Six Gap Masked Start & Start Windows

The Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty riders will be staged into three groups for the MASK start on Sunday, Sept. 27 in Dahlonega.

Masks will be required for everyone while on the High School campus when they are within 6-ft of someone not in their household, including during the staging process at the start and at any rest stops. Once riders begin to distance themselves, masks can be taken off.


Staging Process

Starting at 7:30 A.M., the Six Gap Century start will be staged in three waves.  Riders will divide themselves in groups based on their predicted average speed:

  • Group #1: 20+ mph average
  • Group #2: 16-19mph average
  • Group #3: 15 mph and below.

These overall speed averages are for any typical long ride done by the participants.

Staging between 8:30 and 9 A.M., the Three Gap Ride and Valley Ride participants will also be divided in three groups:

  • Group #1: 20+ mph average
  • Group #2: 16-19mph average
  • Group #3: 15 mph and below.


Start Windows

There will also be start window​s for all routes. Riders may start at any time during their route's start window. This allows riders to not start with a mask on. Start times will be recorded as of the time a rider crosses the start/finish line.

  • Six Gap – 7:30am-8am​
  • Three Gap & Valley Ride – 8:30am-9am

 

All areas of the operational plan for ride weekend are being assessed during the current crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers are and will continue to provide updates each week regarding implementation of new practices and thorough measures to insure the safety and enjoyment of participants, volunteers, staff and partners at this event.

The Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty riders will be staged into three groups for the MASK start on Sunday, Sept. 27 in Dahlonega.

 

Masks will be required for everyone during the staging process at the start and at any rest stops. Once riders begin to distance themselves, masks can be taken off.

 

Staging Process

Starting at 7:30 A.M., the Six Gap Century start will be staged in three waves.  Riders will divide themselves in groups based on their predicted average speed:

Group #1: 20+ mph average

Group #2: 16-19mph average

Group #3: 15 mph and below.

 

These overall speed averages are for any typical long ride done by the participants.

 

Staging between 8:30 and 9 A.M., the Three Gap Ride participants will also be divided in three groups:

Group #1: 20+ mph average

Group #2: 16-19mph average

Group #3: 15 mph and below.

 

Participants will stage socially distanced for the start of the Valley Ride between 9:15 - 9:30 A.M.

 

All areas of the operational plan for ride weekend are being assessed during the current crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers are and will continue to provide updates each week regarding implementation of new practices and thorough measures to insure the safety and enjoyment of participants, volunteers, staff and partners at this event.

 

Information on online registration extended and the updated rider checkin process can be read here.

 

 

Make plans now to conquer the North Georgia Mountains in September - save $10 on registration through Aug. 31 -(insert HAKU here)

New Refund Policy and Ride Discount Offered for Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty

May is recognized across the U.S. as National Bike Month and organizers for the Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty bicycle ride want to motivate cyclists to register and train for the fall event. A new “no risk” refund policy has been adopted for 2020, and a $20 discount is in place to recognize Bike Month.

As one of the most challenging “bucket list” rides in the U.S., the 32nd annual event continues as scheduled on Sunday, September 27. The featured 104-mile bicycle route offers 11,200 feet of elevation gain. During Bike Month, a $20 discount is being offered to encourage early registrations. The regular fee for each individual is $86.

A new refund policy has been adopted to provide flexible options for participants. Should the event be cancelled later in the summer due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, participants can defer their registration to 2021, request a refund (minus any transaction/processing fees), or donate the registration fee to the beneficiary partner, ConnectAbility.

“The health and safety of our community, participants, staff, and volunteers is our top priority. We have a rich history of more than 30 years in organizing and operating the Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty. With our staff, partners and volunteers, we are committed to maintaining a quality event and a safe event,” said Robb Nichols, President of the Dahlonega-Lumpkin Chamber & Visitors Bureau. “We will continue to monitor updates from our local and state public health officials as we move through spring and summer. The new refund policy should make any cycling participant feel more comfortable to make a commitment to ride this fall.”

Northside Hospital returns for a second year as a Presenting Sponsor for Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty. Chestatee Ford returns for a seventh year as a sponsor. Other sponsors include Truist, The Pickle Juice Company and Infinit Nutrition.

“We’re proud to support one of the leading cycling experiences in the Southeast,” said Lee Echols, Vice President of Marketing for Northside Hospital. “The gap rides are legendary, and the organizers always make sure that the cyclists have a safe, memorable day.”

Georgia, as well as many states across the country, are scaling back various business restrictions and shelter-in-place directives related to the coronavirus outbreak. As cyclists refocus on training outdoors, state officials continue to encourage social distancing practices in groups of 10 or less. Indoor virtual training and outdoor solo bicycle rides continue to be encouraged.

The Six Gap Century’s challenging 104-mile route traverses six of the steepest climbs in the North Georgia Mountains. The toughest climb on the century, Hogpen Gap, averages a gradient of seven percent for 7 miles. Part of this segment along the Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway reaches gradients of 15 percent. The Six Gap route also hugs the base of Brasstown Bald Mountain, the highest point in Georgia, using Jack’s Gap and crosses the Appalachian Trail three times.

The Three Gap Fifty offers a 58-mile course with 6,385 vertical feet of climbing. This route includes Neels Gap, Wolf Pen Gap and Woody Gap. Wolf Pen Gap road is 11.8 miles long and has been called the most twisting road in the state. The 35-mile Valley Ride was added in 2010. This route provides undulating country roads to Turner’s Corner and back.

One flat price applies for any of the three ride options. The Bike Month discounted registration is $66. Each registration includes a custom T-shirt, snacks and beverages at multiple rest stops, changing rooms and showers, and a post-ride spaghetti dinner (from 11am-6pm). Online registration will end Sept. 20, or when the 2,500 rider limit is reached, whichever occurs first. If spots are available, on-site registration will take place Sept. 26-27 and the fee will be $86 plus $10 walk-up. The rides will take place rain or shine.

One dollar from each registration will be donated to ConnectAbility, a Dahlonega-based community not for profit organization which encourages and enriches children and adults with disabilities. The Race for a Reason program empowers and equips individuals with disabilities to participate in sporting events, giving them the chance to train and compete in athletic events using racing wheelchairs, handcycles and a supportive group of teammates.

The Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber & Visitors Bureau owns and operates the Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty, as well as the Bike Expo the day before the rides. The Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty boasts many of the same roads and mountain climbs that were conquered during the Tour de Georgia professional stage race. The Six Gap Century’s ultra-challenging route features six of the steepest climbs in the North Georgia Mountains. It is the largest participant event of the year for the organization, which grows the economy, attracts visitors, advocates for all businesses, and develops leaders to promote the welfare of the community.

KOM and QOM Now Offers Five Divisions

Summer is sizzling across the South. Training is also heating up for individuals who want to complete the Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty bicycle ride. We’ve got great news for all the climbers who want to challenge themselves on Hogpen Gap (Six Gap only) and Wolfpen Gap (Six Gap and Three Gap).

The King of the Mountain and Queen of the Mountain designations will now be awarded for Six Gappers and Three Gappers in expanded age divisions. There are now Five King of the Mountain and Queen of the Mountain categories for 20 total award winners:

  • 29 years and under
  • 30 to 39
  • 40 to 49
  • 50 to 59
  • 60 years and over


For the Three Gap Fifty, the KOM and QOM honors will be awarded based on fastest climb times on Wolfpen Gap. For the Six Gap Century, honors will be given for the best combined climb times on Hogpen Gap and Wolfpen Gap. Each winner receives a custom kit, jersey and bib shorts.


Elite cyclist Lauren De Crescenzo (Atlanta, Ga.), formerly with DNA Pro Cycling, took the 2019 QOM in the Female 34 & under category for Six Gap. De Crescenzo set a world record on May 31, 2020 for “Everesting,” riding one bicycle route in a repeated pattern to accumulate elevation gain that is equal to the height of Mount Everest, 29,029 vertical feet. De Crescenzo, joined by her fiancee, used a straight section of the menacing Hogpen Gap climb for the then-record ride - 9 hours, 57 minutes, 29 seconds. She rode 24 laps of the 2.1-mile climb, which averages 9.8 percent grade. She was the first woman to record a sub 10-hour time. Since then, her record has been beaten twice in Europe (down to 8 hours, 53 minutes, 36 seconds).

“I’ve never ridden for 10 hours or done that much climbing. It was twice as much climbing as I’ve ever done,” said De Crescenzo, who now works in the Department of Injury Prevention for the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. “In the past 10 years, I imagine I’ve ridden up in the Gaps at least 100-plus times. It’s a great way to get out of Atlanta on the weekend! My favorite gap is Hogpen, but in reverse for its 9.8% average gradient. In May, I went up in 24 times and set the World Record for Everesting and had (the record) for almost an entire week!”

Her first half century was the Three Gap Fifty in 2010, when she was 20 years old. Her goal that year was to simply finish. Fast forward to 2019 and De Crescenzo used the Six Gap Century for a different reason, as she had retired from racing.

“Last year I decided to make a comeback, but this time I had a different goal - 100 miles and win the Queen of the Mountain for my age group. And take a sweet polka-dot jersey, making young Lauren proud,” she said.

If someone looks at her ride and says it is just too hard, De Crescenzo offers that anyone can ride Three Gap or Six Gap, and “you do you.”

“First, I would show them a picture of me from 2010 and say everyone has to start somewhere. The journey is the destination, just have fun. Cycling never gets easier. You just go faster.”

Bike Light Law Reminder

For safety reasons, if you plan to ride your bike to the High School from Lumpkin County Middle School or a hotel downtown while it's still dark (before 6:55 a.m.) and after the ride concludes (after 8 p.m.), you will need to have a light placed on the front and rear of your bike. If you do not have lights placed on the front and rear of your bike, you will be cited.

If you would prefer to ride without a light remaining on the front of your bike, we do have a bag check.

Georgia bike laws state the following in regards to lights:

Every bicycle when in use at nighttime shall be equipped with a light on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of 300 feet to the front and with a light on the back which shall emit a red light visible from a distance of 300 feet to the rear. Any bicycle equipped with a red reflector on the rear that is approved by the Department of Public Safety shall not be required to have a light on the rear of the bicycle.

You can find more information about Georgia Bike laws at www.georgiabikes.org.