By Jeff DeVries (aka ClydeinKS)
Upon the announcement for the 100 MoN ’13 edition I rallied two buddies to register and join in planning for the day. I was excited to have 3 of 500 “official” MoN participating and began talking to other people about our insanity. During one of these share sessions with one of my patients, I was intrigued when she told me of a newly forming charity called the Team Ryan Foundation for pediatric cancer research and I began to have ideas for something larger scale.
Fatty was gracious enough to give his blessing for bringing in more riders for the MoN, so we added a silent auction, and the “Spin and Bid” event was born. Following two weeks of intense planning, our event was going to happen! Here is the flyer we had made to spread word:
We had decided to allow additional riders to join for a minimum donation of $20 to Camp Kesem. Next Door Pizza, our host for the ride and after party, committed to donating 10% of the day’s sales to Camp Kesem as well. During the evening after party, a silent auction of items donated from all over the city was held benefitting Team Ryan. The three “official” riders had also received an incredible anonymous sponsorship of $10 per mile ridden to go to Team Ryan.
In 2 weeks time, we received approval from the local police and parks and rec. dept to use the route we planned without alteration – a 2.5 mile loop going into park grounds, past ball fields, and around a community college campus with what appeared to be leisurely rolling hills. Media coverage was obtained and silent auction items were coming in. Riders were asked to ride a minimum of one lap of the course that was marked and then feel free to continue the loop or take another route as desired.
Much advertising was done through the Select Physical Therapy (where I am a therapist) cycling group that was formed and organized by myself earlier this year. We gained more riders from work, set up a Facebook page for the event, had hand-painted banners donated, set up a tent for registrations, and were ready to start the day. I stayed with the FC jersey to maintain representation through the day.
The morning couldn’t have started much better. The winds were very calm, temps were perfect, and 3 gorgeous whitetail deer were observed on the initial laps before a large group of approximately 50 riders came through the other direction and scared the deer back into the woods.
The route was nice as it provided good scenery entering park grounds, moving toward a lake, a nice tight bend to play with, approaching youth baseball fields, and traveling alongside a golf course. This provided lots of exposure but also unpredicted complications. The deceptive rolling hills were longer and steeper than first anticipated as well.
Contact was made with Scott R., another “officially” registered 100MoN rider and he was able to join up with us approximately 12 miles into our ride. It was great having him out to join, was able to chat some during one lap and then my wife (Mighty Athena) and 7 yr old son arrived to join on the ride. Scott had gotten called away and needed to leave, sorry I missed you leaving and hope everything was alright – thanks for joining us while you were able!
Most of my route pics were taken while riding with my 7 yr old, Derek participating in his first event and proudly displaying his homemade race number. Around the time that my wife and son joined, we began seeing more and more coworkers show up. There was also a second group from the bike shop (30-40 riders) leaving. Awesome doesn’t appropriately describe riding the loop twice with my son and hearing his joy proclaimed with each down hill section (“Woohoohoo, YEAH!!!”) and cheers and encouragement for him from the bike shop riders!
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the camera ready as the large group went by.
There was some fun and building confidence developed in taking that tight bend with speed. The initial laps averaged going the through the turn around 16 mph. As the day progressed, the speeds and comfort increased and I learned that my top speed going through was 27.6 mph, couldn’t quite stay in my lane when I hit 28 mph. There was bump prior to entering the corner and Derek’s first trip around, his feet flew off the pedals and his handlebars shimmied side to side 5 or 6 times but he saved it and maintained upright and moving forward. There were some good ascents he completed and was a real trooper when needing to push 3x, if only he had some gear options!
As the day progressed, the temps were climbing, nearly all riders completing above 40 miles were cramping badly, and the ball fields and pedestrians were becoming more busy and nonobservant, causing some safety risks in continuing to push the distance.
In the early afternoon we encountered a raccoon, and we knew that with him being out at that time of day, we were best to leave him alone!
My final 6 laps had both quads cramping to the point I couldn’t pedal on flats but had to keep pushing for the sponsored money and on my final lap decided to stop as two cars blocked my passage near the ball fields and people were beginning to congest the road making it stop and go which the quads couldn’t take.
Unfortunately, I was only able to complete 66 miles this year, one rider went nearly 70 and I was the final representation on the course for 2 loops to end the day.
There was a decent turnout for the ride and evening silent auction, but sadly we did not get the television coverage before and during that we were promised. Final numbers for the day included a total of 16 riders and 499.77 miles, and additional $260 raised for Camp Kesem (not including the 10% from the restaurant as it was unavailable upon leaving), $558 raised from 17 silent auction items and $1960 from mileage sponsorship (although likely to be full $3000 as hoped) raised for the Team Ryan Foundation. Their “motto” is HANDS IN!! but sadly there wasn’t anyone to finish the ride with hand in hand, so did it myself.
Nothing feels better than knowing we were able to help two great organizations. Hopefully next year we’ll have more than 2 weeks to plan!! Oh, forgot to mention that I still won the “Enjoy volunteering, but have a whole new respect for event organizers – 38 yr Male division.” Special thanks to FATTY, Todd and Toti for your enthusiasm in joining me, an incredible group of coworkers for your support and participation, volunteers, auction item providers, and NDP for hosting!