything is rushed and busy Saturday morning and that last-second packet pickup does not open until 6:00AM, so expect lines and frayed nerves. Recommendation: forgo the stress and the frayed nerves and pick up your materials on Friday!
The Friday Dinner and Pre-Ride Briefing is very strongly recommended and one ticket is included with your registration. In addition to important information about the rides, live music entertainment, and an excellent dinner, a special guest pro cyclist (and current Stars and Stripes national champion jersey wearer) will be addressing the dinner.

But, no, attendance at the Friday Dinner and Pre-Ride Briefing is not mandatory.
Photo identification is checked at packet pickup.

Someone else may pick up your materials, however they must have a signed note by you authorizing this and the note must include a copy of your photo id. Absent this, no one except you will be permitted to pick up your materials.
See the venue layout map here

For the Friday evening packet pickup and dinner and pre-ride briefings there is parking in the various small to mid-size lots throughout Garrett College.

For Saturday morning there is ample parking 1/3 mile down the road at the Fairgrounds parking lot

If you are staying at the Quality Inn or Wisp Resort in McHenry, you may consider riding to the start as it is only about 1.5 miles. Your discretion.
In order to control rider density on the roads and at the aid stations, ride starts are staggered at 20 minute intervals, with the exception of Garrett's Greatest 25 which starts later at 10:00AM.

You must start with your registered ride or with a later ride. Please do not simply take off on your own between rides or before the 7:00 AM event start.

No. You can ultimately ride whichever ride you like, but you must start with your registered ride group or with a later ride. In other words, if you are registered for the Savage Century but want to do the Masochistic Metric instead, you may start with the Masochistic Metric start group (later) if you desire. However, you may not start with the Diabolical Double start group (earlier). Only riders with appropriate bike numbers will be allowed into the starting corral for each ride.

The Garrett's Greatest 25 has no options to change route, but for the other rides, once on the road there are route divergence points at mile 30.0 (Fabulous 44 diverges from 63, 100, 125), mile 52.8 (44 and 63 diverge from 100 and 125), and mile 68.3 (100 diverges from 125). At any of these points you can decide to follow whichever route you would like, so long as within the time cutoffs.

Should you ultimately choose to ride a route longer than what was registered for, we request a donation for the registration fee difference ($10) at the Garrett County Gran Fondo Online Store. We will know this based on the KOM timing chip data, but will keep this reimbursal for ride upgrade on the honor system until it becomes a problem.
Yes, but you must start together with the later ride.

See above FAQ : "Do I Have to Do the Ride For Which I Registered?"
Yes, this is encouraged. We would very much prefer you get home under your own power via a shorter ride than take up space in the broom wagon.

See above FAQ : "Do I Have to Do the Ride For Which I Registered?" for where the route divergence points are
Hopefully you can make it to the next aid station. From the aid stations there will be buses shuttling people and their bikes back to the finish. If you cannot make it to the next aid station, don't sweat it, we'll take care of you. We strive for motorcycles rather than vehicles out supporting the routes due to better coexistence with riders on small country roads, but we will get a sag vehicle to you.
Tired legs. There will be tired legs at the finish line.

There will also be music, barbeque, and a beer garden. All finishers receive a single food / drink ticket. Beer is available for purchase only with photo id and must be kept within the confined beer garden area.

Ride Questions

In a word, Yes. With the exception of Garrett's Greatest 25, these rides are extremely hard. The hills are very steep and the Garrett County Gran Fondo seeks them out. Even the Fabulous 44 has four extraordinarily challenging climbs. Come prepared with sufficient gearing!

Do not underestimate the Garrett County Gran Fondo. Rare is the circumstance where the feedback we receive is: "I expected it to be harder". For any of the 44 to 125 mile rides, it is highly likely to be the hardest ride of that distance you will have experienced.
Nope. Sure isn't.

There are seven timed KOM climbs within the Garrett County Gran Fondo rides and KOM champions are crowned based on these climbs, but the rides themselves are not timed and are not races.

Roads are not closed to traffic and traffic marshals are not present at turns and intersections. Riders must abide all traffic laws while participating in the Garrett County Gran Fondo.
Do you need it? No. Is it better to be safe than sorry? Yes.

The roads will be painted with stenciled arrows and all that is required of riders is attentiveness to keep an eye out for these arrows. However, we do strongly recommend that you take a cue sheet with you, and if you have a Garmin or GPS bike computer that you load the routes, and/or if you ride with a cell phone that you use the mobile app route navigation. Necessary? No. Prudent? Yes.
The more the merrier. No one finishes the Garrett County Gran Fondo and says "I regret putting that 32 tooth cog cassette in back", but every year the sag wagon is full of riders bemoaning how their legs gave out because they didn't have a high enough climbing gear. We would recommend at least compact cranks with a 27 tooth cog in back. And, even more is better if you have the option.
The Garrett County Gran Fondo is unsanctioned and we have chosen to not restrict the type of bikes permitted. We do request that anyone planning to ride on tandem bikes contact us first.

Triathlon bikes and aerobars are permitted, however keep in mind that what goes steeply up also comes steeply down and triathlon bikes tend not to handle as nicely as road bikes. If you are in a position of choosing from multiple bikes, gearing and handling on descents should be your primary considerations.
The Garrett County Gran Fondo is overwhelmingly a paved road ride. But, yes, there are two sections of dirt or gravel throughout all the Garrett County Gran Fondo roads.

  1. All rides except the Garrett's Greatest 25 climb Timed KOM #3 - Limestone Hill, which begins with 1.0 miles at 10% average on smooth, easily-ridable, hard-packed dirt as seen from 0:27 to 0:47 of the course video.
  2. The Diabolical Double ride only includes the 1.6 mile gravel Blue Lick Road. Blue Lick Road's quality varies year to year from smooth, well-packed dirt/gravel to rough gravel depending on how recently the county has applied the latest gravel. As of late May 2016 Blue Lick Road is in great riding condition with very smooth tread lanes, similar to the state shown from 3:32 to 4:10 of the course video.

    A detour is marked for those who would prefer to avoid Blue Lick Road. The detour adds roughly 1.1 miles. Blue Lick Road is awesome. We do not recommend detouring around it.
No. All roads are open to traffic and all riders are responsible for their own safety and for abiding traffic laws.
Friendly volunteers. So be nice to them. They already think you are crazy; don't make them think you are mean, too.

Aid stations will be well stocked with a combination of energy food/drink as well as "regular" food and snack items:

  • Water
  • Coke
  • Hammer HEED
  • Hammer Gels
  • Hammer Endurolytes
  • PB&J Sandwiches
  • Salty Snacks - pretzels, chips, etc...
  • Fruit - Oranges, bananas, ....
  • Sweet Stuff - Cookies, M&Ms, doughnuts
  • Cue Sheets
  • Bike Pump & Tools
  • Tubes & CO2 cartridges (for sale - please reimburse later if no cash on ride)
Yes, there are cut-off times. These are lenient and are only meant to ensure that riders do not head out for the most distant corners of the rides who are not on pace to complete by dusk.

All riders who arrive after 2:15pm at the Mile 68.3 divergence point where the 125 and 100 mile routes split must follow the 100 mile route to the finish.

All riders who arrive after 1:15pm at the Mile 52.8 divergence point where 44/63 routes split from 100/125 routes must follow the 44/63 routes to the finish.
Yes and No.

No, the event is not timed in that it is not a race and riders are not given official finishing times. In fact, there is not even a timing mat at the finish.

Yes, the event is timed in that there are cut-off times at certain locations. And, riders wear timing chips on their ankles for the seven timed KOM climbs. These seven timed KOM climbs are the only racing portions of the day.
Full details here on the Timed KOM Competition.

Unfortunately there is no Awards Ceremony due to the fact that Timed KOM Climb #7 - Dry Run Rd is so late in the ride that the timing mats (and their data) must stay out until very late in the evening. We are able to produce results for the first six climbs much earlier and post them at the finish line, but the inability to get results from the final KOM climb makes it impossible to curate final results until it is too late to hold an Awards Ceremony.

Garrett County and Deep Creek Lake Area Questions

In addition to cheering for you and other GCGF riders, there is the Garrett College - Garrett Trails outdoor adventure fair at the GCGF finish line, hiking at Maryland’s highest waterfall - Muddy Creek Falls within the Swallow Falls State Park, white water rafting at ASCI, biking Fork Run, or enjoying the GLAF sponsored, Maryland Symphony concerts on either Friday or Saturday evenings at Wisp Resort, the Garrett Trails 14th annual Taste of Garrett and Race Up the Face fundraisers.
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The Garrett County Gran Fondo Benefits Garrett Trails