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Seminole Cyclefest 2015: details and information

Friday, August 7, 2015 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


As a cyclist who puts in more than 12,000 miles each year on Florida’s roads, I can say with no hesitation that the two main things that detract from my enjoyment of the ride are dangerous motorists and stopping for traffic controls. Even cyclists who ride on closed bike trails have to deal with pedestrian-traffic and cross streets.

How cool would it be to do a major group ride on public roads without having to worry about any of that stuff?

The Seminole Cyclefest is our one day respite.

I did this ride last year, and it was an amazing experience. A full, rolling police escort blocks off traffic and intersections as you ride. No slowdowns, no worry about automobiles, no pedestrians. Just you, your friends and a bunch of skilled police officers on motorcycles who are there to make sure nothing gets in your way. You’ll feel like a rock star on a bike.

Here’s a photo from last year’s Cyclefest (click to enlarge):

2015 Seminole Cyclefest. This was the "A" group before things really started heating up. I'm at the front, far left.

2015 Seminole Cyclefest. This was the "A" group before things really started heating up. I’m at the front, far left.


Last year there were two distance options, the longest of which was 60 miles (that’s the ride I did). This year I was very happy to lean that there are three options: 25 miles, 62 miles and 90 miles. I’ll definitely be doing the 90 mile ride.

Last year there was some controversy regarding the ride, mostly involving the pace. Rather than rehash all that again, you can read my ride report if you like. Disclaimer: that’s how I saw it from my perspective. I like to ride fast, and so I’m not claiming to be unbiased. 🙂

Organizer John “JJ” Fermanis has worked extremely hard to address last year’s issues by making sure this year’s ride has very clear-cut rules and pace restrictions. These changes, I think, are going to make sure there’s something for everyone, from the hammerhead to the casual cyclist, and everyone in between.

One of the problems that John has addressed involves cyclists braking, creating dangerous Yo-Yo’ing. John sent this to me last night on Facebook:

There is going to be a lot more communication with the escort, setting a group pace in the front so that when the escort motors hit the brakes, the cyclists don’t stop pedaling. Cyclists will need to be 50 yards behind the motors so that we don’t Yo-Yo.

John wanted me to remind everyone that the police officers have a throttle. You don’t have to worry about hitting them, they’ll stay clear. 🙂

He also added:

There are photo ops all over the route. The photographers can get the best pictures when we stay together and don’t create too many gaps. Tempo 22-24 paceline with some good strong efforts in certain places, but the intent is to stay together as a group. We will be going through the Wekiva area, so there will be some rollers.

This was just before we rolled out last year.

This was just before we rolled out last year.


This year’s event will be held on November 8, 2015.

I’ll be doing ride #1 (see below). If you’d like to be part of my group, please let me know. Note: you’ll need to be able to maintain a ~24 MPH pace for 90 miles in order to hang (on last year’s ride my average was 24.4 MPH, so ~24 MPH is a pretty accurate estimate).

Ride 1: A 90 mile escorted tour through scenic Seminole County that is being offered to 120 cyclists for the Inaugural event. This ride has been created as an extra way of fundraising for the ‘Kids House of Seminole County’. The fundraising goal is $5000.00 for the charity and all extra monies are to be put towards expenses and costs for managing the event.

We are urging cyclists within the community who are small business owners to help support this awesome addition to the event by helping with advertising and management costs by buying a sponsor bundle for 4 invited participants. Along with being a sponsor, you can also include advertising in the registration packets. The cost is $400.00 for 4 slots. Additional slots are $100.00 each and all participants are required to be able to keep a 22-24 mph tempo pace for the duration of the ride. There will be 2 SAG stops for water and food, and the rolling enclosure escort will not be waiting for solo cyclists that drop off the pace. This ride will be a 2×2 Marshalled Pace line ride with a steady tempo and there will be NO breakaways or racing tactics involved in this ride.

It is suggested that each squad that registers as a group to please wear matching jerseys so that you can represent your club or team with pride. This is an event that is showcasing to the local community that we know how to ride in a disciplined fashion and still go fast at the same time. Safety is the primary concern for this ride, and NOT Strava scores for the segments along the way. I also want to urge that everyone ride in the middle of the lane we are rolling in. We have a rolling enclosure escort blocking traffic for Stop signs and Stop lights, so please stay out of the bike lanes and shoulders so that we can keep clear of all debris that may cause delays with flat tires. We own the road for these 90 miles, so lets enjoy this opportunity and have some safe and fast fun!

Registration for the 90 mile route will be closed 5 days prior to the event and there will be NO walk up registrations allowed. Walk up registrations will be open for the 62 mile Metric Century route and the 25 mile route only. This is to allow time for t-shirts and other items to be ordered, and also to cut down on the lines the morning of the event.

Here’s the 90 mile route (NOTE: subject to change).

Ride 2: The 62 mile Metric Century route will be unchanged from the previous three years. There is one minor adjustment made so that more cyclists can enjoy the benefit of the rolling enclosure escort. This year the group will roll as one large Peloton, moving at a 17-19 mph TEMPO ‘double rotating pace line’ so that cyclists of different experience levels can enjoy a ‘Sunday Social’ group ride and benefit from all the photo ops that are located throughout the route. One of the goals for this year is to fill the bridge on Hwy 46 from end to end while drones fly along with the group while taking video footage for this year’s music video. Registration for this ride is open to everyone who has the ability to ride 62 miles with two mandatory SAG stops for water refills and nature breaks. The cost of this ride is $50.00 for online registration and $60.00 for day of walk up registrations. The walk up registration fees have been increased so that we can entice as many riders as possible to pre-register. This helps with the logistics for keeping the start time for the event from being delayed. There is also an option of a $250.00 sponsor packet that will allow business owners to be represented on the event website and that includes 4 registration fees.

Ride 3: This is the 25 mile route that is open to all cyclists that want to ride but only have a limited amount of time to participate and may also have lower experience levels mixed within their ride partners. This route is going to have something special added to it later this summer, so I will hold off announcing that VIP news until later in the summer. ???? This route will be supported by the Citizens Patrol Volunteers of the SCSO for the 2nd year in a row.

For more information and to get registered, check out the Seminole Cyclefest web site. If you’re interested in doing the 90 mile ride as part of my group, please contact me.

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