Tour de Force – Virtual

For the first time in 19 years, the Tour de Force, like many other charity rides, went virtual. Some sporting events and races have been able to push on as originally planned. The formation of a theoretical bubble and strict testing policies have made this possible. We are a charity ride, with not a lot of funds to spare. With 300 riders and more than 50 support staff in hotels for 4 nights, it seemed like an impossible task to keep everyone safe.

My brother Mike had an idea to convert this year’s edition to a virtual ride. Each rider would pedal 70-75 miles on a route of their choice. We would stage a live event to send the riders off from their start lines and finish with another live event complete with raffles and prizes for top fundraisers.

Many smaller group rides were formed. Our New Jersey team rode from Shanksville, PA to Pittsburgh, honoring the victims of flight 93 that perished on 9/11. Team Colorado, the Adirondack Garda, Team East Coasters, Team East Colfax, Team Rockland County Shields along with NYPD Cycling and many others put on amazing rides in their respective regions. We hosted a ride that took us on a 73 mile loop from Goshen, NY around to New Paltz, through Newburgh and back to Goshen.

I’ve never been prouder of everyone involved. We are raising money for the families of Police Officers killed in the line of duty, nationwide. Not an easy task these days. But done in an atmosphere when it’s suddenly ok to kill Police Officers and scream to defund or worse yet, get rid of Police Departments all together. I will not go any further, because I do not want to take away from the amazing efforts by so many. I can’t wait to see everyone in 2021.

Road to Nowhere

On September 12, the Tour de Force, a charity ride that I co founded and have been a board member of since 2002, is hosting its virtual ride. Normally, we ride from New York to Washington, DC or New York to Boston over four days. However, due to the Covid 19 restrictions and a general concern for all involved, we decided a one day, 75 mile ride, done virtually is the way to go. We will connect with riders from around the country, via Facebook live at the start, then we get to go out and actually ride. Normally the logistics do not allow us time on the bike, during the event.

While I have been riding pretty regularly all year, I still wanted to get one long ride in about 2 weeks before. So, last Sunday I departed Milford for a tri-state loop, touching New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
I pedaled over the Milford Bridge, up Deckertown Turnpike, down New Road and back on Rt. 206 to Clove Road for a roller coaster ride into Montague, NJ. I crossed into Port Jervis, NY via Rt. 23 and turned right to climb Neversink Drive. A right hand turn had me follow Rt. 209 to Guymard Turnpike. A mile in and the roughly 2.5 mile climb begins. It’s fairly gradual for about 2 miles before the grade kicks up to just about 12-15%.

After dropping down to Old Mountain Road and hammering over to Rt. 6 for a 3 mile descent, I took River Road back to Deckertown Turnpike and this time went left on New Road, taking it back to Clove Road and over the Milford Bridge for a cruise back into town.

The following day, I went for a mountain bike ride through the Delaware State Forest to enjoy a slower paced ride and give my legs a chance to recover from the previous day. As I crossed onto Irish Swamp Trail, I encountered a medium sized Black Bear. He was as startled as I was. But lumbered off as I pushed through.

Today, I decided a little climbing was in order. My goal was simple. Just pedal uphill. I parked in Port Jervis and after crossing the Tri-States Bridge, I veered up Rt. 6. The 3 mile climb averaged about 7-8%. I turned right on Old Mountain Road and another right to climb the back side of Greenville Turnpike. A series of short steep hills lead to a sweet 3 mile descent which is what I needed to recharge my legs for a turnaround at the bottom. I immediately charged back up Greenville Turnpike for another 3 mile climb and pushed on all the way to Rt. 6. The short steep ascent led to 1 more 3 mile descent.

The mileage was short, but the elevation gained was not. With six days out from the event, I’ll add some easy miles and eat clean.
No music today, just prayers and gratitude for our frontline heroes: EMT’s and Medical Personnel, Police and Fire Departments.