Grattan Express/Sleeper

The Grattan Race Series (Website | Facebook)  is a long-running (nearly 40 years) training race series up at the Grattan Raceway on Wednesday nights from May through August.  Check out the link for more details about the racing.

The Grattan Express

The Grattan Express is a Rapid Wheelmen group ride up to the race (in time to race, for those who would like to).

The Schedule

The ride leaves downtown Grand Rapids at 4pm from Rosa Parks Circle (135 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503).  It heads up to the race track via the White Pine Trail and Rockford, then 11 Mile road.  It stops at the Rockford North City trailhead (Main, near Lewis) before heading on at 5pm.  If you can meet us there, or work out the math to meet us in-between, please do!

The Details

The ride is designed to arrive early (about 6pm) to allow time to rest before racing.  This also allows time to take care of flats or mechanicals as a group.  That makes this a no-drop ride (within reason, bring your flat supplies and make sure your bike is in working order, we do have a race to make), though we may spread out and regroup a bit, particularly on the WPT.

Using the Rapid Wheelmen ride paces (see below), it travels at Good or Fast pace in Grand Rapids, eases to Moderate on the WPT, then picks up to Good to Fast pace as it heads East.

The standard planned route is 27 miles.  Downtown to Rockford via the White Pine Trail, then east to Grattan via 11 Mile (primarily).  The route is available on RideWithGPS here: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29670226
It can be downloaded using the link above on a desktop computer, or, if you have a premium account, it can be pinned or loaded to your bike computer via the app.

Check in with our Facebook Group or our Yahoo Group/Email List, or hit up race@rapidwheelmen.com regarding up-to-the-minute updates about the ride.  For instance, it may not happen if the weather is terrible (cold and rainy, hail, etc.).  Also, route changes are possible depending on road work.  RSVPing is appreciated.  We have a schedule, and won't wait long, but we may give a couple minutes or hold the pace up slightly if we know you're on your way.  No promises though. Schedule to keep.  Choo choo.

Once you've ridden up to the race, you're welcome to race, ride the track while warm-up is going on (see the Grattan Series website for details), or just watch the racing.  If you choose to race, you may have another 20-30 miles in your legs by the end (in the B race).  You can head home on your own while the race is going on, or hang around afterward for....

The Grattan Sleeper

The Grattan Sleeper is a ride back from the Grattan Race Series, after the racing  has ended.  It heads back to Rockford via 10 Mile, then south to Grand Rapids via the WPT.

Please RSVP for this ride.  (See The Details below for... details.)  This ride may not happen every night that an Express ride happens since, if no one has let the train engineer know there will be passengers, he may hitch a ride home.  It can be a long, lonely, dark ride home from Leg Wrecker country.

The Schedule

The ride leaves Grattan Raceway after the racing has ended.  Since the races end at different times depending on the amount of sunlight available, there are a wide range of times for this.  Probably 8:00pm or earlier for some early races, and as late as 8:45 or 9:00pm for the mid-season long days.  Expect to arrive downtown around 10:30pm.

The Details

This a no-drop ride, though we may spread out and regroup a bit, particularly on the WPT.  The route is mapped to Rosa Parks Circle, but, as riders peel off to head home, it may diverge.  Ice cream stops are possible.  Or taco stops.  On nights when PedalGR is taking place, a continuation to Founders for refueling is possible.

Ride pace is more erratic.  On the rolling hills of 10 Mile, fresh off a race, the pace may be high, but once on the WPT or in GR, it may have slowed to Casual.

The Sleeper route is much more likely to diverge than the Express route.  If having the route is important to you, please be sure to RSVP.  This ride is much more likely to modify the route to accommodate rider needs, such as routes home or, more importantly, ice cream, tacos, and/or beer.  Stay in touch, especially if you're hoping to meet us along the way.  The standard route is 24 miles and is available on RideWithGPS here: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29670261
It can be downloaded using the link above on a desktop computer, or, if you have a premium account, it can be pinned or loaded to your bike computer via the app.

Check in with our Facebook Group or our Yahoo Group/Email List, or hit up race@rapidwheelmen.com regarding up-to-the-minute updates about the ride.  For instance, it may not happen if the weather is terrible (cold and rainy, hail, etc.).  Also, route changes are possible depending on road work or, in this case, on a whim.  Please RSVP.

 

Ride paces: Easy: 9-11mph, Casual: 11-13mph, Moderate: 13-15mph, Good: 15-17mph, Fast: 17-19mph, Fast+ : 19+

Rider Safety

Helmets are required for every rider on a club ride or event. Riders under the age of 16 must ride with an adult. Headphones should not be worn while riding.

Rules of the Road

Please note that this is a leisure tour, not a race, and that we are riding on open roads, not a closed course. Riders are responsible for following all state and local laws regarding road use. Please respect and be courteous of other riders and our fellow road users. (need a refresher?)

 

TL;DR

Express
 

Sleeper