IS THERE WATER AVAILABLE ALONG THE COURSE:
There will be a couple of spots along the routes to get water.
If you’re looking at the Almanzo route:
MILE 34 • Urland Church (water, vehicle parking, Freewheel Mobile Service) *Please note that the church is just off course. This will be signed
MILE 58 • Possible Trail Magic
MILE 78 • Urland Church again (this time it’s on the course)
MILE 90 • Gas Station & Meat Market
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ME:
During this event, and in everyday life, we suggest you act as if no one is coming to rescue you. If you find yourself in an emergency situation, please contact the authorities by dialing 911.
If you are not comfortable with the idea of being completely self-supported, we ask that you instruct the people that are going to support you to keep off of the course. Adding vehicles to any portion of these courses will significantly increase the risk of injury to yourself and everyone else.
WHERE SHOULD I PARK:
You are welcome to park on the street throughout Northfield. To make it clear, we’ve broken things up below.
NO: PARKING on WASHINGTON STREET or E 4TH STREET
NO: PARKING in SECHLER PARK other than the designated camping/parking (there will be volunteers here to help)
YES: Tent camping is allowed
YES: Camping in your van is allowed
YES: There are grills for cooking in SECHLER PARK
YES: Parking on residential streets is permitted EAST of WASHINGTON STREET
YES: RIVERSIDE PARK has space for cars
Confused? See the MAP
WILL THERE BE RELEASE FORMS AVAILABLE TO SIGN ON SITE THE DAY OF THE EVENT:
No. We will not have any release forms for you to sign the day of the event. Please download, sign and drop of your form at any of the nine Freewheel Bike locations on or before the 16th of May, or bring your signed release form to the event and turn it in to one of our volunteers. If you need the release form, you can download it HERE.
WHERE IS THE STARTING AREA:
The official start line is at the corner of E. 4th Street and Washington Street. We will have riders staged from Washington Street back down E. 4th Street toward the river. If you want to be at the front of the group, be early.
DO I NEED TO BRING CASH:
You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. That said, there are a couple of places along the route that cash might come in handy for. It is accepted everywhere.
WHERE IS THE FINISH AREA:
The finish area will be at Central Park. It’s exactly two blocks east of the start line on E. 4th Street. There will be food trucks there and plenty of folks lounging around waiting for your arrival. It’ll be great and even greater once you get back.
WHERE DO I DROP OFF MY RELEASE FORM:
Release forms can be dropped off at any FREEWHEEL BIKE location on or before the 16th of May. On the day of the event, we will have volunteers accepting release forms under the gazebo in Bridge Square Park (which is toward the back of the starting area).
WHY DO I NEED TO SIGN A RELEASE FORM:
A signed release form is the only way we will be able to know if you’re participating.
I’VE NEVER RIDDEN GRAVEL, WHAT CAN I EXPECT:
Don’t worry. You’re going to do great. If you’ve never ridden on gravel roads before there are a couple of things to remember. First, you can do this…whatever it is. Second, if you’re scared of the rocks underneath your tires, try to find the lightest colored line in the road (It is usually the smoothest available. If there isn’t a clear line across the middle of the road, try the edges near the grass). Also, scrub your brakes on the downhills and don’t ever turn sharply. Trust your self and the bike, it will typically handle most everything for you if you let it.
WHY DID YOU TAKE THE RACING ASPECT AWAY FROM THIS EVENT:
This decision wasn't an easy one. We remember the anxiety we had when we attended our first “race”. Getting the bib number and figuring out the best way to attach it was intimidating. Lining up at the start line and walking through the mental calisthenics of comparing our rig to those that we saw everyone else on was stressful. Not knowing where to be and what to do when we got there was a struggle. This year, we wanted to eliminate all of that and simply celebrate the fact that so many people care enough to spend the time, money and energy to join us. We love the fact that you want to challenge yourself and we don’t want to add anything more to it.
WILL MY EFFORTS DURING THE EVENT BE TIMED:
This year we will not be timing the event, but we encourage you to keep track for yourself so that you can measure your efforts as they compare in the future.
WILL THERE BE A DECLARED WINNER:
If you’ve ever been on a group road ride you’ve probably experienced something similar to a “town line sprint”. If you’re not familiar, a “town line sprint” is a friendly sprint for a previously declared line on the road. Our expectations for riders this year is that they push themselves to ride as hard as they can and perform to the best of their ability. Someone will definitely be the first person back. We will be there to welcome them and we will likely capture their picture and give them a handshake.
CAN I PEE IN FRONT OF OTHER PEOPLE:
Just don’t do it. It’s not cool. It was never cool. It will never be cool.
Keep in mind the the expression “other people” includes homes with windows and passing cars.
WHY IS ALMANZO FREE:
Almanzo is free because it always has been. When we started this thing back in 2007 we wanted an event that stood only to benefit the people participating in it. There are hundreds of events in every state that raise money for great causes and highlight important organizations that definitely benefit as a result. Almanzo is about people riding bikes. Nothing more. Nothing less. As our founder has stated many times, “buying bikes can be inherently expensive, riding them shouldn’t be.”
I CAN’T RIDE. CAN I VOLUNTEER:
Yes. On the morning of the event we will need people to help collect release forms. We will need people to help with traffic control on Division Street. If you want to help, please let us know via the contact link at the bottom of this page.
HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD I BRING:
We wish there was an easy answer for this. Unfortunately it is entirely dependent on your body and your needs. The courses will pass at least one convenience store…and we can tell you this though, once upon a time we saw a guy ride the 100 mile course on just two small water bottles. We were so impressed that we worked for an entire year to get ourselves to the point where we could do the same thing. Years later, at some other event, we saw the guy who had amazed us all those years earlier and he told us that he had a small Camelbak filled with water in addition to his two small bottles. We were stunned.