The Glassner Autumn Challenge

Start/Finish

It appears to be another ordinary post about another century . . . not so fast, my friend. A part of the Alabama Backroads Series, The Glassner Century is named after Dr. Jim Glassner who was killed in a cycling accident in 2001. This was my first time making it over to Pintlala, Alabama for this much talked about century. I have sung the praises of The All You Can Eat in Huntsville, Alabama, and this one is next to it. I’ll say it again: if you are a century event coordinator pay attention to this post.

For many cyclists, traveling to an event, the packet pickup needs to be flawless and without long lines. Glassner does this perfectly. Opening with enough time to pin your number and get your bike ready, a wonderful breakfast is waiting for all riders and his/her family. Bike rack stations are erected in perfect places, close to parking but also near enough to church hall where breakfast is being served. Mechanics are tented near the bike racks in case of needed assistance. I also don’t know how they did it, but The Glassner Radio Challenge was being broadcast over the grounds, with cool cycling tips and great music . . . a very nice touch. Photographers (not just one) are dotted everywhere, snapping pictures, at the start/finish and along the route. Speaking of the route, there were multiple SAG vehicles combing the roads. I saw SAGs at this century than any other.

My Beautiful #1 Fan
My Beautiful #1 Fan

I don’t dabble in rest stops too much. I usually hit the 50- mile one and the last one for a re-water. The cool thing about Glassner was each rest stop was themed, like Superhero, Tropical Paradise, and Roadkill Cafe. The whole ride was also sponsored by GU, so gels and chews are aplenty. The route was so-so. I liked the fall colors in the rolling hills area of Montgomery, Alabama, but the roads are pretty bad . . . and I mean REALLY bad in sections. Then there was also some confusion about directions, turning at the 73-mile mark, but it worked out, just costing some time.

All Done
All Done

All-in-all, I thoroughly liked this ride. After pulling through the line, cow bells and photographers and event workers were on-hand to greet and cheer the finishers. To my adoration, a row of masseurs were set up for an after-ride rub down. I felt (although only in my very active fantasy world) like a UCI rider! But the Glassner wasn’t finished yet . . . a full after-ride meal of chicken or beef tacos and ice cream was waiting for the rider and his/her family! Yes, please! If you get a chance, when down this way, give this one a try. It’s generally around the first weekish of October. Dr. Glassner would be proud.

BON VELO!

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