Monday, December 14, 2009


Hey Team! I know it's still 2009 and I know that it's cold and snow-ish and I know that you're probably up to your still-fit-from-this-summer's-riding behind in Christmas plans and madness and all that.....................but:

If you look over there to the right we're asking you to "vote" on which Ride you might wanna attend next season (not that it's a binding vote or anything) and for many of us the 2010 season is here, let alone right around the corner 'cuz we're fund-raising and recruiting and planning and dreaming and can't wait for "next year" to become "this year"!

So - here's what I know or have been able to find out about the 2010 Ride Schedule. Some of this is opinion, some is hearsay and some might even be best characterized as an educated guess. i oughta state for the record here that almost everything I have to say here is tentative and will remain that way 'til registration opens (hopefully in mid-January) but again - here's what I know or think I know @ the moment:

Burlington VT. July 15-18: New venue will be a Sheraton in Burlington. Route is yet to be determined but would hopefully hug the coast of Lake Champlain. I don't have any elevation info. Smaller ride than Killington expected perhaps 150-200 riders. Yes - that is the same weekend as the Holland Hundred! (Frown-y face icon)

LaCross WI. August 12-15: This route was suggested to National by the WI Chapter folks at least partially to satisfy the needs/desires of the large Hy-Vee contingent from the Iowa/Nebraka area. The route would cross the Mississippi River several times and visit both Minn and Iowa. I've ridden over there - it's pretty hilly along the river. No info as yet on the hotel, etc.

Lake Tahoe NV. Sept 10-13 (Fri-Mon): This would be a "piggy-back" ride in conjuction w/ the Tour of Tahoe. ( The goal here is to replicate the success of this year's Tucson Ride and eventually be the dominent charity ride contingent @ this ride. (Sort of like Team in Training and Tucson). The route is a 72 mile loop around the lake w/ 2600 feet of elevation gain. Check out that website for more details but what sort of jumped out @ me was the mention of 2 "challenging" climbs - one of 800' and one of 1000' and the fact that they recommmend this ride to "conditioned recreational cyclists, not beginners." Not that I don't think that our riders couldn't handle it - just sayin'. I dunno if we'd stay @ the hotel/casino that serves as the ride HQ or not. (My guess is that we would not)

Death Valley CA. Oct 14-17: The Big Enchilada! Really the only "classic" JDRF Ride on next season's calendar, which seems weird to me. In my opinion this is THE elemental JDRF Ride, offering the strongest emotional effect and yes - a significant physical challenge due the the possiblility of tough conditions. A significant % of the Team has already verbally committed to DV for 2010. If you've not been - we stay @ Furnace Creek Ranch, an oasis of green in the midst of the desert. Rooms are fine, if not fancy and dinners are under the stars. The route is an out-and-back on good-to-marginal asphalt. Quite roll-y w/ a serious climb @ the turn-around of the 105 mile route up to Jubilee Pass of 6-7 miles that'll leave an impression on ya! Despite the weather history (which calls for high temps in the '80s that time of year) it's been 95-105 all 5 years that I've been there. Logistically we fly into Vegas and shuttle bus from there. Your coach is cooking up some "extra-credit" madness for DV this year that will invlove getting there a day early and doing a pretty gnarly 100+ mile ride on Thursday - details on that later! (If I let it slip that DV is one of my favorite places in the world.......oops!)

el Tour de Tucson. Nov 18-21. This was an experiment in '09 and was a much bigger success than any of us expected! The ride is enormous - w/ over 8500 riders this year. We stayed in an incredible JW Marriot about 20 minutes up into the hills overlooking Tucson. The weather was perfect, the lodging the best I've ever seen @ a JDRF event and the ride itself was very well organized. Our small-ish contingent of JDRF Riders (90-ish) had nothing but good things to say about their experience. It is a little weird logistically staying so far away from the the start/finish and ride expo and all that (and it adds lots of work for the crew, lemme tell ya) but that gave us the intimate feeling of it being a JDRF Ride as we ate on the deck under the stars every night. This was a pretty cool ride!

So - that's what I know (or think I know). I'll add details as I get 'em but hopefully this'll help you make up your mind.

So - let's get on it, huh? Time to ride!

Your guys rock, but you knew that, right?

Coach Mike