To support my collage friend Tony, I fundraised for and rode the 2016 Tour de Cure.
Registration is $35 and then you have to fundraise at least $200 in order to ride. That might sound like a lot, but due to my generous friends and family, it was actually quite easy. In fact, I went over it this year, because in addition to the online donations people gave me cash that I handed in the morning of the ride. Thanks to everyone that contributed!
My coworker overhead me talking about the ride and paid the entire registration and fundraising minimum so he could ride. It proves that everyone knows someone that’s affected by diabetes.
The ride starts and ends at Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis. The weather forecast was a little iffy the week before, but Saturday morning it was partially cloudy and kind of muggy.
I’d rather be hot than cold so I started with my long sleeve Pearl Izumi jersey (similar here). You can see there was a wide variety of attire happening at the start.
The 43-mile route goes through both Minneapolis and St. Paul. I love going around the lakes in Minneapolis, along both sides of the river and then slowly creep up Summit Ave into St. Paul. There were a lot of slow down-turn-stop-go-speed up spots on the route, so if you’re looking for a long and steady ride, this route probably isn’t for you.
The bike path around Target Field was under construction so we took a little detour through downtown. I worked downtown for several years, so luckily I knew exactly where I was and how to get back on course by crossing the river via the Hennepin Avenue bridge.
At the Stone Arch bridge rest stop I shed the long-sleeve, rolled it up, and crammed it in the back of my Moxie Cycling top that I got from the Esprit de She duathlon. Just like last year they had watermelon at this rest stop and it hit the spot!
The route then went along the Hiawatha Trail to the Midtown Greenway and then south along the river, crossing over the Ford Bridge and then north along the river. I’ve ran along the river several times with my mom but I’m just a little faster on the bike. 😉 Just before turning onto Summit there was another fully stocked rest stop.
This is right about mile 22 on the Twin Cities Marathon and it’s a gentle incline all the way into downtown St. Paul. The homes along Summit are so pretty and distracting so you don’t notice the incline too much. The route then snakes back down to the river again. We skipped the last rest stop and that’s when we hit a few hills and I got really tired. After some slow riding I got my act together on the Mendota Bridge. We finished without a drop of rain.
Tony and his sister finished the 17-mile route shortly after. We had lunch, grabbed some complimentary beer from Grain Belt and Schells. Then we all “snuck” into the champion’s area to take some pictures with the cool background.
Overall the ride is well organized, the rest stops are frequent and well stocked and the after party is great- free massages, free food, and free beer. This was my second year doing the ride and I’m already thinking about upping my game to the 60-some mile route next year…
Thanks again for everyone that donated in support of Tony!