2016 Tour de Cure Oregon

Another Tour de Cure Oregon in the books.  Inspire and I finally rode my Century Course after 7 years of running the event. 7:30 ride time, 9 hours real time, 13.9 mph pace.

2016 Tour de Cure Oregon. Pre-ride for the century course.

2016 Tour de Cure Oregon. Pre-ride for the century course.

2016 Tour de Cure Oregon.  Finish line photos.  4:30pm.  105 miles.

2016 Tour de Cure Oregon. Finish line photos. 4:30pm. 105 miles.

Meanwhile, Margo joined half of our team on the 30 mile route, and was able to enjoy the finish line festivities.

2016 Tour de Cure Oregon.  More photos from the better half of our team, doing the 30 mile course and enjoying the finish party.

2016 Tour de Cure Oregon. More photos from the better half of our team, doing the 30 mile course and enjoying the finish party.

This year, TeamNakagawa signed up 14 riders and raised over $11,000 for the American Diabetes Association.  As of July 31, we are the #2 family team and #4 overall team for Oregon.

2016 teamnakagawa 2016b teamnakagawa

More photos on Smugmug

2015 Tour de Cure Oregon

2015 TeamNakagawa Century crew

2015 TeamNakagawa Century crew

The 2015 Tour de Cure was a test of commitment. A welcome overcast and misting turned into steady showers and reports of hail for the intermediate and short distance riders. It put the entire safety and support crew to the test to keep riders safe on slick roads, on course with washed-away chalk markings, vandalized directional signs. Never in the 7 years of my TDC have I seen this kind of wild weather on event day.

Command Center Tent, where Kent spent most of his day.  HAM radio, Truck Support, Rider Hotline, Motorcycle Support.  It’s the Heartbeat of the ride.

Command Center Tent, where Kent spent most of his day. HAM radio, Truck Support, Rider Hotline, Motorcycle Support. It’s the Heartbeat of the ride.

In spite of all that, 500 riders and 200+ volunteers made the most of the day. By the time riders returned for lunch, the rain stopped, the food and beer was on, and the smiles were coming across the finish line. Riders loved the new park venue, complemented the full-service support on the road and rest stops. And the endcap of the day – three members of TeamNakagawa completed their first full century ride ever, receiving the applause of most of the volunteer and staff as they crossed the finish line.

The 2015 Champions Chairladies-Nancy Haase, Margo Nakagawa, Ginger Buzzell

The 2015 Champions Chairladies-Nancy Haase, Margo Nakagawa, Ginger Buzzell

It was both a testement to what I helped build over the last seven years as a volunteer, Ride Director, and Chairman, and a great ending to my current high-profile stint with TDC. Next year, I plan to ride in my century course for the first time. After three years away from the riders, I am looking forward to connecting with them directly again.

Chairman Kent gives the safety talk to the first group of riders, to kick off Tour de Cure - Oregon 2015.

Chairman Kent gives the safety talk to the first group of riders, to kick off Tour de Cure – Oregon 2015.

2015 Champions ($1K donors)

2015 Champions ($1K donors)

Hillsboro. The ADA staff, interns, and surviving volunteers share in the end-of-day collapse to the chairs!

Hillsboro.
The ADA staff, interns, and surviving volunteers share in the end-of-day collapse to the chairs!

Record year for Teamnakagawa

Record year for Teamnakagawa

Record year for TeamNakagawa, with six champions.

Record year for TeamNakagawa, with six champions.

2015 TDC road teardown

2015 TDC road teardown

More photos on Smugmug; (setup) (event day)

The Spring Classics, ending with Reach the Beach

I have been struggling to find the time to do any sort of consistent bicycling, whether it be for pleasure or for training.  And then the Spring Classics came like a steam roller.  I was expecting to do the Salem Monster Cookie.  It’s mostly flat, so you don’t need to train hard for that.  But the following weekend, Ride Around Clark County, is almost 4000 ft of climbing terror over the span of 65 miles.  Surprisingly to me, I completed it in record time.  I did take precautions, walking up the harshest grades.  But still, having had no real distance mileage under my belt, it was very surprising.

Photo Finish 2015 Salem Monster Cookie

Photo Finish
2015 Salem Monster Cookie

Inspire has a lot to do with it, though, especially on the flatter sections of ride.  She doesn’t understand slow.  And she almost complains when this overweight pilot slows her down.  But the plus side is that she glides on flat pavement.  If you can get a head of steam on a flat section, she takes off.

2015 Ride around Clark County

2015 Ride around Clark County

Which brings us to the unexpected ride.  Margo signed up for Reach the Beach, the 100 mile ride from Portland to the coast.  But due to yet another car accident, she couldn’t ride.  So what do you do with a paid $150 ticket?  Yep.  Kent took on the 82 mile course from Newberg.  This was the first time I’d done it since 2011.  In spite of that, this was my 2nd best pace on RTB since 2006 (still a personal best).  Credit goes to Inspire, for hanging with two pace lines in the stretch of ride where the headwinds are absolutely brutal.  Just for reference, where I was with those groups, we were pulling 16-18mph.  When I got dropped five miles out of Sheridan, my speed dropped to 11mph.  All because of the 20mph headwinds in the valley.

 

Newberg Start line pictures 2015 Reach the Beach

Newberg Start line pictures
2015 Reach the Beach

But I made it to the finish before the 5pm “Bus of Shame” (sweeper vehicle).  And surprised the personal entourage (Margo, Mary, Melissa) who thought for sure I’d surrender with Melissa at Grand Ronde.  I just couldn’t resist sending Inspire on the downhill from the coastal summit to the beach.

Lunch stop 1 - Amity (28 miles) 2015 Reach the Beach

Lunch stop 1 – Amity (28 miles)
2015 Reach the Beach

Finish area photos - Cape Kiwanda.  82 miles 2015 Reach the Beach

Finish area photos – Cape Kiwanda. 82 miles
2015 Reach the Beach

Spring Classic Pictures

Salem Monster Cookie

Ride Around Clark County

Reach the Beach

2015 Salem Monster Cookie

Inspire took off on a very chilly Monster Cookie ride. The weather was curious – the total overcast kept away all headwinds (yay!). but then it started rainy drizzle on the last 25 miles (boo!). But the lack of headwind allowed for survival in the last 20 miles as I ran out of gas. Was still able to stay sub-4 hours saddle time for 61 miles, which only sets me back to 2011 🙁 Really cannot complain given the lack of preparation this winter.
Joined by Chris Tatum, John Furze, Les Brown, and Levon Brown.

TeamNakagawa group photo 2015 Salem Monster Cookie

TeamNakagawa group photo
2015 Salem Monster Cookie

Photo Finish 2015 Salem Monster Cookie

Photo Finish
2015 Salem Monster Cookie

More pictures on Smugmug

Ride season, and a new character – Dreamer

After years of having issues with her gearing, Margo has upgraded her bike, and given it a name.  Dreamer.  She’s planning the full slate of our season rides.  Salem Monster Cookie (64mi).  Ride Around Clark County (65 mi).  Reach the Beach (80 mi).  Pioneer Century (64mi).  And of course, Tour de Cure (100 mi !!!).  At least now, she can’t blame the bike 🙂

Margo on “Dreamer” - 2014 Trek Domane 5.9

Margo on “Dreamer” – 2014 Trek Domane 5.9

Tour de Cure – the Volunteer Wrap Ride and Lunch

2014 TDC Wrap Ride

2014 TDC Wrap Ride

The Saturday after Tour, the volunteers get together to ride the 26mi route and have a celebration lunch.  It allows those who had to work day of event to at least ride part of the event.

12 riders (+ 2 kids) joined in on our ride this year.  Afterwards, we caught up with three more volunteers and had a nice brunch at Kent’s local restaurant (Golden Valley).  A great time to reflect, cheer, and pat each other on the back.

And it was time for Kent’s moment of pride.  Where the other committee members focused on the initial rider responses (overwhelmingly positive) and the ADA focused on the fundraising numbers (meeting goal for the event!), Kent saw the continuing evolution of the volunteer planning team from a “local group planning a club ride” to a growing team planning the best ride in Oregon.  And all looking forward to next year.

More pics on Smugmug

2014 TDC Wrap Ride

2014 TDC Wrap Ride

Tour de Cure 2014

Kent gives the course safety talk

Kent gives the course safety talk

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.

Kent’s “sisters” - Mary and Trish Ryder borrowed our tandem bike to allow Trish (diabetic and vision impaired) to experience her Tour de Cure.

Kent’s “sisters” – Mary and Trish Ryder borrowed our tandem bike to allow Trish (diabetic and vision impaired) to experience her Tour de Cure.

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.

2014 Tour de Cure Kent’s groupies - Angie and Kevin Beers, after completing the 43mi (Angie) and 65mi (Kevin), returning Kent’s PDX bike for the photo.

2014 Tour de Cure
Kent’s groupies – Angie and Kevin Beers, after completing the 43mi (Angie) and 65mi (Kevin), returning Kent’s PDX bike for the photo.

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.

The 2014 TeamNakagawa Group

The 2014 TeamNakagawa Group

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!

Setup week pictures on Smugmug

Event day pictures on Smugmug

Tour de Cure 2014 – Prep Week

The plan is in place.  The key people on the volunteer planning committee are in charge.  There’s really not much that I can do now but stay out of the way.  The one thing I can say about the people I work with is that they care.  They won’t do things halfway.  That’s the best complement I can give to a volunteer team that overachieves year after year.

Same goes for my donors, who not only allowed me to achieve Champion status again this year ($1000 in donations), but they also pushed Margo over the top as well.  Helping me make a difference, year after year.

New shirt for 2014's event

New shirt for 2014’s event

Trying the Chairman shirt for size.

Trying the Chairman shirt for size.

This year's honor roll of donors.  Helping me make a difference, year after year.

This year’s honor roll of donors. Helping me make a difference, year after year.p

On to the event!

 

2014 Salem Monster Cookie Ride

SAG riding for Margo Nakagawa on Inspire, with Elena Illescas-Nilaver and Mike Warner. Started with cold (42 degrees), downpours, and a tailwind (northbound). Turned into the headwind from hell on the southbound. Margo continues to struggle with her front shifter skills. and really ran out of gas on the return 20 because of this. I did better than I thought I would, given the lack of prep riding.

A relatively dry start.  Didn't last long.

A relatively dry start. Didn’t last long.

Margo earns her cookies

Margo earns her cookies

More pictures on smugmug.