Q. Is this an Iron Man event?
 A. No! This is not an "iron man" competitive event. Our name comes from the early iron industry that dominated northern Chester County in colonial times. Many of the courses wind through the creeks and valleys in which the early forges and furnaces were located and where the French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust has preserved 12,500 acres of scenic, environmentally sensitive, and agricultural lands.

Q. Is this a Race?
 A. No. No one is timed. Ride at your own pace and enjoy the beautiful countryside, much of which has been preserved by French & Pickering and is marked by “Preserved Forever” signs.

Q. May I register the day of the ride?
 A. No. 1,000-1,500 cyclists require a lot of food, facilities, and safety precautions. In order to provide a fun, safe ride for everyone, we must have a head count prior to the event.

Q. What if it’s raining?
 A. The Iron Tour goes RAIN or SHINE. All services, including breakfast, rest stops and lunch at the end of the ride will be provided regardless of the weather. If roads are wet, take extra care going downhill and on bridges, gravel and painted areas. It is strongly advised that you dismount and walk your bike across the wooden bridges which can be quite slippery.

Q. Are the roads closed to motor vehicle traffic during the ride?
 A. No. All roads are public and open to motor vehicle traffic, although traffic should be light since it is a Sunday morning. Fire police will be at major intersections to assist the cyclists’ crossing. It is crucial to ride safely, observe all local laws, and to be courteous to cars and fellow cyclists. Please stay to the right. Do not ride more than two abreast, and only ride two-abreast when the road is free from traffic. Stay on your side of the road; never cross over the midpoint of the road. When traffic is approaching from the front or the rear, stay single file and to the right. To help your fellow cyclists, call out hazards such as potholes, gravel, and approaching traffic (from front or rear). Also call out if you’re about to pass someone to give them the opportunity to move to the right to allow your safe passage. If you’re part of a large group, consider breaking into smaller sub-groups with a 20-30 yard gap in between so that cars can safely pass.

Yield to oncoming cars at the covered bridges.

Q. Are the courses hilly?
 A. We are frequently asked by those who have not ridden in the event in the past if the terrain is hilly. The answer is "yes" -- this is northern Chester County after all! However, our indefatigable course designer has worked very hard to avoid some of the steepest inclines, while ensuring there are challenges for the long distance riders.  The elevations according to RideWithGPS are: 12 miles - 491'; 20 miles - 1155'; 34 miles - 2011'; 50 miles - 3294'; 63 miles - 3886'; 75 miles - 4509'; and 100 miles - 6052'.

Q. I registered for the ride but found out I won’t be able to make it. Can I have a refund?
 A. Sorry, but registration fees are non-refundable. If you pre-paid in time to receive a t-shirt, you are welcome to stop by the Kimberton Fire Company Fairgrounds between 7:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on the day of the ride to pick up your shirt, even if you are not able to ride. After 10:30, the tee shirts will be sold.

Q. May I exchange my t-shirt for a different size?
 A. Unfortunately, no. We order the shirts based on the size you put on the registration form and do not order extras.

Q. When can I get a copy of the cue sheet?
 A. Cue sheets will be emailed to registered riders during the week leading up to the ride.  Be certain we have your correct email address.  Copies will also be available near the registration table. Each course has its own cue sheet.

Q. What should I bring with me on the ride?
 1) Helmet - No one will be permitted to ride without a helmet.
 2) Water bottles. Rest stops and the fairgrounds will have water and Gatorade to refill your bottles.
 3) Two spare tubes, pump, patch kit, tire irons – SAG aims to get to everyone as quickly as possible, but they might be tending to someone else when you need them
 4) Cue sheet – this will supplement road markings and provide emergency phone number
 5) ID and medical cards – just in case of an emergency
 6) Cell phone – it is against the law to wear earbuds while riding
 7) Any snacks you may need between rest stops (or if you have dietary restrictions)
 8) Sunscreen
 9) Weather appropriate clothing

Q. How many rest stops are there?
 1) 11 and 20 mile – 1
 2) 32 mile – 2
 3) 50, 62 and 75 mile – 4
 4) 100 mile – 5

Coffee, baked goods and fruit are served during registration. Lunch is served at the end of the ride.

Q. What happens if I have an accident while on the course?
 A. For serious accidents and injuries, call 911. (This is why you must take a cell phone!)

For minor accidents and injuries, first aid kits are available at each rest stop. If you feel you cannot complete the course, call the Help Lines number on your cue sheet. Please bear in mind that the roving vehicles cover a large area. It may be some time before a vehicle reaches your location.


Comments on the 2018 Tour

Here’s what some riders had to say about their 2018 Iron Tour experience: 

The course was a little challenging at times, but the scenery was magnificent as we rolled thru the beautiful countryside with the old farms, little villages and covered bridges. Each rest stop was staffed by a terrific bunch of volunteers who were extremely helpful.

I love this ride. Excellent markings, great roads, yummy frequent treats, and plentiful happy helpful volunteers. One of my favorite rides.

Thanks for everything! This is the most beautiful ride I do. Thanks for doing everything so well.

Thanks to all the volunteers and everyone who made it happen. A date always marked on my calendar for the last 5 years and next year will be 6!

Awesome! I loved everything about the tour! It was incredibly well organized. The volunteers were terrific, the course was beautiful and very well marked. There were ample supplies at the rest stops. The fire police at the busy intersections were an added bonus. And the post ride food was delicious. I liked that you had your conservancy signs on the protected property along the route. It made me feel good to see so much permanently protected land. I look forward to attending again next year.