Century Rides than Make a Difference

I was planning on riding with the unstoppable Rick LaBelle this afternoon, but schedules did not align and I missed my chance to try and hang with one of the best climbers I know. Rick is a local — sort of. He lives up near Jackson Hole but owns and runs a store on Main Street in Park City, so he splits his time between the two locations. The Outdoor Retailers show is in Salt Lake City this week, so he is in town and flying up the canyons. He is riding LOTOJA this year too and we will ride together a couple of times before that.

Long story short — I will ride solo tonight.

How to Ride a Century

I have written on this topic before. What I published before was somewhat of a comprehensive list of the tips that I suggest you review before your first century event (click here). I also wrote another article after a century that my buddy Juston Puchar and I did early in the season (click here to review). What I am not going to do today is review those tips. Review those articles to find my suggestions for either riding your first century or preparing for a specific event.

There are three events that are coming up in my riding schedule that I doing because of the specific mission of the organization behind them. I don’t necessarily believe in paying for a century ride just because of the support on the course. With the mileage that I am putting in this summer, I have familiarized myself with which gas stations and convenience stores will let me come in and refill my bottles for free and almost just as important, let me use their bathrooms. To compensate them, I try and go by their stores and buy something from time to time. When I do, I let the clerk know it is because they let cyclists use their bathrooms and their water.

The events — Riding 4 a Reason, CASVAR 2011, and LOTOJA — all support a cause that I believe in. If you are registering for a late season century or ride and are local, let me suggest you consider these…

Riding 4 a Reason (August 20th) — This is a great organization. I have personally reviewed their 990’s. The ride benefits the B in Motion Foundation that provides motorized wheelchairs to individuals who cannot afford them. My company is one of the sponsors of the event because all of the money goes to the individuals who receive the wheelchairs. This event has different distances for the varying skill levels of riders, but I would suggest it is one of the more challenging organized rides in the west. If you want to learn more about the B in Motion Foundation and this ride, click here.

CASVAR 2011 (August 27th) — This ride is hosted by the Cycling Association of Star Valley and starts and finishes in Afton, Wyoming. The beneficiary this year is the Foundation that my friends and I set up for the family of Scott Davis, who as you remember was my buddy who died of an accidental gunshot wound in the Fall of 2010. If you want to read about his life and how it impacted mine, I invite you to read the piece I wrote on him here. Howard Jones (no really, that’s his name), is the Ride Director and has been amazing to work with. The ride itself is as beautiful as they get and is on the LOTOJA course. I am going to use it as a tune-up before LOTOJA and will probably also ride the course on Friday. If you want to find out more about the ride, please click here.

The foundation we set up is designed to help with the costs of college, weddings, and other important things for Scott’s three kids. The guy was an amazing friend and would have absolutely done the same thing for any of his friends. Here is my favorite photo of Todd, Curt, myself and Scott before the ride in 2010. Of course, Rick was behind the camera. He is so good looking, he was afraid he would distract too much from the rest of us…

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This was the last ride that any of us would do with Scott before his death.

LOTOJA (September 10th) — Technically this is a race, but you guys know about my involvement with the Huntsman’s Hometown Heroes program and my fundraising for cancer (link). LOTOJA bills itself as the hardest one day event in the western U.S., but the jury is still out on that. Almost everyone I know who has done the Tour of Park City Gran Fondo has told me it is more difficult than LOTOJA, so I will reserve judgement until after I finish LOTOJA. While registration is closed on this event, you really should put it on your calendar for 2012. To learn more about it, click here.

There are lots of ways that the triathlon, running, and cycling communities can give back. I am really particular about the charities I support, especially when there are so many out there that use the majority of funds for administrative support and use little of the funds for support of the intended recipients (think Sean Hannity and the Freedom Alliance scam that spends less than 20% on the advertised purpose of scholarships to military personnel and their kids).

When registering for your next organized ride, be selective. Choose the organization that supports organizations that best align with your charitable giving goals.

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...