A few months ago I decided it would be great to get some of my friends from work together for a nice ride. The question was how? How to draw both active/experienced riders and novice/new riders out to a group ride? The answer was to stage a "Ride". Hence the First Annual Monterey Pedal Dawgs Quarter Century. Why Monterey Pedal Dawgs? Well I work for the MPD so....Hey, it was all I could think of and I got no help from the others. Lu and I did the grunt work, setting things up, getting the shirts printed, getting the food lined up, etc. Lu even made these great bibs. Nifty huh?
This is the group. 11 intrepid riders. Most were on MTB's of one stripe or another. Nothing more high tech than Lu and my Giant FCR2's. There were a lot of pedals without even cages. Lu and I had the only clips in the bunch,
This is my lovely wife, Linda Lu. Lu for short. What's she pointing at you ask? A very good question. She is most definitely not pointing at clear skies and warm sunshine. After unending days, weeks and yea verily even months of fantastic weather we woke up to cold and misty rain. Not Michigan weather I know but I don't want Gene to think we're complete wusses. We are, I just don't want him to know.
We met in the parking lot of the Ft. Ord Dunes State Park. It's on, well, the old Ft. Ord. Near where Stilwell Hall was for the historians out there. Yeah, that's me in the yellow. I'm a walking caution sign.
T-shirts. Get your t-shirts here.
And food. Can't forget the food. I thought there was plenty but when you get 11 people together after a 25 mile ride and most of them have never ridden anything like that mileage before, appetites are commesurate. Let's just say we had enough, barely. BBQ was by yours truly and my world famous Teriyaki chicken vanished like smoke on a windy day.
Good food, great people and a fantastic location made for a wonderful event if I do say so myself.
Everyone made the distance. We even handed out certificates of completion at the end. Why 25 miles? It's just at the edge of doable for novice riders but still a distance that experienced riders can get in a good workout if they push the pace. First place was my good friend Mike at 1 hour 44 minutes. Lu and I were together in second at 1 hour 53. Yeah, not exactly TDF but hey, the spectators seemed happy with the show.
What did I learn?
First, putting on a successful riding event is a lot of work. We had to get the start/finish location, ride the course to make sure of the mileage, name the club (we are so brand new), get the food and arrange for a chef (thank you), make bibs and certificates of completion, arrange for t-shirts, pick a date, pick another date, pick still a third date, get a photographer and timer (thankfully the same person, thanks Paula) and generally coordinate with all participants.
Second. It's a lot of fun. I mean a lot of fun. I highly encourage anyone with an interest to do one. Just get together with your friends/co-workers and do it. We took a 25 mile ride and made it a fun family event. We even got a couple of people involved who hadn't ridden in years. I gave them plenty of work up time to get ready but it was still no mans land for them. The pride they felt on completion was palpable.
We named this the First Annual Monterey Pedal Dawgs Quarter Century for a reason. I may be retiring soon but there will be a Second. I may have to come out here and coordinate it and if so I will. I intend for this to become a regular ride, open to anyone, and I'd like to incorporate a charity like LAF into it.
This is a doable thing for anyone with an interest. If you want to do one but need some pointers or advice please contact me and I'll help as much as I can. If your ride is reasonably close I'll come out and ride it with you.
I'll even BBQ some chicken.