Wow. It’s two days since Tour, and I’m finally able to reflect on the day and the year. To call this year’s Tour a year of change is understating things. I knew that there would be change, just from accepting the Chairman’s role and handing off the Ride Director duty to my friend Todd Rosenthal. It was going to be odd not to be actively managing “my ride”. But the learning curve behind leading “my event”? Wow. I haven’t been this mentally drained since graduate school. Add the physical drain of a week of preparation. I need a vacation from my vacation.
But the results speak for themselves. “My ride” – the same course, but a much more lively atmosphere at the rest stops. A new rider support structure. One veteran (HAM radio), a new motorcycle leader, a new truck support leader, a new rider call-in system, a new Incident Commander (me!), and a Commander in training – and the initial feedback is excellent. Nobody left behind. No major issues. Only some valuable lessons on timing that will make things even better next year.
And it’s really still no longer “My ride”. All the leads in the Command Center had a plan, executed their plan, worked together, and really left me and my #2 on the sidelines – which is exactly what you want to have happen. The truth is, it’s THEIR ride. They run the show now.
So how about “the event”? A new approach to the start/breakfast and the finish/lunch venues surprised veteran participants, but the initial comment is that it was a a much improved setup. It is interesting. While the comments I received from riders was “top notch”, the comments I received from my team were “I wish these tents weren’t so far from the rest” and “the water station should have been here” and “wish we had a band for the 6:30am start”. The team is already thinking toward next year, coming up with more ideas on how to improve things. The new skeleton is in place, and now they’re taking it from there.
The fundraising book closes at the end of August, but it looks like we’re going to be close to $400,000 in donations from over 900 riders. We had a local TV crew record a news segment at our event (first time). TeamNakagawa’s crew of 12 raised over $7500 (a record), and yielded four champion donors.
I took a few pictures and videos of the event to share with everyone. And now I’m looking forward to the year I can hand off the Chair baton to a stable committee, get on my bike, and ride my own Century course for the first time!