Tour de Cure is a series of fundraising cycling events held in 43 states nationwide to benefit the American Diabetes Association. The Tour is a ride, not a race, with routes designed for everyone from the occasional rider to the experienced cyclist. Whether participants ride 10 miles or 100 miles*, they will travel a route supported from start to finish with rest stops, food to fuel the journey and fans to cheer them on!
Last year, more than 40,000 cyclists in 80 Tour events raised nearly $17 million to support the mission of the ADA: to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.
This weekend I participated in the Houston Tour de Cure Event in the Katy area, well west of Houston. We started out at 8AM and I finished just before noon. Unfortunately the 64 mile course was shortened by a few miles due to a late detour because of a bridge out of service for repair, so the course was shortened to somewhere between 59 and 60 miles, but I won't complain too much about that.
The weather was great--it was overcast with a slight breeze (and occasionally a decent headwind!) and then temps probably never got over the low 80 range during the ride period. Ride support was great and fortunately I never needed assistance, but I saw the trucks frequently all over the course. I stopped at 3 of the 5 aid stations so that added about 15 - 20 minutes to my total time, but I was more in training mode than racing mode. Along the way I struck up several conversations with fellow riders, including with one woman who lives in my immediate area (which is about an 80 minute drive from the event). The route started way west of Houston and we spent more time in farmland areas than in "civilization", there were areas with more cows than traffic and more feed stores than fast food restaurants. All in all it was successful event and I was also happy to exceed my fundraising goal and raised $300 for the event by race day. The only downside for me was that I forgot to bring my camera and my cellphone photos really didn't quite come out right in the lower light of the overcast day.
This was also likely going to be my longest tune-up ride for next month's Longhorn Half Ironman 70.3 event because of scheduling issues, although I will get several more rides in the 35 - 45 mile range in. All in all I found this ride to a successful training ride and while I would have ridden a bit faster and made less stops in a race or even a hard training ride, I still rode at a pace that met my minimum race goal.