Cyclists of Iowa and Midwest America may have RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) and now Iowa’s Ride, but here in Georgia and the Southeast we like to BRAG! As the second longest running cross-state bike ride in the United States, the Bicycle Ride Across Georgia presented by Northside Hospital will make its 41st consecutive week-long bike ride beginning May 30, 2020.
And guess what? Registration for Big BRAG 2020 is now open on BikeReg!
BRAG is a Bicycle Ride, Not a Race
Like RAGBRAI, BRAG attracts cyclists from across the country. BRAG has become a mainstay for cycling clubs looking for a fully supported week on the bike and friend groups who enjoy the challenge of a cross-state ride complete with plentiful rest stops and nightly entertainment/ activities/ shenanigans. Parents seeking a healthy, affordable vacation have made BRAG an annual tradition that their children can pass on to future generations. There really is something for everyone!
Big BRAG, May 30 – June 6, 2020
BRAG hosts 4 rides each year. Our main event is the week-long summer ride, Big BRAG, which covers about 60 miles a day. Cyclists spend 7 days pedaling across Georgia on a different back-roads route each year. Additionally, riders are provided with outdoor and indoor camping facilities every night and are invited to bring along a couple of bags of gear that BRAG ports to the next town. There are full-service BRAG First-Class camping options provided by Pork Belly Ventures and many participants opt to book local hotel rooms.
More than Just a Bike Ride
Aside from the epic cycle routes, BRAG curates the best of Georgia food, beverages, and localities. Furthermore, our great post-ride entertainment and activities are very popular. After a long day’s work on the bike, there’s nothing like a toast at the BRAG post-ride parties each afternoon. Above all, the BRAG spirit keeps many riders coming back year after year to make BRAG a favorite vacation.
Also like Iowa’s ride, the Bicycle Ride Across Georgia changes the cross-state route every trip. Instead of riding across Iowa, we ride across and around Georgia. In a highly anticipated announcement, BRAG presents host towns and cities on January 1st of each year via social media and email messages. Georgia is, geographically, a very diverse state! Whether we take you through the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, across the marshes of the Golden Isles, or past the peanut farms and pecan orchards of our Southern Plains, the challenge is real.
It’s All About the Journey
BRAG’s first trip took riders East-to-West, starting in beautiful Savanah and ended 300 miles away in Columbus, GA. Over the years, we’ve gone West-to-East, North-to-South, around in loops and may have tipped our wheels into the surrounding states of Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and Florida once or twice. Celebrating BRAG’s 40th birthday in 2019, 1500 cyclists undertook a 500 mile trek that took them from the literal top of the state to the bottom. Beginning in the mountains of Ellijay, GA, at the top of Burnt Mountain, we celebrated the longest, toughest BRAG ever with a seaside Low Country boil in the port town of Darien, GA.
A Dream Team Vision
Another similarity to RAGBRAI, BRAG is a proud supporter of a youth-focused Dream Team. The BRAG Dream Team is a program focused on providing growth and learning experiences for youth through mentorship and cycling. The Dream Team provides mentorship to its program participants throughout the year. With the help and guidance of the coaches, program participants ride in all BRAG rides, broadening their horizons and providing a myriad of learning experiences they might not otherwise have a chance to experience.
A Ride for Every Season
Winter Ride, February 18-23, 2020
As mentioned above, BRAG hosts 4 rides every year. Our Summer ride is Big BRAG. BRAG’s Winter Ride is a relaxed, intimate, multi-sport tour of Coastal Georgia. The Winter Ride is suitable for all levels of cyclists. Each day we ride to different locations in the St. Marys area and visit such attractions as Cumberland Island, the Jekyll Island, Fernandina Beach, and Kings Bay Submarine Base. Each night we stay in hotels, enjoy happy hours, and sit down to delicious dinners. Non-riders are also welcomed.
Spring Tune-Up, April 17-19, 2020
Meanwhile, Spring Tune-Up in April is attended by hundreds of cyclists looking to stretch their legs a bit after a short Southern winter season. For Spring TuneUp, cyclists travel at their own pace along their choice of several routes each day of the 3-day weekend. All routes include rest stops every 8-12 miles with plenty to eat and drink to keep riders refreshed. Routes range from 20 – 100 miles, so this event is appropriate for any level cyclist. The start/finish will be at the same location all weekend, our camp at Sunflower Farm in Rutledge, Georgia where there will be food & drinks, hot showers, live music, and games at the end of the ride.
USBR 21, Fall 2020
Finally, our newest ride happens in the Fall each year and takes cyclists 250 miles along US Bicycle Route 21, from Chattanooga, TN to Atlanta, GA. The U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) is a developing network of officially numbered interstate bicycle routes that connect America’s cities, suburbs, and rural areas. Georgia recently joined the USBRS by designating a system of roads and trails as US Bike Route 21.
BRAG’s US Bicycle Route 21 ride is a great intro to long distance cycling or a great tune-up for experienced riders. Even more so, there is great entertainment nightly with bands, local attractions in our overnight towns, and the BRAG Bar. Each day we carry your luggage from town to town so you can focus on your riding. Like all our other rides, we also have plenty of rest stops each day so you can snack and get rehydrated along the way. Get a flat tire, medical issue, or bonk one day? No worries, we’ve got SAG (Support & Gear) that’ll come pick you up!
We Bike RAGBRAI in Iowa, Too
Because our founders were inspired by RAGBRAI to start the Bicycle Ride Across Georgia, BRAG makes an annual pilgrimage to Iowa every July to pay homage to the bike party gods. For the past 5 years, the famous BRAG Bus has toted a dozen or so Georgians across the country to partake in the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa.
The Bicycle Ride Across Georgia (BRAG) is a not-for-profit dedicated to providing affordable, quality bicycle tours in and across the state of Georgia. Now in our 41st year, BRAG is the second oldest across-state bicycle tour in the world and attracts riders from all around the globe. BRAG rides have covered thousands of miles and touched hundreds of towns throughout the years. Along the routes, Georgia residents open up their towns and communities to our riders, making for a truly memorable experience. The fellowship and spirit that comes along with all of BRAG rides keeps many participants coming back each year.