The Tour de Franklin is one of the season's first charity rides, and one that doesn't require a large financial donation to participate (while they ask for more money, early registrants could sign up for only $40 this year). I' led a team on 2012 & 2013, and friend Dave C has such a good time on the ride (evidently) that I got an email while we were still shoveling snow that the registration page was up and he had taken the day off.
I put some links on the blog, and on the Freewheeler Facebook page, and wound up with a team. I applied for to the Freewheelers for an additional donation (but I think I got the procedure wrong; the check hasn't gone out yet).
The Tour is in its 25th year, and they do it well: many routes of different lengths, lots of markings on the roads (good for someone as navigationally-challenged as I am), cheerful people at the stops, not too hilly of a route. This year, they put the route online for those of us with GPS units to download (and it was ACCURATE! A rarity for charity rides!).
One downside for normal people is that the departure for the 100-km ride leaves at 7:30 am (that's not a problem for me; it's 4:40 am as I write this, and I've been up for almost an hour). Amid the grumbling, my team (which included a few last-minute registrants) gathered... and I think we were off and rolling by about 7:35.
Here's my results page. I had a bit of a problem not takin' off after the the folks who passed us... but we mostly stayed together. Two went off the back and one off the front in the first hour (Dave C said that at that rate, I'd finish the ride alone!). But Sean I, who thought he might peel off and go home early, wound up finishing with us.
I don't have good stories to relate abut the conversation; I was so concerned about getting lost, and alternately whipping out up front, then worrying about people we might drop, that I don't remember much. I do remember getting a therapy session from Laura OLPH, and trying to keep track of people at the stops so we coudl get going in a reasonable time... and I remember my flat about four miles from the end. Sheesh! And we brought it in at 15.5mpoh, which was right in "B" range, as I'd promised.
Registration. That's Avatar signing in:
First rest stop:
On the Road:
Last rest stop: