What a great time we had in 2004! Here’s the "thank you" summary I sent to all my supporters in 2004, after the Tour de Cure ride.
originally sent June 7, 2004
I wanted to spend a few minutes and drop everyone a line to thank everyone that supported me in the Tour De Cure American Diabetes Association fund raiser. I did finish the ride this weekend, completing the full 150 miles! And, I couldn’t have done it without your kindness and generosity, and the pressure to keep going when it got tough! Fortunately, I could complete the ride without the complications of diabetes, like circulation, vision, insulin management and other complications that would make the ride so extremely difficult for people afflicted with diabetes. Hopefully, the researchers will use the money raised to find a cure.
One quick note before I get on to the details of the ride – Donna spent the whole weekend as a volunteer, working at the rest stops, and cheering riders in at the finish line. The Tour couldn’t have happened without volunteers to support the riders, and it was really great to have her along!
About the ride…
Saturday morning was a great day to start a ride like this. The temperature was in the 60’s with clear skies. It was really even on the cool side! The first 30 or so miles were very flat, taking us through Bell Buckle and Wartrace and roads like “Bugscuffle Road” and “Cascade Hollow Road”. Needless to say, we were pretty far out in rural Tennessee – some beautiful country.
At about mile 30, the road turned into tar and chip (which about shakes the teeth out of your head!) through a small valley to the George Dickel distillery for lunch. It’s really a pretty place that everyone should go see. After lunch, we climbed a pretty big hill, continuing on tar and chip for about another 5 miles. I learned there are great things in life, like dew on a spider web, puppy dog breath, and nice smooth asphalt! Tar and chip makes your wrists and elbows hurt something terrible!
The last rest stop before the climb up Monteagle Mountain was at mile 63. This was the best rest stop, as I had my own personal assistant (Donna) there to put cold water on my neck. Most of the other riders couldn’t understand why they weren’t getting the same treatment! I needed everything I could get for that climb.
Unfortunately, I can’t say I rode the whole way up the mountain. I have a 2-ring crank on my bike, which means it’s geared for flat and rolling hills – not long mountain climbs. I only had the energy to ride up about a mile and a half, gaining about 750 feet in elevation. I ended up having to walk the last half mile of steepest switchbacks. Next year, I WILL ride up the whole thing. Here’s a link to see the topo map of the climb: CLICK HERE – fast Internet only
At the Top
The Diabetes Association put on a really nice presentation tonight. And, the views from St Ann’s were spectacular! All the riders, volunteers and their company sat out on the west facing side of the mountain after a barbecue dinner and watched the sun set. It’s a really beautiful place up there.
Day 2, Briefly
Sunday morning, breakfast started at 6:30, and we all rolled out at 7:30. It’s pure willpower to get back in the saddle on day 2. You guessed it – the first few miles were a 7% mountain descent, payback for the Day 1 climb. I reached almost 42 miles per hour for about 2-3 miles – it was great!
The rest of the route took us back by Arnold AFB in Tullahoma, back down Bugscuffle Road, a brief stop with the Harpeth Bike Club in Bell Buckle for homemade ice cream at the Bluebird (yum!) and finally returning to the finish in Murfreesboro with Donna cheering me in!
I hope to have a few more people recruited to ride the Tour next year. It’s really a lot of fun, and can even be a family thing with the riding and volunteering opportunities. If you want to, or know someone that wants to ride next year, just holler. The Multiple Sclerosis ride to Lynchburg is also coming up in October – there’s plenty of time to train or volunteer! I know we’re going to have a great time!
Thanks again for your support!