A 108 mile ride for Charity – Bike to the Beach –
Early morning, Friday July 29th, I along with approximately 350 others rode from Washington DC to Dewey Beach, Delaware for Bike to the Beach. The Bike to the Beach is a fundraiser with donations given to Autism Speaks to aid in their tireless efforts to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders. I thank everyone for donating to this cause on my personal fundraising page. The fundraiser raised a total of $300,000 for this event and their New York ride that takes place annually as well.
We started at approximately 4:45 am and rode from Gonzaga HS to the World War II Memorial in Annapolis, MD for the first portion of the ride (33.8 miles). A wave of riders took off, with lights shining, up North Capitol Street, pass New York Avenue, over Lincoln Road, and off to Bladensburg Road crossing the Anacostia River. After arriving at the World War II Memorial, riders were greeted and welcomed with orange slices, drinks, and bagels with various spreads. The bikes were placed in trucks and riders were taken across the Bay Bridge and Kent Narrows Bridge approximately 25 to 30 miles into Maryland and dropped off on Route 404. An application of sunscreen and off we were on our way to Dewey Beach, only 73 more miles to go.
Aid stations were scattered throughout the course at approximate 10 to 15 mile intervals. Each aid station had volunteer staff who cheered, gave ice bags, various gels, energy products, and water/gatorade/powerade to refill our water bottles. Their also were cycling repair staff on site to fix any bike repairs needed on course (and apparently many needed this during their ride).
After 108 miles, I was ready to get off my bike and suck down any cold beverage I could get my hand on at North Beach!
I will do this ride again next year and encourage others too as well!
Tip of the day:
When riding a century, either during training, or for various charities, ride with friends! Not only do they make great company, but you can use each other, to break the headwind, and maintain a pretty steady pace. Ron B. and Courtney F. were my friends on this day!