Saturday, December 8, 2012


So - one of the hottest topics every winter (no - it's not "How long will Katie wait to get on her bike?") is that ever popular party game "Where We Gonna Ride This Year?" In the interest of furthering the conversation, stimulating the discussion, fuelin' the fire n' fannin' the's what I have to offer on the topic:

(and I'm gonna try and keep it simple and [somewhat] brief).....

Burlinton VT -  July 25-28. 4th year venue. 1600' of elevation gain. Low point approx 100' / high point 500'. Mostly 2 lane country roads. Nice route out along Lake Champlan. Nice hotel and way-cool granola-y college town. Out and back ride.

La Crosse Wi - August 15-18. 4th year venue. 1920' of elevation gain. Low point approx 700' / high point approx 1175'. Mostly 2 lane country roads in Wi, Mn and Io. No climbing if you don't do the century. Route travels alongside the Mississippi River. Mixed reviews on the hotels (there are several) and the convention center is slightly seedy. Semi-grubby and "blue collar" downtown w/ TONS of bars. Out and back ride.

Lake Tahoe Ca - Sept 6-9. 3rd year venue. 2800' of elevation gain. Low of 6300' / high of 7100'. No century option - routes of 36 or 72 miles. 2 lane roads w/ fairly high traffic on the 1st half , wider roads on the back side. Gorgeous scenery (the lake is within view 80% of the time). Hotel is sweet (Embassy Suites, har!) and the town is way cool in a California Dreamin' kinda way. Good restaurants and brew pubs, etc. (As long as you stay on the Ca. side of the state line! Loop ride - and a "piggy-back" ride (we are part of the Tour of Tahoe - 1900+ riders)

Nashville Tn - Sept 19-22. New ride! 4420' of elevation gain. (Yep, most by far!) Low of approx 450" / high of approx 1050'. At this point I haven't seen or ridden the route (that might change in Jan) so I have no wisdom to offer as to the roads or the route. Or the hotel for that matter. Or the town. Stay tuned!!!!! Out and back ride.

Death Vallley Ca - Oct 17-20. The original JDRF Ride, 14 years? 2670' of elevation gain. Low of -280" / high of 1270'. HOT! All 2-lane roads w/ minimal (but sorta high-speed) traffic. Significant climb up to the turn-around, otherwise roll-y at best. (worst?) Hotel is okay in a "college dorm room" sorta way. The Furnace Creek Ranch is kinda cool, certainly unique and isolated. No good restaurant options or "town" nearby. (Great pool though!) Most challenging Ride- usually by a significant margin - due to the weather. (Did I mention that it's hot?)  Out and back ride.

Tucson Az - Nov 21-24. 5th year venue. 2290' of elevation gain. Low of approx 2100" / high of 3074'. Route includes some truly CRAPPY roads (as well as 2 "hike-a-bike" sections. Everything from back road to city streets. Hotel is off-the-hook sweet - best place I've ever stayed in. Food is awesome. Hotel is a 20 minute drive from town. Great time of the year to be there and not here. Piggy-back ride w/ 'el Tour de Tucson and lots of logistical complications. 8500+ riders. Route options of 42, 65, 85 and 111 miles. Loop ride.

So - there ya have it, as devoid of editorial comment as I am capable of. Please feel free to ask me anything about any of these Ride venues - w/ the exception of Nashville I've ridden, coached and crewed at all of 'em.

Dang! Now I'm ALL SORTS OF FIRED UP AGAIN! Can we go now, can we, can we, huh, huh?

Stay in touch, see you soon, have a fantastic Holiday if I'm not lucky enough to see you before then!

Coach MC


Michelle Carpenter said...

I'd like to go to all of them How do we make that happen?!

Katie said...

Michelle - It can happen! You just need to raise at minimum $18,000 and for $24,000, JDRF will even pay your way to all!

HudsonAlpha said...

NASHVILLE!!!! I haven't seen the route yet, but I know the town and the hotel JDRF has picked; it's the Loew's Vanderbilt. The town is fantastic, and it's a wonderful, bike-friendly town with shared roads across the city. Nashville wins for 2013!!! Lots of places to shop and to eat, many within walking distance of the hotel! This, will be the ride of the year!!!

HudsonAlpha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HudsonAlpha said...

The HudsonAlpha comment is from me... Victoria Cumbow. Google's being dumb today.