The Budweiser plant out in Cartersville, GA is a popular meeting place for local cyclists and triathletes. Its well-paved and maintained country roads roll through the backcountry and pastures in northern Georgia. You'll find the roads are dotted with minimal traffic, and the surrounding fields dotted with cows- a perfect contrast to the city.
The course can be broken into 15, 25, 33, 65, or 100-plus mile rides, but it is often made into several loops to enable easier refueling back at the Bud Plant parking lot and more flexibility with meeting training plan mileage. The Bud Plant hosts the popular Beautiful Backroads Century, aptly named for these great locations. The Bud Plant ride is great for all levels of cyclists, but it can be extra hot during the summer due to lack of shade during some segments of the ride.
What Makes It Great
The Bud Plant ride is one of the few places within a short drive of Atlanta that you can cycle in the open road for many miles without encountering motor vehicles. Overall, the quality of roads are great. It’s a relatively flat ride, though there are some rolling hills and several short and steep climbs. The many variety of loops sweep across pastures, forests, and farmlands, making for a pleasant ride for all skill levels, especially if one is looking to escape the bustle of the metropolitan.
There are few gas stations along the route, so be certain to bring enough food for the ride. There are several unofficial rest stops, but the best place to fill up your water bottles and use the restroom is at Sosebee Cycling Park )(this also doubles as a Bud Plant parking alternative) which has a portable bathroom and water pump- at 9 miles from the Bud Plant, it lies toward the end of most bike loops.
Who is Going to Love It
Cyclists who like long stretches of open country road that spread across rolling hills and broad pastures will thoroughly enjoy this ride. The route is very popular among cyclists in Atlanta, and the residents around Cartersville have learned to peacefully coexist with riders who visit the area. It’s also convenient that most of the busier roads have a wide shoulder enabling motor vehicles to easily pass. If the weather is pleasant, you are guaranteed to pass many cyclists along these routes, which provide a nice sense of community and camaraderie. Beware of unleashed dogs in this area as there have been rare incidents where cyclists have been bitten.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Parking at the Bud Plant is free. It is recommended that you either bring a cue sheet with you for the ride. Many local cycling groups and triathlon clubs host rides here, so you can easily tag along with them if it is your first time. Weekly rides can be found on Southern Bicycle League's calendar. The roads along the routes are marked with spray paint at every intersection in which there is a turn. Look along the right shoulder of the road as you approach an intersection and you will see either a “33” a “65” or a “100” with arrows indicating which direction to go in to complete that particular route. The numbers are easily visible as you ride along and are painted in yellow or white.