Frequently Asked Questions 


How early can I register and get on the road?

The onsite Registration area will open around 6:00 a.m. the morning of the ride.  The longer distance riders will want to be on the road between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m.  Our rest stops are scheduled based on a 7 am earliest start.  If you are riding the shorter distances you will want to be on the road no later than 9 or 10 a.m.  Our rest stops will have staggered times of operation which will be posted in the main pavilion and listed on the route maps.

Registration Hours are 6 to 10 a.m.

Can I register the day of the event?

Certainly – many people wait until later to register for a lot of reasons.  It makes some of our planning more challenging and you’ll take your chances on merchandise which are determined by pre-registrations.  Onsite registrants will still participate in our cookout at the end of the ride.  All merchandise – jerseys, tee-shirts and any others are sold on a first come, first served basis.  We have only a limited supply.


Can I use a credit card when registering or purchasing the day of the event?

Yes, credit card purchases will be available again.  Our registration staff will try to be as helpful as the Internet allows us to be.  Purchases go though PayPal but you do not need a PayPal account to use it.


What kind of support will be offered?

We will have drivers covering and positioned along the routes.  They will be able to assist with simple mechanical problems and flats only.  They will also transport anyone not able to complete the route.  First aid supplies will be available for the rider to self-administer.


What are the routes really like?

Mostly flat with some rolling areas.  The two longer routes have some modest hills to enjoy – no need to do any gearing changeovers for the tour.  The routes are almost entirely on country roads but a few highways need to be crossed.


Can I buy wine on the ride?  Do I have to carry it on my bike?

Yes, you can purchase some wine bottles at each of the wineries if you wish.  They take cash, credit cards and checks.  If you anticipate that your might want to make a wine purchase, make sure to carry money or credit card with you.  Prices range form $6 to around $18.  Your wine will be delivered back to the starting area for you.  Be sure your name is printed clearly on the bag.  Ohio law requires that wineries charge a small fee for wine samples.


Is it safe to drink wine and ride?

The wine that will be offered to you for sampling at the wineries will be in 1 oz. or smaller portions.  These are for tasting so you can make a purchase decision, the same as any wine tasting.  How one or two ounces affects you varies per person based on body mass and amount of food also ingested.  We suggest that you do not sample very much wine at the res stops.  We suggest that if you do sample the wine, you also eat plenty of food along with the samples.  Some cars and protein will help balance out the effects small amounts of alcohol might have.  Hydration is always important on rides like this and extra hydration will help dilute any alcohol in your system.  Our volunteers at the rest stop might ask you to wait a while before resuming your ride.  Or you might request a lift back to the start.


I’m a slow rider: will you close up while I’m out on the road?

Regarding food trucks, we will have more information this topic as we start to receive commitments from food truck vendors.  The support vans will sweep the routes late in the afternoon; any riders not back by 6 p.m. will be asked to ride in the van.  The last rest stop is scheduled to close at 4:00.


I’m new to rides like this.  Will the routes be marked?

We use a route marking system unique to this event: a wine bottle with an arrow point to indicate every turn and sometimes to indicate going straight through an intersection.  We use the stand two signs before and one after the turn method.  Each of the routes will have different color.  There will be a sign in the registration area and at the start to show you what the route marker looks like.  Quality cue sheets and maps for each route are provided as well.  The routes will be together often so you need to be watchful for when your route changes direction: this will always be well marked for you.  The cue sheets and maps show turns and the accumulated mileage for your route.  We haven’t lost anyone yet, although if you do not pay attention you could possibly get off the route.  That is why we offer you markers, cue sheets and maps.  Phone numbers for the support team are provided on the maps.  Also, for the riders who use GPS devices check out our Ride With GPS section for what is offered there.


Can I change routes after I have started on one?

Yes and that happens often we’ve learned.  Late July can have some high temperatures and high humidity that helps us change our minds about the distance intended.  Ask at the rest stops where you could alter your plans.  In general, anytime you want the shorter route, switch to the GREEN rout marker.  The tour director will be at the registration area before the ride and can help you plan and alternate routes.  Often groups who ride different routes will want to know where and how to meet up on the road – that is when you can do your planning.


Will I be able to freshen up between the ride and the cookout?

The starting place has running water and flush toilets but no showers.  You will be able to rinse off your road grime but that’s about it.  If there’s any consolation to it, we’ll all be about equally “fresh”.


Do the longer routes just do multiples or are they unduplicated?

We believe our guests deserve the best routing we can design.  To simple have you repeat a route would be very boring at the least.  Each route is unique although in some cases you will find yourself riding along with others from different routes.


What if you run out of merchandise before I get a chance to buy what I want?

Your best bet is to preorder items on time while registering online in the months prior to the event.  That way we can assure your item(s) will be there for you.  We also over-order intentionally to quests can still purchase some things onsite.  We do run out sometimes with the popular tee-shirts and jerseys.  We normally will take prepaid orders onsite and order new stock later – we will have your item(s) shipped to you.  We also will have some merchandise left over from previous years that riders like to purchase. 

What happens if it rains?

This is a rain-or-shine event.  In the past we did have some rain and it was less than optimal, but all riders still had a good time.  Once you’re wet you can’t get any wetter.  Mid-Summer in Northern Ohio can conjure up all sorts of weather potentially but usually it is pretty warm: 70s or 80s and winds will often pick up in the afternoon.  Our routes are designed for the usual westerly winds to offer you a bit of a tail wind at the end of your ride.  At least that’s the theory.


What about fog?

In 2011 we had some dense fog early in the morning, and we needed to delay some riders starting out.  We will exercise our vigilance and ask you not to begin your ride if we feel fog or any other condition makes your ride dangerous.


Are helmets required?

Absolutely! We strongly believe in the value of a cycling helmet.  It is no joke that helmets reduce the risk of server cranial damage by 85% in the event of a fall.


If you have additional questions, you can contact the tour director, Scott Edmundson, listed in the Contact Us section of this website.


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Silver Wheels Cycling Club is a 501 C(7) non-profit organization. P.O.Box 242 Vermilion, Oh 44089

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