TMC Online Registraton
FAQ’s for Tour Of Mercer County – 2015
Where exactly does the Tour begin?
The “Tour of Mercer County” begins at the Shelter across from the Casino in Buhl Farm Park in Hermitage, Pennsylvania. The Park is located at 715 Hazen Road in Hermitage, Pennsylvania 16148. Buhl Farm Park has an excellent website with maps to the Hermitage location.
When is registration?
Pre Register online at www.mctrails.org or on the Day of Event Registration begins at 7:00 a.m.
and ends at 10:00 a.m.
When does the Tour begin?
There is no group starting time. Once you have registered and picked up your packet, you can leave at any time either alone, with anyone or with a group.
How long can I expect to be riding during the 15, 35 mile, 65 mile and 100-mile distances?
Using a 10 M.P.H. average, a rider will take 1.5, 3.5, 6.5 or 10 hours to complete his/her tour. Obviously, rates above or below this pace will shorten or lengthen the time to completion. Also, realize that these routes are not and cannot be exactly the lengths intended. These are approximate lengths and each route is intended to be at least as long as stated.
What will be available in the registration packet?
Various items will be provided to you in your registration packet. First and foremost, a map of your intended course and route que sheet with turn-by-turn instructions will be included. Sponsorship materials and information about Mercer County Trails and Mercer County may be provided.
What type of roadways will the tour follow?
The TOUR routes have sought to remain on secondary and tertiary roadways. Generally, tar-and-chip surfacing over old asphalt is one end of the spectrum and highway grade asphalt is the other end of the spectrum. Most of the tar-and-chip surfaces were laid long enough that there is no loose gravel. Tour directors will update these conditions if necessary.
Is there any assistance to navigating the course without constantly referring to the provided map?
Yes, there will be directional arrows just before (to make you aware of upcoming course direction) and at the intersection that will indicate a turn, or simply to notify you the course is continuing straight after an intersection or stop sign.
What is the difficulty level of the course?
Most hills are either rolling, or gentle grades. Mercer County is not flat. Luckily, the country roads leave good options to avoid a torturous ride up and down every severe hill. The courses were examined for best fit in distance, safety and scenery. That said Mercer County is only so flat. Each of the 35, 65 and 100-mile courses feature several hills of moderate difficulty.
After I begin my ride, will it be necessary to check-in upon completion?
No. We will not be accounting for riders returning. We continue to patrol the planned courses until it appears no more cyclists are on a particular loop. We do not patrol non-course roadways. It is in your best interest to be alert to the course arrows and remain on the routes in order to best assist you if the need arises.
If I cannot complete the ride that I started, how will I get back to the Buhl Farm Park?
There will be SAG vehicles to patrol the courses and to pick up those who have become stranded and cannot finish the course.
Will there be mechanical assistance on the courses?
No. All riders must bring their own tools, tubes, etc. There will only be the SAG vehicle as a last resort for the riders.
What will be done in a medical emergency?
It is recommended all riders ride together, and have a cell phone amongst the group. Cell-phone reception is good in most areas along the Tour route, but not an absolute certainty. The SAG vehicle will not be the equivalent of a medical vehicle. For general bumps & bruises of a fall, riders should carry a small first aid kit.
The weatherperson has indicated a chance of rain and/or perhaps worse. What will the Tour organizers do to warn cyclists of impending weather threats?
Rain or shine, the ride date will be firm. Riders will take the risk of weather events once they have left the Buhl Farm Park. The small two-way radios available today have NOAA weather bands by which riders can stay up to date on weather as the day progresses. The rider will have to seek shelter on their own beyond what may be able to be provided at any of the rest stops.
How many rest stops will there be?
Each course will have a stop. The 35 mile course will have two stops and the 65 and 100 mile courses will have multiple, well-spaced stops. The main rest stop for both the 35 and 65-mile riders will be in Mercer, Pennsylvania. The main rest stop for the 100-mile riders will be at Goddard State Park’s marina pavilion. The 15-mile riders will have a snack stop in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania.
I am arriving by myself to ride the Tour, are there any recommendations you would have?
Arrive early and interact with other riders so that you may be able to find a group riding your distance and at your expected ability level so that you may have your own support group with whom to ride.
This is my first Tour, what can you recommend?
First of all, choose the length most appropriate to your riding experience. If you have never ridden 60 plus miles, you may want to ride the 35-mile ride to get the experience of traveling new roads and reading a map. Also, bring your cycling friends, preferably ones with more experience than you. Make an inventory of your tools and repair materials to make sure you can fix most issues that may arise. Your local bike shop could go over this list and check your bike as well to make sure it is in good repair.
I have begun the Full Century (100 mile) course and determined some distance into it that it will be hard to impossible to complete it. Is there a turn-back point or an emergency return route to follow?
There are no return routes specific to a short return. The point at which the 65 mile course deviates from the 100 mile course will be the quickest way home as the 65 mile route travels into Mercer where one could return to Sharon by following the 35 mile course return route. If you are not feeling up to 65 miles reverse your route earlier.
What is the purpose, other than enjoyment, of Tour of Mercer County?
The purpose is to bring attention to the Mercer County Trails Association, the host organization. MCTA, Inc is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to build trails for cycling and other non-motorized forms of outdoor recreation in the Mercer County area. Please go to our website www.mctrails.org for more information. All donations to our cause are tax-deductible as allowed by the IRS for a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization.
If I were traveling to get to this Tour, where would you recommend staying if I arrive Friday afternoon/evening?
There are numerous hotels and Bed & Breakfast locations in the immediate areas of Sharon and Hermitage, Pennsylvania. Several locations are friends of the Mercer County Trails Association, Inc and listed are some names and phone numbers.
Tara-A Country Inn”, Clark 724-962-3535 www.tara-inn.com
Buhl Mansion, Sharon 724-346-3046 www.buhlmansion.com
Park Inn by Radisson, West Middlesex 724-528-2501 www.parkinn.com/hotel-sharon
Hampton Inn and Suites, West Middlesex 724-528-3030 www.sharonsuites.hamptoninn.com
Comfort Inn, Mercer 724-748-3030
Econo Lodge, Hermitage 724-979-4330 www.choicehotels.com
Hampton Inn & Suites, Mercer 724-748-5744 www.grovecitysuites.hamptoninn.com
Holiday Inn Express, Sharon 724-982-4600
Red Roof Inn, Hermitage 724-342-7200
Quality Inn, Hermitage 724-981-1530
Super 8 Motel, West Middlesex 724-528-3888
Cianci’s, Greenville 724-588-8550 www.cianci’smotel.com2015 TMC Registration 2