Join us for our 10th incredible trip up and down the future route of the Firefly Rail Trail on Saturday, October 9, 2021. This year we are again featuring 3 starting locations with registration beginning at 8 AM. All proceeds benefit the work of Firefly Trail Inc. to promote the completion of the 39-mile multipurpose trail from Union Point to Athens.
Choose to start from:
- Jittery Joe's Roaster, 425 Barber Street in Athens
- Winterville Depot, corner of S Main & Parkview, Winterville
- Union Theatre, 101 Fluker St, Union Point
The full out-and-back course from Athens or Union Point is 83 miles, with on-route support and fully-stocked SAG stops (including restrooms) every 9-13 miles in Athens, Winterville, Crawford, Maxeys, and Union Point. This on-road ride features the lowest-traffic paved roads we could find close to the historic corridor of the Georgia Railroad Athens Branch. Riders who enjoy flatter terrain will especially enjoy the route from Union Point to Maxeys or from Winterville to Crawford. Options as short as 16 miles are available, making this a perfect ride for cyclists of all interests and abilities.
- Pre-registration is $40 through October 8*
- Students pay $30
- Day-of registration is $45
- Teams of 5 to 12 members are welcome to register for $35 each before the day of the ride.
* online registration closes at midnight, October 7, but you can register in-person at Georgia Cycle Sport, 1029 Baxter St., Athens, through Friday, October 8. Final pre-registration and rider bag pick-up will be October 8 from 3-6 at Georgia Cycle Sport. The Georgia Cycle Sport location is dependent on the COVID-19 situation at that time.
All participants will receive a NEW Firefly Trail custom neck gaiter by Hoo-rag (guaranteed to those who register before Sept. 15; while supplies last thereafter), ride support, a great swag bag from our sponsors, and one free pour of beer at festivals in Athens or Union Point. (Choose either Athens or Union Point as your starting point for your free pour. Must be 21 or over with ID and rider wristband to receive free pour. Additional beer available for sale.)
Celebrate the ride with us at this year’s festivals. All riders and your friends and family members are invited. We WANT you to come and have fun!
- The Rashe's Cuisine food truck, providing Jamaican inspired "home style", comfort food, will be at Jittery Joe's from noon - 4PM
Additional details for the Athens and Union Point festivals to come!
Everyone who registers before Sept. 15 and decides not to ride will still receive a Firefly neck gaiter (while supplies last) and a rider goodie bag. From Monday, October 11, until Friday, October 22, bags will be available at Georgia Cycle Sport, 1029 Baxter St., Athens.
Volunteers make this event possible, and all volunteers receive a complimentary Firefly neck gaiter as a token of appreciation for their time and assistance! Ask your friends and family to assist with the event while you're riding. Many time slots and locations are available. Sign up online at Sign-Up.com.
As of mid-July, the pandemic situation in Northeast Georgia remained mild but was worsening. However, the CDC, the State of Georgia and local governments have not changed their guidance for public events. We cannot foresee what conditions will be like in October but are hopeful that the need for most COVID safety measures will have ended. We may still need to use individually wrapped items and bottled sports drinks and water at SAG stops, and may also need to ensure that SAG stop volunteers and everyone using a SAG vehicle wears a mask, but it is too soon to tell. Please watch this page and our Facebook page for updates as we get closer to ride time. We pledge to have the safest event possible.
Event details and schedule
Ride Start Info, Important notes & Ride with GPS Route Links from 2020:
All starting locations, Athens, Union Point & Winterville:
- 8 AM: As soon as registered, riders may begin when ready. There will not be a mass start.
- SAG stops will open at 8:30AM in Winterville, 9AM in Athens and Union Point, and 9:30AM in Maxeys and Crawford
- All participants must wear a helmet and sign a waiver. A parent or guardian is required to sign for any minor under the age of 18.
- Be aware that this is an on-road ride and that you will be sharing the road with motor vehicle traffic. If you or a member of your family is not comfortable riding on the road, we recommend you choose the unsupported, off-road Greenway/Firefly Trail option in Athens.
- SAG drivers will patrol the course from 9 AM to 4:30 PM. Cue sheets will include a number to call for assistance. Be aware that south of Crawford, cell service is spotty. NOTE: SAG vehicles cannot patrol portions of the ride that are on the trail.
- SAG vehicles are for exhausted riders and riders with mechanical problems. If you wish to do a one-way ride, please make arrangements in advance with family or friends.
- SAG stops will close at 4 PM or after the last rider comes through, whichever comes first.
- The course will close and on-road support will end at 4:30 p.m. We cannot guarantee SAG support after this time.
- On the road, ride safely and defensively, but please be courteous to drivers trying to pass.
- If in a group, use good group etiquette, including pointing out hazards to other riders.
- We recommend not calling “Clear” to other riders at intersections as conditions can change quickly.
- We’re counting on you to obey the law. It’s your responsibility. It also helps us demonstrate to people who are skeptical about the trail that bicyclists are an asset to the communities the trail will serve.
See the 2021 GPS Routes are:
Union Point to Athens
87.3 miles * 2,979 climbing
North Oconee River Greenway + Firefly Trail
Fully off-road (no SAG support but an option for those who don’t want to ride the roads)
11.5 miles. 483 feet climbing