Part of the lure of the group ride is the friendly (or sometimes not so friendly) competition. Many groups have taken on the racing convention of having marked places along the route for sprint or KOM (King of the Mountain) points.
KOMs are, by definition, at the top of significant climbs. Generally points are awarded for the “category” of the climb, which is determined not only by the steepness and length of the climb, but also where in the route the climb falls. For example, if two climbs follow one right after the other, but are otherwise identical, it may be that the second climb is of a higher category, and thus worth more points.
Sprint points are a little easier to deal with. There’s a line, and the first person to cross it takes the point. Sprint points can also be a little more dynamic and exciting – at least in my opinion. As the group approaches a sprint point, folks will begin to jockey for position within the group, trying to place themselves best. The idea here is to hold of on starting the sprint until just the right time – optimizing the potential to get out in front before your fellow competitors can answer your challenge.
View Cycling Points; SAC, ELD, PLA in a larger map
Brian has a couple of caveats regarding this map, however:
Google’s StreetView is what I’ve used to locate most of the signs; some have been ground-truthed, but other have not. Also, in many cases its signed in both directions (county lines), but not always (city limits). So, you may be changing jurisdictions, but the sprint only counts if it’s signed. Also, the only non-jurisdiction sprint that is on the map is the Coffee Republic race training ride sprint on Auburn-Folsom. This sprint is marked on the pavement with a final line and hash marks every 100 meters from 400 meters out.
Also, as alluded to above, the number of points for a particular KOM is very subjective. It also depends greatly on where in the particular day’s route that climb might fall.
A huge thanks to Brian for putting this together. This is another great example of the benefits that a good club can provide. While getting together to ride with others is obviously key to a cycling club, it is what the club gives to the community that counts most. Cycle Folsom continues to provide services that help the entire cycling community – club members and non-members alike.