Frequently Asked Questions (And What to Bring!)

FAQs


Q: What’s included on the tour?

A: The tour fee includes outdoor camping, showers, T-shirt, cue sheets and maps, SAG support, mechanical support, daily rest stop, marked cycling routes, breakfasts.

Q: What type of bike should you use on the tour?

A: Whichever bike feels comfortable but most people ride road bikes. Keep in mind that you will probably be on your bike 5-6 hours or more each day. So choose a bike that fits you well and doesn’t cause you pain. If you are unsure if your bike fits you correctly, check with your local bike shop for a bike fit. Along with a comfy ride, get your bike in good mechanical shape prior to the tour. All these items are the ingredients for great tour! A tire pump, tubes, and a patch kit and the skills to use them will get you back on the road faster if you have a tire issue.

Q: How do I register for the tour?

A: You can register for the tour by clicking on this logo:
Imathlete logo
We offer an offline registration service for an extra $10 fee. To download a printable and mailable entry form, CLICK HERE.

Q: What happens if I sign up and then find I can’t come?

A: AMBA will give you a full refund (less a $60 processing fee, which covers our costs of handling the registration) until a date one week before the event. After that, we commit to others for the costs of your participation. After the refund deadline date, no refunds or transfers can be given. You may, however, sell your spot to someone else.

Q: Do you have to sign up for the entire ride?

A: No. We recognize that people may have scheduling conflicts, so we allow sign-ups for individual days or combinations of days.To see registration fees go here.

Q: Can I bring my dog?

A: No pets are allowed.

Q: Q: What kinds of accommodations are available for sleeping?

A: Tent camping in the park and cabins for rent. Contact Monte Sano State Park to reserve the cabins. They fill fast and are first come, first served. You also have the option of renting a room in one of the nearby hotels/motels.

Q: I want to stay in motels. Is that possible?

A: Yes. It is up to you to make your own motel arrangements. If you are staying at motels, you can leave your bike at the staging site. There are many hotel and motel options in Hunstville.

Q: I am staying at a motel/hotel. How do I find out about route changes and event happening at camp?

A: All route changes will be posted at the staging site in the park, so we recommend you start all rides from there. Or you can call the ride director, Peter Wolf at 334-524-0226.. Cell phone reception is non-existent at Monte Sano so he will return your call once out of the park.

Q: How do you mark the route?

A: We use a unique arrow and each day is represented by a different color.

Q: When do I have to start bicycling each day?

A: It’s up to you. Some people start out as soon as the sun comes up. Others take their time. We ask that everyone be on the road by 9:00 AM so we know where to place our SAG drivers.

Q: How fast do I have to ride?

A: It’s up to you. Our events are tours and there is no prize for getting to the days highlight first or being number one to camp. Some highlights may not be open if you get there too early. There are many things to do and see on the route each day and you have all day to enjoy them. We want you to experience our area not just ride through it.

Q: Should I let you know if I am going off route or if I am staying at a site longer than would normally be expected?

A: Please do. We want to support you and make sure we don’t take our staff off the road, or away from the rest stops, if you still need the services. If we no longer see people on the road or if we have not had any one at a stop for a long time we may assume you have are beyond the service station or SAG vehicle. Your call may free up a volunteers time if you feel you no longer need the services. As a courtesy to our support staff we ask that you call if you linger at a site or go off route.

Q: What happens if I have a mechanical breakdown on the road?

A: Flag down a SAG vehicle or call Peter Wolf at 334-524-0226. There are SAG, and official vehicles on the road and parked alongside the route during the event. The support vehicles are cell phone equipped and can communicate with each other in most of the regions we travel in. SAGs have basic tools and pumps and can call a mechanic in case of serious breakdowns.

Q: What does SAG stand for?

A: There are three definitions we’ve uncovered. One is "Support And Gear". Another is simply to “sag,” as in getting tired. And the third is “Support Aid Group.” No one’s sure of the exact origin and which is the correct one but the last meaning is how we interpret it.

Q: I have a cell phone with me. If I see an accident, should I call the SAG Help line?

A: No. Call 911 first. Calling us wastes precious time. We have to get the information from you, which takes time, and then relay it. Errors or confusion can result. Calling 911 direct in an emergency is the quickest and best way to get help. Do call the main communication number on you emergency cell phone number card after first responders have been contacted, and if doing so does not cause the victim harm.

Q: What type of weather can I expect?

A: You can expect daily high temperatures between 70 and 95 degrees. In the evening can drop to 64 degrees. The chance of precipitation is low on average but it is not unusual to get rain so be prepared. The mountain fogs in almost every morning.

Q: What do I do if severe weather threatens?

A: If you are at the overnight site, immediately take cover in shower facilities. If you are on the road, get off your bike. Most bikes are metal and can conduct electricity. Seek shelter in a low area. Crouch on the ground. In the case of lightening, trees are not good shelter. Neither are open structures like park shelters.

Q: Can I get a list of all the riders with their addresses and phone numbers?

A: We have an obligation to respect the right to privacy of our event participants. Some have specifically asked us not to release their names and addresses to anyone else.

Q: Is there a Daily Route Meeting?

A: The information board, at the staging site will list changes. Typically, we don’t need meetings but if route change info or other information or announcements need to be relayed we will post them on the information board.

Q: What is the terrain like on the ride?

A: Huntsville is at the end of the Appalachian Mountains and exhibits rolling terrain with some harder climbs. Do not expect a flat ride as some days have fun ups and downs.

Q: If family and friends back home need to contact me, how do they do so?

A: Since most people have their own phones now this is not as critical as it used to be. For those that want an avenue for friends and family to contact them on the ride but either don’t have a cell phone or want a back up contact plan, please have them call the main AMBA number (334-524-0226) and we will get the message to you. Please have them relay your sleeping arrangements; have then tell us if you are staying onsite or at a nearby hotel/motel. If you are staying in a motel or hotel, make sure they know which one so they can tell us.

Q: Where can I go to get questions answered during the tour?

A: Call Peter Wolf at 334-524-0226.

Q: Do I need a helmet?

A: An approved ANSI or Snell helmet is required.

Q: What else should I bring?

A: See the list on this page!

Q: What about bike safety?

A: Your safety on the tour is of upmost importance to us. Bicycles are considered vehicles in Alabama and with that come the responsibility of knowing and abiding by the Rules of the Road. Also check out the many bike safety classes offered by the League of American Bicyclists.

Q: If I am not riding do I have to register?

A: Everyone must register for the event, if you are riding or not. For safety reasons and accountability, we ask that everyone fill out a registration form and sign a liability waiver. Every registered person receives a wristband that allows access to functions, shuttle service, discounted entry fees at highlights or any other special arrangements we might secure.

Q: Can I volunteer?

A: Volunteers are welcomed and appreciated. As a reward for volunteering AMBA offers a $50 per day discount for each day you volunteer. These arrangements must be made before the first day of the ride. Contact Peter Wolf at pwwolf5757@gmail.com or call 334-524-0226.

Q: Is someone available to assemble or help me assemble my bike and break it down?

A: Please contact Blevins Bicycle Co., 8402 Whitesburg Drive, Suite F, Huntsville, AL 35802
(256) 270-8703

What to Bring:


Bike Helmet (a must!)
• Business type cards with contact information
(gives you a quick way to connect to new friends met on the ride)
• Cycling gloves
• Towels and wash cloth
• Tent
• Sleeping pad
• Sleeping Bag
• Tire pump for on the road
• Spare tubes and repair kit
• Two large water bottles, or a hydration pack, or both
• Working flashlight
• Bike lock and cable
• Cycling shorts and jerseys
• Cycling shoes
• Off bike clothing
• Personal medication
• First aid kit
• Insect repellent
• Identification for on and off the bike
• Medical insurance card
• Sweat headbands
• Camera
• Sunscreen
• Swimwear
• Rain Gear for off and on the bike
• Ear plugs for sleeping
• Toilet paper
• Kleenex
• Money
• Pillow
• Toiletries
• Sunglasses
• Binoculars
• Fishing Poles and Tackle
• Golf Clubs (there are some great courses nearby!)
A Bike

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