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T2T 2006 Route Ratings for Skaters and Cyclists

roadskater's picture

Short version: Skip 1 and 2, do 3 as repeats until it closes. It's up to you, though, and if you want an epic challenge, this is the century for you!

Thanks to Tom for hanging around after the High Point training ride at Bicycle Toy & Hobby to drive Loop 1 and discuss a rating system for the roads. Basically it's A (pristine) through F (unskateable) with B (nice but not perfect), C (a bit rough but not overly painful), D (rough and likely painful), and E (grass could grow there but you can skate it). Something like that.

In light of this, I'll share our rating of Loop 1 and my ratings of Loop 2 and what was planned for Loop 3. I have not rated all of the main route as we're doing that no matter what!

The DNA sequence shows our rating for sections, separated by commaspace. Slashes indicate half-ratings, so b/c means b with some c or at worst halfway between the two.

NOTE: The route is not posted publicly because of sabotage in past years. Sad!

Loop 1: We rated this

b/c, c/d, b, c, c, b, c/d, b, d, b, c/d, d, a, b/c

We rated 2 downhill stops, 1 of them difficult if not long, both visible if paying close attention. We rated 1 downhill bumpy right sweeping turn. A quick look if my notes are correct shows D sections of 1.7 and 1.2 miles.

Loop 2: I rated this as

d/e, c/d, b, c/d, b/c, c/d, a/b, b/c, b/c, c, d, d/c, a, a/b, b

There would be no real geographic difficulties were this smooth road, but there are some places where rough road will make things challenging. The start of this loop is 1.2 miles of D with some E then 1.7 of C with some D. Later in the loop there are 2 miles of D and D with C after you've gone over 100K for the day, or at least 12 for the loop.

Loop 2 is worse than Loop 1 in my view. Loop 1 is not a whole lot better, and I'll say it requires a heel brake or a very good set of knees and ankles to crank T-stops with. Perhaps I'm overstating, but Tom and I both exclaimed moderately at one of the two short downhill T stops (different kind of T stop...a downhill into a T intersection with a Stop sign). It is by all means achievable, but I doubt I will try either of these two loops, because Loop 3 is in a different county and is a far more enjoyable option, even if repeated, in my opinion.

Loop 3: I rated the loop as it was when there but assuming that Dock Davis would be finished and included in the route. My understanding is it will not be in the route. Taking that out and making educated guesses on the rest, I get

a/b, b, b, b, c, b/c, b/c/d, b/c, a/b, a/b, b/c/d, b

The only geographic challenge on Loop 3 is the Moravian Cookie Hill (my name) where the right angle left turn sign indicates the path you will take DAY TWO, and that will be a challenge and matter of discussion, plus the tour will have an officer there, we think, as we've indicated some paint on the road or other signifier there would be helpful to all to keep in in control. Anyway on DAY ONE LOOP 3 you will NOT make the slight switchback left but WILL bottom out on a right turn that is a bit bumpy with some D-grade spots on mostly good pavement. It's not too freaky but when you see the RIGHT ANGLE LEFT TURN SIGN know that you'll be going down somewhat quickly and bearing around to the right. This is part of the TASTE OF THE TOUR so you know beginning cyclists can handle it, and you need not worry much if paying attention.

So, based on all of this perhaps overly cautious assessment, I recommend skip 1 and 2 and do 3 as repeats until you want to quit or the loop closes. Then come home to us on the grassy lawn. My second recommendation, far below that, would be do 1 and 3 with a brake and soft wheels, and I don't recommend a Loop 1, 2, 3 century for skaters at all. This is not to say we're going to try to stop you. If you still want to do this, I want to see your face when you come off that loop. The most miserable I've ever seen Mark was after he finished Loop 2 one year.
Now what does this say about Tanglewood? Well, first off, this is a unique year and route. But we skated much of the new pieces of the main route Saturday and it was good stuff, what we covered. That's not to say I've covered all of it.
But one road is gone from the route, and that's GUS HILL ROAD. This is the one some of you mentioned with horror last year as part of the Taste and Loop 3, and I felt the horror last year on day two. I was truly miserable on that road, and a bit worried we'd lose some skin there.
The main thing to keep in mind is that the loops are optional, and the main route is better road than some of the optional stuff.
Next year should have a supersweet route with new bridges but this year looks great too, just different for us veterans. I will likely just do 45 so I can spend more time with everyone at the finish, unless the road calls when I get to Tanglewood gate. But T2T has so much more hanging out to offer than almost every other event, I really enjoy getting there and seeing so many happy faces feeling good about their day on the road. I can't wait!

Comments

kjg's picture

Cut off times for loops

Thanks Blake this is a great description of the loops.

Do you know what the cutoff times are going to be for the various loops? 

roadskater's picture

Cutoff Times with Required Speed T2T 2006

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