Last weekend I participated in the 7th annual Fort 4 Fitness Spring Cycle event. This was the 3rd year that they offered the Metric Century (100K = 62 miles). I participated the first year they offered this distance, 2016, and again this year.
The event started at 9am for the 62 & 43 mile events. Then there was a 10am start for 32,16 & 10 mile rides. Ride day packet pick-up was an option. Easy in and out in front of the Ft Wayne Art Museum. The ride then started in front of the art museum with plenty of potties & a row of vendors to scope out before/after the ride. Plenty of room for riders to line up for the start.
The 100K ride left Ft Wayne for Antwerp, OH, then returned. Roads were well marked and busy intersections were covered by police & volunteers.
The ride out of town & to Antwerp provided a nice tailwind that really pushed us along. But of course, the return trip gave us a headwind that wasn’t quite as much fun. Then the black clouds opened up and we had a some rain for a bit. Mostly country roads with a few busier roads mixed in for connections. Roads were in decent condition but we traveled thru Amish country so there were some rough patches and spots with horse manure.
Multiple aid stations provided bathrooms, food & hydration, along with bike support if needed. I believe there were 3 or 4 stops on 100K route. Everyone: riders, volunteers & police support alike were in a good spirits and happy to be out and participate. Riders were spread out pretty well except for the last 15ish miles of the 100K. Once the 100K riders joined the shorter distances, there were more people but since the course covered low traffic areas, it wasn’t an issue, we just had to be more vigilant .
As we rode back into town to finish in front of the Art Museum, we wound thru some neighborhoods and traffic increased. The police handled it well and they got us thru all the busy intersections. I noticed a positive change to the course toward the end. We did not ride down the Greenway to finish, but instead came thru town in a designated bike lane. Great improvement from the inaugural ride where it was congested & dangerous at the end as we finished up on the Greenway and were sharing space with non-event riders who weren’t expecting the extra traffic.
Overall, great experience. This is definitely an event that I love because it has so many options for cyclists of all ability levels. I love that it’s a family event and even the little ones can participate.
There was an after party in front of the Art Museum. Beer. Food Vendors. Tent with seats. Fun to be had. No “free” food this year but our bibs each had a $3 off ticket that could be used at the food trucks. I heard some complaints on this but a lot of people loved it because they had more variety than usual at a post event party. I personally don’t have an opinion. I rarely eat the free food & I didn’t utilize the food truck vendors either. My schedule was tight. I was in and out pretty quickly.
SWAG = Cotton T-shirt & Finishers medal.
I really like cycling events. Very low key. You can go as fast or as slow as you like. You can stop at every aid station or pass them all. You get to ride new routes that you would never ride solo. I’d recommend checking out a local ride this summer! They aren’t races, so no need to treat it as one, unless of course, that’s just how you roll, then go kill it. You won’t be alone.
The next local ride that I plan to attend is the CASS Housing Ride on June 3rd in Ft Wayne, IN. It’s a charity ride. No official entry fee but they are accepting donations. Register now. GREAT ride, I did it last year. Hope to see you there!
** Go Ride ** Amanda – TooTallFritz