Frequently Asked Questions for Riders
Have a different question? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll get back to you! Have a question on ride day? Call the Rock to Rock HQ (203.285.6147).
I've done this before. What's new for the 10th anniversary?
You can rely on the part of Rock to Rock you love: A beautiful spring day. Options for everyone: 8, 12, 20, 40, 60 mile routes. A critical cause.
And every year, we're trying to make Rock to Rock a little better and more impactful. That's especially true as we plan our 10th Rock to Rock! Here are some of the things you can look forward to ... More exciting 10th anniversary announcements soon!
- A new family parade route, complete with banners and floats that celebrate our 10-year vision for our community.
- A special matching fund for our 10th year -- more details soon!
- Better-than-ever rest stops, route signs, and other things that'll make this the best Rock to Rock ever for YOU!
Can I pick up my t-shirt, bag, and rider number in advance?
Good call. This is an awesome way to save time at check-in on event day.
Stay tuned for details!
When is the last chance to sign up?
Online registration continues until 6am on event day.
You can also register in person on event day, but it costs $5 more, and the line will probably be longer. Registering earlier sounds like a better idea to us.
What should I do to get ready?
Make sure your bike is ready! Pump up your tires. Test your brakes. Shake your bike, and make sure nothing is loose. Check the quick release levers on your wheels to make sure they're tight. Take your bike out for a ride. If you have any questions or concerns, bring your bike to your favorite local bike shop (The Devil's Gear is a Rock to Rock sponsor! We love them!). We will have mechanics from The Devil's Gear on site on the 30th if you have last-minute problems, but don't wait to make sure you're ready until then!
Make sure you are ready! Our 8-mile ride moves slowly, and does not require a lot of advanced conditioning. But, if you are riding 12, 20, 40 or 60 miles, Rock to Rock should absolutely not be your first time out on your bike for the season. These rides are designed for people who have done training and conditioning in advance.
What should I bring with me?
Helmets are required. Wear one! A very limited number of helmets will be available to borrow on site.
Bring a water bottle, sunscreen, sunglasses, and weather-appropriate clothing. Bring an extra bike tube.
Bring some cash for lunch. Breakfast at Common Ground and snacks along our route are free to registered riders. At East Rock, you will have the opportunity to buy lunch from a bunch of great local vendors -- with proceeds going to the 20+ Rock to Rock partner organizations!
What happens if it's raining?
Rock to Rock runs rain or shine. We are ready to welcome you whatever the weather.
Where does Rock to Rock start? How do I get there?
Rock to Rock kicks off from Common Ground, at 358 Springside Avenue in New Haven. Get directions.
Springside Avenue will be closed between Blake and Common Ground's site on the morning of Rock to Rock. Access to Springside will only be available from Wintergreen Avenue.
There will be VERY LITTLE parking for rider's cars at Common Ground. All cars will park at Southern Connecticut State University's Wintergreen Garage. You can park there and ride your bike over to Common Ground. More details below!
At 8:30 a.m., there are optional bike rides departing from East Rock and Yale Campus for event start. An informal group sets off from the corner of Orange and Cold Spring, heading for the event start at Common Ground. At the same time, another informal convoy will depart from Hillhouse and Grove, also heading for the event start at Common Ground. Join them if you can!
What time should I get there? When do the rides take off?
Registration and breakfast open at 7:15am.
We encourage you to arrive at least an hour before your ride departs, especially if you are parking at SCSU and riding over. Here are the departure times for our rides:
- Metric Century: 8am start
- 40-Mile Ride: 9am start
- 20-Mile Ride: 10am start
- 8-Mile Family Ride: 10:30 start
- 12-Mile Adult Ride: 11:00 start
Where should I park?
There will be VERY LITTLE parking available at Common Ground -- we anticipate it will all fill up before 8am. There will be family dropoff at Common Ground for those who want to stop by with bikes and riders before parking at SCSU.
Parking is available at Southern Connecticut State University, at Wintergreen Garage (right across the street from the Army Reserve at 200 Wintergreen Avenue). Park there, and ride your bike just a few hundred yards to Common Ground!
There will be racks to park all bikes at the base of Common Ground's campus while you are signing in and getting breakfast.
What should I remember while I'm riding?
Be safe! Follow the rules of the road.
Pay attention to ride guides. Do not get ahead of the lead ride guides, or behind your support vehicle.
Stop at rest stops.
It is spring! There are lots of potholes along our route. Watch out for them, and signal hazards to other riders.
If you have bike problem, or need help, there are support vehicles on every ride. If your bike needs repairs along the way, a support vehicle will pick you up and bring you to the next rest stop to take care your your needs.
You are responsible for your own possessions along the route. Keep track of them!
If you need help during the ride, call the Rock to Rock HQ (203.285.6147).
I hear there are awesome prizes. Where do I get them?
Heck yes, we have great prizes for you. Check them out.
Prize pickup is at East Rock Park, at the end of the event. Stop by the prize table there. We'll also have leftover Rock to Rock t-shirts there, if you missed them at the start!
What if I'm riding with someone who is under 18, or am under 18 myself?
All riders under the age of 18 must have a waiver signed by their parents. This will happen automatically if a parent registers a minor online. Print waivers will be available on site for parents who register their children the day of the event. If you need a digital copy of the waiver form in advance of the event, please email email@example.com. Any rider under the age of 18 who does not have a signed parent waiver will not be able to ride.
Riders must be 14 years or older and have a road bike to participate in the 20-, 40- and 60-mile rides. These are challenging rides, and all riders should be physically prepared. Please note that mountain bikes are not allowed on the 40- and 60-mile rides (only road bikes or hybrids can be used for these rides).
Families/groups with riders under the age of 14 must ride together and must have adult supervision for the children. Rock to Rock ride guides will not be able to supervise young riders. We recommend that each adult have no more than 2 children (ages 3-5) or more than 5 youth (ages 5-17) under their supervision and children under the age of 5 should be riding along in a child's seat, tag-along, or bike trailer.
All participants on the ride must wear an approved and properly fitted bike helmet, whether or not they are personally operating the bike, or ridign along as a passenger.
All children riding their own bikes must remain in close proximity to the adult with whom they were registered, but you should have a plan in the event they get separated. Instruct them to seek out a Rock to Rock marshal (wearing a designated helmet cover). The marshals will assist with reuniting teams.
For safety reasons, no balance bikes will be allowed.
Please take into consideration younger riders' age, strength, size, and weight of their bikes, since that will determine how far it is advisable for them to ride.
Guide to Children's recommended Bike Sizes
Child Age Child Height Tire Diameter (outside)
Age 2 – 5 26 - 34 inches 12 inches
Age 4 – 8 34 - 42 inches 16 inches
Age 6 – 9 42 - 48 inches 18 inches
Age 8 – 12 48 - 56 inches 20 inches
Youth 56 - 62 inches 24 inches
56 plus 26 inches
How far should a child or youth ride?
Because there are so many individual variables, it is very difficult to have a hard and fast rule. Nonetheless, you can use the following as a guide.
Many entry level child bikes do not have gears, or have significantly different gear ratios, and are heavy for their size, thus making them work less efficiently to cover the same distance as an adult on a bike. That, combined with the fact that they are smaller, and therefore have shorter limbs (levers), make them less powerful, and therefore proportionately much more difficult to keep up.
An average 5-year old, riding without training wheels, using a 12-inch wheel bike will have to pedal three times as fast as an adult on a 29-inch wheel bike in order to keep up the same speed and/or cover the same distance. To extrapolate: if an adult plans to ride 8 miles, that translates to that 5-year old riding 24 miles!
So, set your expectations accordingly.
We hope that Rock to Rock is fun for all participants, from the most accomplished adults to the littlest riders. By being realistic about everyone’s abilities, you have the best chance of it being an enjoyable time, rather than an unpleasant experience. Any time you’ve had enough fun, it’s OK to stop. The SAG vans and trailers will be there to transport you and your bike to the end of the course at East Rock. Also note: if anyone falls too far behind the group, you may be asked to accept a ride to the next rest area or to the end of the course.
If a school or community organization is organizing a team that includes riders under the age of 18, that school or organization is responsible for (1) getting waivers signed by parents, and (2) providing supervision for their young riders during the ride. We ask that schools and organizations have at least 1 adult present for every 5 minors who are riding.
I'm riding 8 miles. What should I know?
- Our 8-mile ride leaves at 10:30. Arrive early!
- The ride will make stops at Edgewood and Scantlebury Parks.
- Check out your route here.
- Police will be supporting this ride. We will ride together at a leisurely pace. This is definitely not a race!
- If you are riding with children, stick with them! You are responsible for supervising them during the ride.
I'm doing the 12-mile, 20-mile, 40-mile, or Metric Century route. What should I know?
- The 12-mile ride starts at 11am, 20-mile ride starts at 10am, the 40-mile at 9am, and 60-mile riders leave at 8am. Arrive early for check-in.
- All turns will be marked with arrows on the pavement or Rock to Rock road signs. Routes are color coded.
- We will have LIMITED printed maps for our route. You can check them out now on our web site.
- Our 12-mile route includes a short section of gravel path.
- Police are NOT supporting these rides. Please remember: you are riding with traffic, as traffic. Please follow all laws and be safe.
- Ride no more than two abreast.
- If you don't feel well, tell someone. We have a sag vehicle to support any rider who doesn't feel up to finishing the ride.
- Bring a bottle of water. The 12-mile and 20-mile rides will each have 1 rest stop. We have a rest stop around the 12-mile mark (for the 20-, 40- and 60-mile rides), a rest stop ~10 miles from the finish on the 40- and 60-mile routes, and 1 additional rest stop for the 60-milers, but it is always good to be prepared.
- If you have a negative interaction with a driver, let it go -- keep your own safety foremost in your mind!
- If you need to stop, make sure the rider behind you knows -- don't just hit your brakes.
- Communication is key. Signal for turns, call out stops, and point and call when you see potholes/glass. These are open roads, and the person behind you may not see the same dangers you see.
- Ride support for all rides will end at 2pm.
How do I get back to Common Ground and the parking lot after the ride?
You have lots of options:
- Ride back across town, either on your own or as part of the 3:00 group ride back to Common Ground.
- Park a car, or arrange a pick-up, from College Woods, at the corner of Orange Street and Cold Spring Avenue.
- Score a spot on the Common Ground school bus or a Parks Department vehicle, heading across town every half hour between 1:30 to 2:30, with a truck for bicycles provided by New Haven Parks Department and Common Ground. All shuttles will leave from the corner of Orange St. and College Woods.
- Ride the CT Transit city bus. Schedules available on the CT Transit Web site. Each city bus has a rack with capacity for two bicycles.
Is this going to rock?
How did you manage to write so much, and still not answer my question?
We're sorry. Shoot us a message: firstname.lastname@example.org.