Monday, September 27, 2010

Ride-4-Ronald 2010

Ride-4-Ronald 2010

Sunday I participated in the Ride-4-Ronald charity ride.  The donations for this ride went to the Ronald McDonald House of Central FL.  This is a great non-profit that “provides home-away-from-home for these families in medical crisis. Before the Ronald McDonald Houses, being with a hospitalized child meant parents were sleeping in their cars or in chairs in the waiting room, eating out of vending machines, or bearing the expense of impersonal hotel rooms” (

Bonnie and I before the ride
The race offered a 30mi, metric century (67mi) and a century (100mi).  I chose the metric century. Bonnie did the 30mi ride. This was my first race doing a metric century.  I have done a few with my friend Angel before but this was the first “official” ride.  The other rides were not planned to be long rides but the “lost boys” took a wrong turn and ended up really lost like usual.  I will have to blog about the “lost boys” some day.  There will be some funny stories to share about this.  (We want to get a set of custom jerseys made up so if you know of someone who does custom jerseys email or comment me there website.  I only need two made up.)

Fellow Lost Boy, Angel

From what I understand this was the first time they have ever put on this ride.  In some ways they did a great job and in others ways they needed improvement. 

Having Fun!
One area they needed improvement was in the number of portable toilets.   They only had three for several hundred riders.   The wait took forever and many people missed the start of the race.  The route markings were really bad also.  The spray paint on the road was really hard to find and in some places appeared to be missing.  There were also several other non-related markings that through some riders off course.  Oh course, Angel and I got lost and added a few miles onto the metric century. 

The ride itself was pretty dangerous.  It had too many really busy roads, stop lights and intersections.   Most of these roads did not have a bike lane, had tons of traffic or were narrow.  This is not a route I would ever choose to do again.

Angel & Me (Angel is in the black spandex on the bottom right)

At one point in the race we had three riders collide and fall on the road.  Luckily it was a slow collision and no one was hurt but they fell in the middle of the road.  A cop went past them and turned around to “check on us” but he did not care that someone had fell and was hurt.  The only thing he said to the downed rider was to “get out of the road”.  He did not even ask if anyone was hurt or if he could help.  What a jerk!! 

Volunteers serving goodies!!

They did a great job in many areas. The SWAG points were at McDonalds restaurants along the ride.  They offered water, food and a place to rest.  They did a really nice job here and the volunteers were great.  After the race there were a team of massage therapists giving free massages.  There was plenty of free Myoplex, sports drinks, soda, water and pizza.  They raffled off a bike and other goodies.  They also had many triathlon bike racks so you had a place to set your bike before and after the race.  There was also plenty of easy and free car parking,

Humble Triathlete and Me
Along the ride I met up with the Humble Triathlete.  She was a great person to talk to, was really friendly and humble.  I was able to get a picture with her and meet her husband.  I hope to see her again at other events.  I really enjoyed meeting and talking to her.  He is an inspiration and I hope to be able to do half of what she has accomplished.

The REAL Ronald McDonald

I even got a picture with the REAL Ronald McDonald.  He was so much cooler than the fake Santa you see everywhere.  I approached him to ask for a picture but before I could say anything Ronald said “Dude, where did you get that jersey.  I want a picture with you.  Anyone who likes Pink Floyd can get a picture anytime.”  Obviously Ronald was a Pink Floyd fan. 

Crazy Eyes Jersey
The new jersey was a hit.  I had several people including Ronald McDonald comment on how they liked it.  Others who were do young to know Pink Floyd just wondered why I had huge eyes on my jersey.  Several riders went past me and said it’s the dude with the crazy eyes jersey. ;-)

The Crowd
Over 580 people showed up to the ride and by all accounts it was a success.  The Ronald McDonald House raised over $70,000 and everyone had fun.  I would do it again next year if they changed the route some.

UPDATE: 10/05/2010: Race photos can be found here.

Well, another race in the books (not the record books).


  1. Thanks for the shout-out! I heard from another friend that this was the 2nd yr for the event but the turnout was double what they expected. To me, the most dangerous part of the course was the bike path. Hated all those curves, stops/intersections, yellow posts and felt sorry for all those other poor folks who happened to be on the trail too.

    Love that pic of you with Ronald!

  2. It sounds like it was a good ride in the end, even with all of the dangerous sections. I would email the race director with your comments/suggestions. The worst they could do is ignore you, but hopefully they will take them into account and make the race better next year!

  3. @Aimee: it was a very fun race and was well directed. My only complaint was the lack of signs during the race and the traffic during the course. A good course is tough because you start in the middle of Orlando. Orlando has tons of traffic and is not biker friendly. They are in a tough position. Overall it was fun, well supported and a ton of money was raised for a good cause.