Updated: September 17, 2021

What is the Firefighter 50 Bike Ride? The Firefighter 50 bike ride is a one-day cycling event to raise funds for the Pleasant Valley Fire Company in Westminster, MD. Our goal is for you to have a SAFE and FUN day of cycling in Northern Carroll County MD and Eastern Frederick County MD and Southern Adams County PA. The Firefighter 50 is NOT a RACE. NO roads will be closed for this event and ALL state and local traffic laws must be obeyed The date for the 2022 Firefighter 50 bike ride is Sunday, June 12, 2022.

Where is the event located? The Firefighter 50 Bike Ride starts and ends in the Village of Pleasant Valley, just a few miles North West of Westminster, MD. 21157. The address is the Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company 2030 South Pleasant Valley Rd Westminster, MD 21158. The website for the fire company is www.pleasantvalleyfire.org.

What is new with event registration: For 2022 we will not ask you to select a specific route when you register for the event. Just sign up for the Firefighter 50 and select the route you want to ride the day of the event. We have added a 40-mile gravel/dirt road ride.

Tell me about the cycling routes for 2022? For 2022 we have five great riding routes for cyclists of ALL abilities:

  • Century Loop :103 miles with about 5300 ft of climbing. The Century route has been modified in 2022 because of proposed road work in the Mountain stage, this may required you to cycle several hundred ft on hard packed dirt roads. The Century also has about 10 miles of technical descents, NOT suitable for novice cyclists. Please take this advice SERIOUSLY, you can get into trouble very quickly on these descents.
  • Metric Century: 62 miles with about 3500 ft of climbing. Route has been modified extensively in 2022 , we hope you enjoy the revised route.
  • Half Century: 50 miles with about 2500 ft of climbing.
  • 35 Mile Loop: 35 mile with about 1500 ft of climbing.
  • Gravel and Grit 40  40 mile loop with 50 plus percent gravel/dirt roads. This is a modified out and back course with about 2700 ft of climbing, Not recommended for bikes with less than 700 x 28 tires.

All routes have been developed by local Carroll County Maryland cyclists, they have selected the best of the best roads for you.

Will the routes be posted online? Yes, our final versions of the routes will be posted in mid-May 2022. We develop our routes using ride with GPS, so you can download the routes on your GPS. PLEASE remember routes can change at the last minute so be sure to verify routes the day of the event. When downloading your route on your GPS please also remember there can be can slight difference in the route information based on which hardware/algorithm you use. The cue sheet will be the GOLD standard for the route.

What does Show and Go Mean? At the Firefighter 50 Event, we use a Show and Go approach to allow maximum flexibility for the riders. You just show up anytime between 6 AM and 9 AM, visit registration for your armband and other materials and you are free to start riding anytime you want. l

Do you have recommended ride start times? Yes although we have a show and go start time of 6 AM- 9 AM we HIGHLY recommend you start your ride no later than the following times:

  • Century: 6:30 AM
  • Metric Century: 7:30 AM
  • Half Century: 8:00 AM
  • 35 mile: 9:00 AM
  • Gravel and Grit 40: 8:30 AM

Of course, all riders have different abilities but our experience over the past 10 years is that the times listed above seem to work best for the average riders.

Will the roads be marked for each route? Yes, all routes are marked with Firefighter 50 specific arrows with each route having a different color, arrows. For 2020 the route arrows are as follows:

  • Century: follow green arrows
  • Metric Century: follow blue arrows
  • Half Century: follow yellow arrows
  • 35 mile loop: follow white arrows
  • Gravel and Grit 40: follow red arrows

We use colored chalk with a water binder to mark the roads. The marks are ONLY temporary and disappear/fade very quickly. So if you decide to ride the routes after the actual event you will most likely NOT have consistent route arrows to use for navigation. We are NOT permitted by local and state authorities to apply ANY permanent type marks on any roads. For the century riders please note we use 14 in x 24 in plastic signs at critical locations to guide you on the Mt St Mary University Campus. NO road markings of any type are permitted on the Mt St Mary  University roads or property.

We have a website. For additional information and complete event details plus any last-minute changes/cancellations PLEASE go to www.firefighter50.com.

What about parking? We have hundreds of paved parking spaces and adjacent fields that can park thousands of vehicles, Parking will NOT be a problem for you.

What about bad weather? We ride rain or shine.

Why no rain dates? It takes a minimum of 9 months for our team to prepare for this event, with all the permits /volunteers /logistics/food/SAG personnel/ private property permissions required for the Firefighter 50. It is not possible to quickly establish an alternate approved date.

What if the event has to be canceled? If the unlikely event the event has to be canceled due to occurrences such as the Maryland State of Emergency or other serious issues we will NOT be providing refunds BUT we will gladly carry over your 2022 registration to 2023.

What is the cost to register? It costs $45 per person to register for the event. Same-day registration costs $50. All money raised ( 100%) goes directly to the Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company.

How do I register for the Firefighter 50? You have three ways to register for the 2022 Firefighter 50  bike ride. You can mail in a registration flier (found on our website or at your local bike shops.) You can register online with active.com  and finally, you can register the day for the event. Registration begins at 6 AM. There is an additional $5 charge to register on the day of the event.

Online registration (active.com) closes on Friday, June 10 at 11:30 PM.

What if I have a medical issue during the ride? For medical issues PLEASE call 911 to get professional help. Our SAG personnel are NOT medical personnel.

What about Tech Support? We will have Race Pace Bicycle technicians providing technical support at the firehall. Race Pace has been supporting our event since day one and they do an outstanding job. WE thank you Race Pace Bicycle of Westminster, MD.

Rider Safety??  Your safety is our NUMBER ONE priority. We will require you to wear a helmet. No Helmet No ride  NO exceptions. In case you forget your helmet, we will have a limited number of helmets we can loan out. We will make available at registration a rider safety sheet for your review.PLEASE review this information. We will ask/remind you/ require you to obey all traffic rules and regulations. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE cycle in a SAFE manner !!!!!!!!!!!!

Tell me about SAG ??  We provide a minimum of five Support and Gear ( SAG) vehicles supporting the routes. Need SAG help for any reason just give the SAG vehicle a thumbs down and they will stop and help you. We have SAG phone numbers listed on your cue sheets and on your armband, no need to try and remember a number. All SAG vehicles will have cold drinks for you and very minor repair items. All official Firefighter 50 SAG vehicles will have magnetic signs on their vehicles to identify them.

Tell me about food: We will provide bagels and donuts in the morning plus coffee and tea. We will serve an “all you can eat much from 11 AM to 5 PM. Our typical lunch menu is pit beef, veggie burgers, pasta salad fruit salad, an ice cream sundae bar (with additional toppings for 2022), plus many other items.

Volunteers ??? All the individuals you see supporting the Firefighter 50 bike ride are volunteers and are NOT paid. They volunteer their time, money and effort, and free time to support the Pleasant Valley Fire Company and the sport of cycling.  The majority of the individuals supporting the rest stops/SAG/event route development are avid cyclists. Some of the volunteers have over 100 hours of time dedicated to the Firefighter 50 cycling event.

Can I transfer my registration to another individual? Things happen so as in previous years if are officially registered and can’t make the event just call 240 357-0593 or email dfyonko@gmail.com and ask that your registration be transferred to another individual.

At registration, we will require the new rider to sign a regular release form.

What about Rest/Water Stops ?? We have rest stops and water stops approximately every 15 miles on all routes. Please refer to your cue sheets for locations. For 2022 we have added some additional water stops based on riders’ requests. In addition, the SAG vehicles have supplies.

Tell me about t-shirts and jerseys:   We have both high-tech fabric t-shirts and cycling jerseys for sale. You can pre-order and reserve a t-shirt when you register on active.com or when you send in a paper registration form. You can also purchase a t-shirt on the day of the event. If you wait until the day of the event to purchase a t-shirt we can’t guarantee we will have your size in stock. The cost of the t-shirt is $15 and we change the color every year. Jerseys are only available on the day of the event and the cost is $55 for 2022. We only order about 100 jerseys per year so it is a first come first serve purchase.

I have a question/concern/issue who can I call: For any and all issues please call  Dave Yonkoski at 240-357-0593 and we will be glad to help you. Also, his email address is dfyonko@gmail.com.

What about Covid? We will follow ALL local/state and federal guidance for COVID. How the 2022 guidance will impact the event will be determined.

2022 Firefighter 50 Planning Committee