|What is Apple Cider Century?||Registration||Activities & Events||Saturday||Sunday||Arrival||Accommodations|
The next ride is Sunday, September 30, 2012
Apple Cider Century (ACC) is an annual one-day 15, 25, 37, 50, 62, 75 or 100 mile bicycle tour of the orchards, forests and wine country in and around Three Oaks, Michigan. The ACC is a recreational and social tour for bicyclists. It is neither a race nor a test of stamina. It is intended that all participants ride the tour in a safe and intelligent manner.
Since 1974, it has become the Midwest's largest one-day century event with 6,000 cyclists participating in 2011. The Apple Cider Century is sponsored by the Three Oaks Spokes Bicycle Club. Monies raised are used to finance the Apple Cider Century Tour, the Backroads Bikeway trails, the League of American Bicyclists, Rails to Trails, donations to the Three Oaks Historical Museum antique bicycle display and to help fund community youth programs and other non-profit organization fund raising causes.
From September 1974 – 1979 the Apple Cider Century tour was held within the Village of Three Oaks. As our ride grew, we relocated 3 miles north to River Valley High School in 1980. After a 26 year hiatus, the Apple Cider Century has returned to where it began. We’re proud of our town and look forward to having you as guests to enjoy all that we have to offer.
The Village of Three Oaks is located in Berrien County, Michigan, approximately 60 miles from Chicago and Kalamazoo. Follow I-94 to exit 4 (US-12). Go East 5 miles to Three Oaks. Signs and security personnel will direct you to the start & finish location, now located at the Three Oaks Elementary School. The school is located on U.S. 12, in the East part of the village.
The weekend of the Apple Cider Century provides many interesting events Saturday and all you can eat breakfast and spaghetti dinner on Sunday. Come celebrate 38 years of touring!
How to Enter
All would-be participants in the ACC must complete and return the entry form with appropriate fee and a self-addressed, stamped, business size envelope. This will assure a return of your confirmation letter, with directions and motel and campground information. Since we must limit entries, you must act promptly to assure yourself a place. Remember that more individuals wish to ride the ACC than can be accommodated.
NOTE: Entries in ACC are limited to 5,500. Entry forms which are received after the tour is full will be returned with full refund.
The registration fee includes: Route Map with Route Markings, SAG Wagons, High Energy Refreshments, Fanny Flag, ACC Mileage Certificate, Spaghetti Dinner and Saturday Ice Cream Social.
NOTE: Children 12 and under are free when accompanied by a responsible registered rider.
An ACC T-shirt is available for purchase for those interested in obtaining an attractive T-shirt with a new design each year. An order form is provided on the application. Shirts will also be sold at the ride, but supplies will be limited. The sizes range from Youth Small (6-8) to Large (14-16) and Adult Small (34-36) to 3X-Large (50-52). This year’s shirt will be of high quality 100% pre-shrunk cotton, printed with a multi-color design on both front and back.
NOTE: All pre-ordered shirts must be picked up by 1 p.m. on Sunday, September 30th or they will be sold.
Non-Rider I.D. Bracelet may be purchased for immediate family non-riders only. This allows non-riders to enter the Ice Cream Social and Spaghetti Dinner. Adult bracelet is $10.00. Children 12 and under are free.
There are several activities for those who wish to enjoy the weekend in the area. The Dewey Cannon Trading Company can get you started. Literature on local events, winery tours and antique shops are available as well as a public restroom. The Backroads Bikeway Map with self-guided bike trails can also be found there. This signed and mapped bikeway system consists of 14 tours ranging from 5 to 60 miles. For a free brochure of these trails send a legal size, stamped, self-addressed envelope or postage to: Backroads Bikeway P.O. Box 366 Three Oaks, Michigan 49128.
The Three Oaks Library Historical Museum offers displays on antique bicycles and local history, as well as internet access. Other activities in town include the Vickers Theater for movies, the Acorn Theater for live performances, as well as several art galleries.
Early arrivals may pick up their rider packets between the hours of 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. E.D.T.Saturday starting at 10 a.m. E.D.T. and Sunday starting at 6 a.m., riders can browse the many area bicycle shop displays which will include parts and accessories. This will be located outside in display tents until 10 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. At the Saturday Afternoon Ice Cream Social, we will provide the refreshments and you can enjoy conversation and camaraderie at the Dewey Cannon Park from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. E.D.T.
Sunday morning packet pick-up begins at 6:00 a.m. E.D.T. at the Three Oaks Elementary School. Riders arriving on Sunday should use Exit 4 (I-94) at Three Oaks from the west and Exit 12 (I-94) at Sawyer from the north and east. Registration closes at 12:00 noon E.D.T.
Breakfast on Sunday morning is from 6:00 a.m. to 11 a.m. E.D.T. and is an all you can eat pancakes, eggs, sausage and choice of beverage. This is prepared and served by the Three Oaks Fire Dept.at a cost of $6.00 for adults while children 12 & under are free. Tickets may be purchased on the attached registration form or at the door. Riders can renew acquaintances while enjoying the early morning preparations.
Departing time for the ACC is up to you. You may start at any time between daybreak Sunday morning, approximately 7:30 a.m., until 12:00 noon E.D.T. Unless you are in excellent condition, we insist all Century Riders depart on or before 10:00 a.m. E.D.T.
When choosing a route, riders may choose the flat 15/25/37 mile routes or the rolling hills of the 50/62/75 mile routes, if you’re not ready for a Century. The cyclists attempting their first Century or looking for a real challenge will long remember the Apple Cider Century. You are free to set your own pace, the only requirement being that you finish the distance before dark, approximately 7:30 p.m. E.D.T. All riders must be off the routes at this time.
The ACC route map in your registration packet shows all SAG stop locations, found approximately every 15-20 miles. SAG stops will be open for a set time only, so check your map for times of operation. There will be plenty of apples, bananas, cider, cookies and high energy snacks. In case of wet or cold weather, “hot potato soup” will be available.
All registered riders will receive a Certificate of Recognition in their Rider Packet. After completing your ride the Certificate must be taken to the Information Table in the Three Oaks Elementary School to be embossed with the mileage ridden (15, 25, 37, 50, 62, 75 or 100 miles).
On Sunday, from 12:00 noon to 7 p.m. E.D.T., an all you can eat Spaghetti Dinner will be served at Three Oaks Elementary School. A complete salad bar with fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese, choice of dressings, bacon bits, Parmesan cheese, fresh apple pie, french bread, cheddar cheese and milk or coffee will be waiting upon your return.
Because of the great number of ACC riders, the Emergency and Repair SAG Wagons will be limited to those with justifiable needs. First attention will go to those whose bicycles have irreparable break-downs or the rider who has become ill or injured. Those riders who have simply tired in the early miles will receive last priority.
Only registered riders will be allowed into Three Oaks Elementary School. (T.O.E.S.), which means you must present one of the following: (1) an ACC Confirmation letter, (2) Proof of identification in the case of a lost confirmation letter, or (3) be wearing an ACC rider or non-rider I.D. bracelet.
Confirmation Letters must be presented at the registration tables by individual riders — no group packet pick-up. The registration packet which each participant will receive shall contain the following: Route Map, Fanny Flag, ACC Mileage Certificate, Spaghetti Dinner, Saturday Ice Cream Social and Rider I.D. Bracelet. This must be affixed to each rider's wrist at registration. No exceptions!
Entry into SAG Stops will be allowed only by riders wearing ACC Rider I.D. Bracelets. Bandit riders (free loaders) will not be allowed to enter the SAG Stops. Please assist us in eliminating the bandits by showing your I.D. bracelet when entering a SAG Stop.
There are several options available to those staying over Saturday night. A list of motel and campground info will be sent with your confirmation letter or by clicking here. Free camping will only be allowed on Saturday, September 29, at Watkins Park. There will be no indoor sleeping bag space or showers available.Watkins Park is located behind Harding's grocery store in the southwest corner of the Village, 4 blocks from T.O.E.S. Accommodations include restrooms, TimberTown Playground and laundry facilities nearby.
Before you go, all potential participants are reminded that they need not be expert cyclists to ride in ACC, but your bicycle should be in good operating condition. The major problem in past tours has been broken bikes, not broken bones. Get your bike in perfect mechanical working order.
We provide well-marked routes with apple arrows painted on the pavement well in advance and after every turn. Turn around symbols mark the pavement if you miss a turn and take a wrong road. For your safety we have support team members manning various intersections.
Every rider receives a detailed route map indicating mileage, toilets and SAG Stop locations. You will also find listings of emergency telephone numbers to reach the Dewey Cannon Trading Co. or T.O.E.S. The terrain and weather in Michigan is alluring but diverse. All routes follow winding country roads through forests of beautiful fall colors, along rushing streams, portions of the Backroads Bikeway trails and many apple orchards. The weather will vary from the sunny skies and 70’s of 1993 to the downpour and chilly 40’s of 1976. Early morning temperatures could dip into the 30’s and if it does rain, riders who are not prepared could be very uncomfortable. Bring rain and cool weather gear.
Safety for all participants is the prime concern of the ACC. Please obey all traffic laws and regulations.
We suggest using bike helmets, water bottles and wearing bright clothing for general visibility and safety. Be safe – be seen!
If you are accompanied by a personal SAG Wagon, make sure it stays off the routes and meets you only at food stops. Only the ACC-provided SAG Wagons should share the tour routes with the cyclists. Every effort is made to make the ACC both enjoyable and safe. Please practice safe riding habits.
First-Aid Stations will be located at every food stop and roving radio equipped SAG Wagons will also patrol the routes. If you see an accident or serious problem,report it immediately to the nearest ACC unit. In case of a dire emergency at your home while you are riding, we will attempt to contact you. Leave the ACC Emergency Number (888) 877-2068 at home with your family or friends. It is important to note that the number will be connected only during the ACC weekend and that it is to be used only in case of a very serious emergency. HAM radio communications will be provided by channel 146.82 (88.5 PL) to monitor the ACC. In addition, ACC riders should carry 50¢ in case an emergency phone call must be made. Your registration packet will include emergency phone numbers for areas through which the routes pass.
Important Notice: We receive many reports of cyclists riding three and four abreast without regard for the traffic on the roads. Please be aware of traffic waiting to pass or for possible oncoming traffic while climbing hills and going around sharp curves. For your own safety as well as the safety of the cyclists, remember to stop at stop signs, yield right of way and please stay to the right unless you are passing another cyclist. Don’t let an accident ruin your weekend.Area police will be issuing citations to cyclists caught violating these traffic regulations. Our ACC Roving SAGs that observe such violations will be recording rider #’s of those cyclists. They will be reported to the Tour Director and you can be assured that these riders will not be returning on any future Apple Cider Century tours. Note that the proper initials/signatures are required on your entry form in order that it be accepted: (1) Be certain that the release line shows the proper initials. If you are 18 or older, you are to affix your own initials. If you are under 18 your parent or legal guardian must sign the release. (2) If participant is under 13 and not accompanied by cycling parent, the name of a responsible adult should be given, if possible.
ACC can make no refunds on accepted entries after July 31, 2012. We will retain $10.00 per refunded rider as a reprocessing fee. We make arrangements and expenditures on the strength of the number of entries received and accepted. We do not give refunds to persons who enter and fail to start. Entries may be transferred or sold to another person, but the new person must have the original confirmation letter in order to receive the original registrants rider packet. Remember! Your confirmation letter should be treated as though it were cash, if you lose it someone else could turn it in for your rider packet. No Shows to ACC can receive their pre-ordered T-shirt after the ride by sending your ACC Confirmation Letter and request to:
ACC T-shirt Request
Improperly completed entry forms will be returned with full refund. The limitations of time and our small volunteer staff will not permit late or resubmitted entry forms. When 5,500 spaces have been filled, we will return all excess entry forms with full refund. If you hope to ride in ACC, it is imperative that you act promptly and submit a valid entry form. Remember that all entry forms must be sent in with a self-addressed, stamped, business-size envelope.
If you have additional questions about any aspect of the Apple Cider Century tour, call the toll-free ACC HOT LINE at (888) 877-2068.