Day 699: Tour De Simcha 2015

Our day started at 4:30, and although none of us are early risers, we were dressed, packed, and downstairs by 5:15!  The balloons and decorations from the night before were replaced with these adorable bicycle themed planters on the tables:

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After breakfast, we went to get our bicycles and headed for the starting line.  On the way, we were asked a few questions by a local reporter who heard that B was the youngest rider to ever participate in TDS:

 

We gathered at the starting line full of excitement and maybe a few jitters!  A DJ was on hand playing upbeat music to set the mood.

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Our starting line selfie:

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Rest stop selfie, still smiling:

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The first 32 miles of the route were fantastic.  The girls set a great pace of about 13 mph for the majority of the time.  Having a chance to refill our water bottles and grab a quick snack at each rest stop made a big difference.  Just getting off of our bikes for a few minutes and walking around felt great and made it feel as if it were just a series of smaller rides.  By the time we headed into the lunch stop around mile 52, I was definitely feeling tired.  The girls were really upbeat despite the fact that overall we were slowing down quite a bit.  B and C both decided they would continue to ride for as long as they could.  The majority of the big climbs were in the last twenty miles, but I admired their dedication and headed out with them!

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C headed out before us, but had a little crash. She injured her ankle just enough to make riding any further impossible.  She called the sag wagon to be picked up and by the time we caught up to her, B and I gladly joined her.  After a few minutes in the vehicle, a huge rain storm broke and the roads became too dangerous to ride.  All remaining riders were picked up as well, and we met at the final rest stop one mile out of Camp Simcha.  Soaking wet, tired, but really happy to be together for our last rest stop selfie:

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The rain slowed down enough for all 126 women and girls to carefully ride into camp together.  The energy and excitement at the finish line is unbelievable.  Hundreds of people, including the campers, were there holding signs, cheering, dancing, laughing and supporting the riders as we arrived in camp.  After dancing for nearly twenty minutes, the celebration moved into the gymnasium where the campers performed, awards were presented, and the riders received their medals.

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B receives her TDS medal from a camper:

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Team Bike Hard Love Harder (sporting blinking tutu’s and fish helmet covers this year!) receives a special award for raising over $18,000!!!!

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After the presentations, we headed for the showers followed by a delicious BBQ dinner.  We boarded our bus back to the hotel, and within minutes, B and C were asleep.  It was an amazing day that none of us will ever forget.

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Day 698: Getting Ready for Tour De Simcha
Day 700: Reunions

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