Friday, May 3, 2013

Charity Riding

 Last weekend had me riding the Mn Ironman bicycle ride.  I was waiting to post this up to see if they would release the amount of riders they had ride.  I had heard several reports of over 5,000 riders, but did not find anywhere to verify that.  Judging by the amount of autos, the premium of parking and the amount of people at the start/finish,  I believe it.  We arrived early morning the day of the event, although I wasn't in a hurry to register in because I knew from past experience that registration goes fast.  After checking in about 6:50, I walked the 1/4 mile back to car, readied the bicycle, suited up and headed out near the 7:15 mark. has been verified at 4,697 riders. I found the e-mail Doug mentioned.  They are aware of the hits and misses.  

 I rode the 50 mile route rather than my usual century.  We had other things to do, so I felt lucky just to get in the 50.  I think they listed it as 53 on the profile map and that is very near what I had on the Garmin   We had a very strong wind helping us on the beginning of loop.  Speeds were very high on the first section.  Surprisingly, the speeds stayed not bad on the return also.

 Because I was out early the first rest stop was easy to get in and out of.  The second stop was located where two loops came together.  That one was much more crowded.  I made a trip to the biffy, but skipped the long snack line.

 There are always some pacelines on rides like this.  If I choose to join one, I try to pick and choose wisely.  A person can tell by riding at the back of the pack for short ways what you're getting into.  I hooked up with a group of about 20 for a couple miles, (not these guys pictured above) that I just wasn't comfortable with.  The roads had some potholes, and pot holes is an understatement, but that group had some riders making quick movements even when the roads were good.  I decided to let them go.  Glad I did.  As we were on a slight downhill with some good speed, I could see them a couple hundred yards ahead of me.  That is when disaster hit for them.  There were bicycles and bodies flying.  A sag vehicle happened to be right behind them, so they had help right away.  It looked like they were all sitting up as I rode on.

From what I saw, the routes were excellent.  The bathrooms at the start/finish line had very long lines.  One person made the comment, 5 bathrooms for 5,000 people...not good.  There were many more bathrooms at the rest stops and from what I saw didn't seem to be a problem there. The lunch line was also extremely long.  I didn't take many pictures.  I do not know why.  I guess some days are not picture days for me.  It was a great time and I will do it again!

Lets get outdoors and have some fun!!


  1. According to an email sent out by Jon Ridge yesterday, they had 4,697 riders. One thousand signing up the day of the ride.

    I'm not sure I'd call this a charity ride. I think of a charity ride as a ride you have to collect pledges for. This ride you pay your registration fee, show up and ride.

    I normally ride the century. But with the temps 40 degrees warmer than what we've had up here in April I was pretty cooked after the Scandia loop and Afton Loop. I only rode 80 miles. I didn't have enough in the tank for another 29 mile loop.

    I don't do rides like this often, but for some reason I enjoy this one every year.

    1. Thanks Doug! I found the e-mail. I wish I had found it before I wrote this one. There was a lot of good stuff in there.


  2. Hi Doug. It's nice to hear from you. Had I known you were there, I would have tried to meet up. We have not gotten an e-mail from him as of yet, but sometimes when mail goes through my phone it for whatever reason doesn't show up on the computer. It doesn't happen all the time, but sure is annoying when it does. I looked around on line and couldn't find a specific number in the news releases, just the 5000, but 4,697 is a lot riders. I will have to dig around and see if I can find that e-mail.

    IMO, I personally have always considered a charity ride is one where the whatever the cost may be, the proceeds benefits a charity. This is the case with the MN Ironman as they are a 501(C)(3) non-profit. If the government considers it a charity, it's close enough for me to call it a charity. I only ride one ride a year where I need to fund raise, and that alone is difficult, because lets face it, I just don't have that many friends. If I needed to fund raise for every one of these rides, I would only do one ride a year.

    I too enjoy this ride!