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Tour to Tanglewood 100 mile option

northinsouth's picture

Hello Everyone,

 I don't want to preach but i have a few concerns about skaters doing the 100 Mile option for the tour.   The course is all new for the first 25 miles due to some road construction.  The 100 milers will start at 7:30am, turning off the main route to ride all three loops. Each loop rejoins the main route. If you don’t want to go that far but want an extra challenge, start with everyone else at 8:00am and choose any loop. You must reach a loop’s starting point before closing time.  The Century option is designed for experienced cyclists who have trained to complete 100 miles in one day.  The first loop is before rest stop 2; 21 extra miles, closes at 10am.  The second loop is before rest stop 3; 16 extra miles, closes at noon.  The third loop starts past the Tanglewood gate, 15 extra miles, closes at 2pm.  Now if you can do the speeds to keep ahead of all the time cut offs, go for it.  I just would like for us skaters not to be the last ones on the course.  Last year i came in early and was sitting near the finish line.  There were still some skaters on the course, and lots and lots of cyclists, but all you heard on the radios was "there are still skaters on the course".  They didn't say a lot about the cyclists, but they wanted to get the point across that there were still skaters on the course. 

 Blake and I did the tour 8 years ago for the first time on skates.  We had a lot of people that didn't want us out there.  There was a point in the 2nd or 3rd year that I didn't think that we were going to be able to skate it due to a few nay sayers that said we were toys and we had to skate against traffic.  But Suzanne Bland stuck up for us and here we are in our 8th year and they welcome us back with welcome arms and tell us to bring all our friends. 

I have had some comments back from people that have rode the course.  Some of the BRTs (bicycle response team) have rode the entire course.  They said that there are some rough roads after the 10 mile mark, but I am sure we can handle it.  Loop 2 is the same as last year.  There was a lot of rough road on that loop.

All I am trying to say is be safe and don't try to do too much.  Represent skating as I know all of you do already! 

 (steps of soapbox)



skatey-mark's picture

Craig is absolutely right

It only takes one person to destroy all the goodwill that Craig & Blake have built up over the years, and disregarding the rules is a surefire way to do it.  Cutoff times are there for a reason.  If some selfish idiot decides the rules don't apply to them and makes the RSN team look bad, then they should be banned from future tours, in my opinion.


That said, I do hope to get in 100 miles this year -- but I will be skipping loop 2.  (I did it the year that it was the only loop, and it was torturous...)  My plan is to do loops 1 & 3, and if time allows do loop 3 a second time.  Basically the same plan I had last year.  Last year, I missed the cutoff time for my second attempt of loop 3 and had to skip it.


Remember that we're in the minority here, and are held to a higher standard of conduct.  The actions of each individual skater reflect on the whole team. It may not be fair, but that's life.


- SM - 

roadskater's picture

Skateylove over Autofear

Good points, Craig and Mark. We're not saying no one should do 100 miles, but we are saying please respect the cutoff times. I've driven the loops and will report on that soon in detail, but I think a good strategy is to go to loop 3 and repeat that until cutoff time if you like.

We're not passing any messages from the Tour to Tanglewood. These points come from us, not from anyone else. You have a right to be last, and the Tour, especially Suzanne, will support that right. But we gain nothing by exercising that right. We are welcome and we are not guests but full participants, but it is a great for us to act as if we are guests, and to not cause extra work for our hosts. We'll lose the good opinion of tired volunteers who may want to go home and rest after four hours of cutting cantaloupes, or may need to get to Tanglewood to do their other volunteered tasks.

We don't really think it is wise for a skater doing optional distances to be the last one on the course. If you are doing the 45 and are last, and the Bicycle Response Team (Danny, Jeff, Theresa, Lawrence and others) are there and are reassuring that it's OK, then believe them. Even then if you feel like it, it might be a good idea to SAG up to the next rest stop at some point to pass some cyclists and get back on the road again.

The T2T weekend is not about us, but about raising money for people with MS and raising POSITIVE awareness of roadskating among over a thousand cyclists, HAM radio operators, fire and EMT workers, rest stop volunteers, motorcycle marshals, tour officials and even motorists and residents. And yes, it's hard if you get honked at, but I find it helps me a lot and annoys them perhaps if I just pretend that any honk or yell was meant as encouragement, even if I know it wasn't! Skateylove over Autofear!

Our individual glory can come on 51 other weekends of the year.

The Tour has been wonderful to us, and it gives us at least TEN SUPPORTED RIDES A YEAR where we are welcome, all of them free except the actual tour weekend. So we're asking everyone not to do anything that might interfere with our long-term goals for roadskating at T2T.

This is all meant in a loving way. Craig just wants everyone to know what we've said before...this is a lesson in being a minority. We need to be better, nicer, stronger, calmer, and more skateyloving than anyone else out there.

It won't hurt us, and in fact it will help us, if we make small sacrifices for the greater goal and keep our eyes on the prize...the good of helping other people with MS and the long-term joy of the next generation of roadskaters who see us out there and say, "I wanna do that!"

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