Sunday, 08 April, 2001

Ride for the Roses

Today was the annual Ride for the Roses to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation.  Over 8,000 riders participated in rides of 10, 25, and 62 miles.  The Ride is the culmination of a full weekend of events that includes a bicycle and health expo, the Downtown Criterium bicycle race on Saturday night, and some other events.  All proceeds from the events benefit the LAF.

62 miles is about 10 miles more than I was really ready to ride today, but they didn't have a 50 mile course.  About 50 miles into the ride I got a good laugh at Farmer Bob and his home made protest sign.  Believe me, when you're bucking a 15 MPH headwind at the end of a long ride, something like this can keep you amused for miles.   "Take your spandex/spoke parade to China or France and stay."  When I rode by, Farmer Bob had a few other people with him.  The irony of it got me laughing:  here we are, 8,000 people helping to raise money for cancer research, and there sits Farmer Bob (who could use some exercise) with his buddies, smoking cigarettes and cussing us because they can't go ripping down the back country roads at 80 MPH on a Sunday morning.  What a hoot.  How would you like to see him in biking shorts and jersey?

In all fairness, I should mention that this guy's small group and maybe one or two people who passed us in trucks are the only people I saw who were unhappy with our ride.  There were many people camped out in their front yards cheering us on and supporting the ride.  The presence of the few protesters just made me better appreciate the supporters.