Tuesday, March 27

The Last Tour duh Ever

If you missed my post yesterday about this past weekend's Tour duh Charlotte because I didn't have it up in time for your morning constitutional, it's there now.

Jeepers. What more to say...

It seems like ever since the second or third Tour duh Charlotte, the general vibe has been "never again."  It's such an unwieldy beast that lives in all the fifty shades of gray areas.  To do this event with 100% full legitimacy, it would cost entrants... five times as much.  That's not the event we'd ever want to put on at all.  To that, keeping within all the gray, there's much work to be done without watering down the experience or jeopardizing anyone's safety.

So the 2017 Tour duh Charlotte really looked like it was gonna be the last one.  For real.  We pretty much announced it from the mountain tops.

But then a few of us got a bug up our ass in late November or early December, about a month or two later than we normally start planning this thing.  What if we just use this bunch of close together trails right here *points to map*?  We'd still need a venue... and then someone talked to Triple C and we were offered the most plush after party in the Tour's history.  We still needed food... and then City Barbeque reached out to us offering to lend a hand.  We needed a lunch stop... and then a friend of a friend who's backyard was just a bridge away from Stage 3 offered his up for our usage.  Long time supporters Bulldog Beer and Wine said they were in for lunch beers, Bike Source for prizes, Weldon Weaver would once again follow us all over town with his equipment to take photos, Bike Van for mechanical support and beer delivery...

Shit, we really just need to do this, even if it might really be the last time we ever say it's the last time.

Some of us had to do the ugly stuff that involves money and meeting with business type people and semi-legal things.  I'm glad that wasn't me.  Some of us got to spend hours staring at google maps, satellite images and street views looking for all manner of scabby short cuts, long cuts, and possible trails... only to go out to scout them on the ground, come back empty handed, and do it all again.  That's more my bag.  It ain't easy, but when it works?  Such a thing of beauty.  Let's not talk about the trail we built only to have destroyed by the city with less than three weeks to go until the event.

If there was one race/event every year that I would do if I could, this is it.  The whole thing just looks like so much fun (from what I get to see of it).  Damn, so good.

But at this point, the event has probably collapsed under its own weight.  It's a lot of work, and sometimes all the gray areas and possible March sketchball weather and team burnout and the word we hate to use *gulp*... liability.

I'm very proud of this group (and all the previous groups that have pulled this off).

I don't know what I'm going to do next year in the months leading up to the tail end of March '19.  I mean mebbe year two or three of the Tour, I took a bit of a backseat on the planning end.  I just felt like I wasn't dealing with the stress and additional responsibility very well.  That said, I also realized that if I'm going to associate myself with something, I wanna know that I did everything possible to make it a success.  All or nothing.  Not the best way to live my life, but I don't have a throttle...

I have a switch...

The Pie can testify.  I fall asleep when my head hits the pillow, and my feet are on the floor seconds after the alarm goes off.

I'm really going to miss the Tour duh Charlotte, but it was the right event at the right time with the right people, and you can't expect things to always stay the same.

I'm sad.  You're sad. 

That doesn't mean we can't still be friends and go on happy bike rides.

On the huge upside, we decided as a team to try and make this Tour really count.  We went ahead and donated $500 to the Dirt Divas Project Angel which helps put kids in the Charlotte Metro area on bikes.  Also, you guys and gals bought enough Industry Nine hub raffle tickets to raise $393, and because we could, we added some funds to round it up to $500 as well.  That money went to the Tarheel Trailblazers, whose "volunteers work directly with local land managers, building and assisting in the maintenance of over 110 miles of carefully constructed, sustainable mountain bike trails, in the Metro - Charlotte region."  We've used many of their maintained trail systems in past Tours and have donated our sweat equity to them to show our thanks, but this is the first time we were able to hand them a huge handful of money. 

Thanks to all of you who made that happen.  That alone made the Tour worth doing this year.  Everything else was icing on the burrito.

*rides off into the sunset*

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Advocat sez:

Many thanks for the local donations - they are greatly appreciated. Many more thanks to the FM crew for taking us back to the foundation of our bike passion - playing together in the neighborhood with others who share that passion.