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What Makes for a Great Rest Stop in Your Opinion?(20 posts)

What Makes for a Great Rest Stop in Your Opinion?merckxman
Feb 1, 2003 9:15 AM
Getting involved in putting a fund raising ride together which will have rest stops. Would like to know from you what rides have at their rest stops (ok, other than bathrooms!) that make you say, "Wow, that was well organized". Comments about what to do and what not to do appreciated.
minimize waitingDaveG
Feb 1, 2003 9:43 AM
There's nothing worse than waiting at a rest stop. That applies #1 to bathroom facilities (yeah, I know you excluded them) and the food. No need to go extravagant on the food, it just needs to be plentiful and easy to get to. Another positive is having a map available for folks to see the route ahead. If its summer, having some protection from the sun is always a good thing. Good luck.
me tooDougSloan
Feb 1, 2003 11:46 AM
In and out quick. I fill my bottles, grab a banana, and hit the road. So, having adequate sources of water is number one.

Don't need variety. Some cookies and bananas are ok. One thing no one has, but absolutely should, is salt (either tablets or table salt).

It's also nice to be able to get to stuff without having to walk through dirt or gravel, which mucks up the cleats.

Bathrooms every 50 miles or so is good enough.

re: What Makes for a Great Rest Stop in Your Opinion?Scot_Gore
Feb 1, 2003 9:57 AM
Things I like:
1) Seperate stations for drinking water on site & filling water bottles. If all you want is a drink, waiting behind folks filling two water bottles is nice to avoid.

2) A large linear object to lean many bikes against. This one depends on the size of the event, but if this is a charity event a I'm assuming you're shooting for 1000+.

3) Volunteers having pre-filled water cups on top to the depenser durring lulls.

4) A better food chart and dedicated bathroom boxes for your top fund raisers.

5) Warning signs at 1 mile and 1/2 half mile that a rest stop is ahead.

6) A dedicated SAG wagon running between stops vs the entire route. (often hard to do)

7) Don't like sharp turns, soft sand, mud, and other obstacles in the rest area transition zones. Too many once or twice a year cyclist to have to worry about.

8) Scouts or other youth groups providing labor. Adds a nice sense of community.

My two cents.

I prefer there being nothing to lean the bike against ...Humma Hah
Feb 3, 2003 8:02 AM
I always get a kick out of coming into a SAG stop where everyone is scrambling for a place to lean their bike, or laying it on the ground. On the cruiser, I can just swing off onto the left pedal in one graceful move, drop the kickstand, and step off as it comes to a rest.

It looks so proud that it can stand up by itself!

I may even put one on the Paramount, just for grins, and to watch everyone cringe.
re: What Makes for a Great Rest Stop in Your Opinion?Spoke Wrench
Feb 1, 2003 11:36 AM
1. Bike Parking. Most rest stops have very poor bake parking or even none at all. When riders have to resort to laying their bikes on the ground, it takes up a lot of space and runs the risk of somebody stepping on your wheel. A horizontal pipe 4' above the ground will hold road bikes by the brake levers, but it won't work for flat bar bikes.

2. Rest rooms. After they park their bikes, most riders are looking for the biffy.

3. Shade and a good place to sit.

4. Liquids. Having 100 paper cups pre-filled with water is a huge benefit.

5. Food. If it's a lunch stop, the better the food, the longer I'm likely to tolerate waiting in line. Standing in line for 1/2 hour to get a dry sandwich and a soggy cookie is not a good rest stop. The best food would be something that's unique or special to the area like Wisconsin ice cream or Memphis BBQ. Don't forget about the vegens.

6. Traffic management. If your entrance is a narrow uphill drive, somebody will stop in the middle of the hill and cause the whole crowd of riders behind them to unclip in a panic. If there's a curve, some guy will stop his bike right at the apex - crosswise while he looks back for the girlfriend he dropped an hour ago. Sag and support vehicles need an alternate way in and out.

7. Entertainment. An optional extra. If you're having a best rest stop contest, riders will remember the cagin band rest stop or the bag pipe rest stop (perhaps not fondly). If the riders have more than about 25 miles left to ride, be careful with this one or you'll swamp your sag drivers. Once the riders settle in, it's hard to get going again.
re: What Makes for a Great Rest Stop in Your Opinion?snapdragen
Feb 2, 2003 8:48 AM
And I thought biffy was a term my brothers made up.......;-)
On RAGBRAI they call 'em KYBOs (nm)Spoke Wrench
Feb 3, 2003 7:52 AM
Have enough of them.theBreeze
Feb 1, 2003 11:43 AM
Depending on your anticipated crowd, plan enough stops so that everyone doesn't feel like they need to hit every stop. This minimizes wait time and maximizes safety in that there aren't a large number of riders all trying to pull into and out of a rest stop.
For example, at El tour de Tucson (upwards of 4,000 riders) instead of a half dozen stops there were stops every 5-8 miles. Community groups and some smaller business sponsers staffed each stop. Volunteers held bikes and filled water bottles while riders used the bathrooms. It was great. I stopped only twice and spent less than five minutes at each one. No waiting. It was like heaven!

So if I would say spend effort and money on the quantity of stops rather than making a small number real fancy.
re: What Makes for a Great Rest Stop in Your Opinion?Andy M-S
Feb 1, 2003 1:10 PM
I'm going to tell you what the AIDS Ride had (most of the time)...

1. What everyone else has said--a place for the bikes.

2. Tables with lots and lots of water and gatorade sources for refilling bottles.

3. A long table with lots of different kinds of food: bananas, bagel sections, powerbars, sandwiches (if possible), packets of Gu, honey, etc. Fresh veggies (e.g., carrots) and fruit (e.g., apples) are nice additions.

4. ENOUGH porta-potties. Too few and you get people into long lines and the cans get smelly. Have enough! If people see that there are clean facilities, they won't be afraid to hydrate sufficiently to avoid problems.

5. Tubs of Bag Balm and rolls of paper towels/tissues to assist in application.

6. Suntan lotion. Lots and lots and lots of containers of SPF45. Lip balm with a high SPF is also a good idea.

7. Clearly marked trash containers (you don't want to have to clean up too much later on).

8. Technical support--a bunch of pumps, spare tubes in all the possible sizes, extra water bottles for those who lose one on the road.

9. Cold towels or tubs of ice water. It's nice to be able to dunk your head sometimes.

9. SHADE. If it's a clear day, there is nothing as bad as not having a place to cool off. Some kind of gazebo is a must, and not just for the pit crew staff.

Here's a welcome rest stop sight:
ICE !!JimP
Feb 1, 2003 1:19 PM
In addition to what the previous posts have said. Rides in the Texas summers can be brutal. Plenty of ice to refill the insulated bottles and Camelbacks is very welcome.
Excess water and ice....cheerleaders are nice too! nmhycobob
Feb 1, 2003 1:27 PM
What everyone else has said, plus this item;look271
Feb 1, 2003 2:33 PM
If/when you are mixing Gatorade/Poweraide/, etc, make sure that the volunteers make the stuff up correctly-not too strong or too weak. I usually bring my own, but those times that I haven't, it's no fun, plus you could get sick, drinking too concentrated of a drink.
Volunteer fire departments . . .ms
Feb 1, 2003 3:57 PM
I agree with everything posted above. The best rest stops on the organized rides I have done have been at volunteer fire departments -- they usually are near the road, paved (gravel rest stops are a pet peeve of mine), have wall space upon which to lean bikes, have real bathrooms, etc. The rest stops should have some relationship to the ride -- if the ride is easy the stops can be spaced further apart, if the ride is going to be in hot weather or on difficult terrain, the stops need to more frequent. And the most important thing -- don't run out of water.
a nice view helps. nmMike P
Feb 1, 2003 4:27 PM
Fast and fluids ...Humma Hah
Feb 3, 2003 7:56 AM
I can carry enough food to get me thru 100 miles with no problem. I need to replenish fluids every 33 miles or so, and I'm bound to need to get rid of some at some point along the ride. Water dispensers and plenty of 'em and a few portajohns are my key to happiness.

I wanna get in and out fast. If I stop for long, my leg muscles start setting up like concrete and it takes about 5 miles to limber them up again.

I'm much better off not stopping for a proper meal. Maybe half a sandwich at the most. Better snacks are bananas, other fruit in slices, trail snack, maybe some cakes or brownies, peanut M&Ms.

For support, its nice to have some tools and chain lube available, maybe some patch kits, some duct tape, and cable ties for emergency repairs.
bike mechanic, peanut butter & bananas, and gatorade nmJS Haiku Shop
Feb 3, 2003 7:57 AM
oh, and cellphones and sunscreen nmJS Haiku Shop
Feb 3, 2003 8:00 AM
14% Club!!! (nm)brider
Feb 3, 2003 10:11 AM
Thank You All for Your Input! nmmerckxman
Feb 3, 2003 4:54 PM