Curts Ride 2018 – We’re on!

It’s On! The 2018 Curt’s Ride To Cure Cancer

OK, so yeah, we are way, way, way tardy in letting everyone know. You see, we’ve been kinda busy. Yeah, yeah, we know, that is no excuse, but it is the best that we have right now. Anyway, yes, it is official – we are going it again! In just under three months we will embark on the 2018 version of Curt’s Ride To Cure Cancer, our annual 620-mile bike ride down the east coast of Florida (we hope!) to help fund the search for a cure for cancer.

You are getting this message because at some point you rode in a previous iteration of Curt’s Ride, or you expressed an interest in Curt’s Ride, or someone you know gave us your name because they worry that you might feel lonely if you don’t get enough email, or maybe one time in the past you happened to look at a bicycle. Any of those are sufficient reason for us to ask if you are interested in joining the “Curt’s Team” riders this year. No matter how you are connected with us, and whether you want to ride, provide support, drive the sag wagon, or party with us in Key West, all are welcome!

Now, it seems that we have some serious planning to do. Actually, there is some serious planning that should already have been done, but, uhm, yeah, you see, ah, whatever. It seems that my planning threshold extends just about to “hey, what is for lunch?” and that is about it. Personally, we still like the idea of just flinging ourselves headlong down the entire length of the Florida coast at random and seeing what happens as it happens. But those among us that are a bit more realistic have made it clear that is not an acceptable methodology for any group bigger than just me. Thus, we must plan. So, with that in mind, here is where we are so far:

Are you in for this year’s ride? Assuming my procrastination has not scared you away completely, are you able to join us in Florida for the 2018 Curt’s Ride To Cure Cancer? Do you have a serious interest in participating, helping with the ride, or just following along and drinking margaritas in the back of the support van? If any of those options seem possible, could you please let us know as soon as possible, along with your level of confidence about being able to make it. Cast-in-concrete, absolute commitments are not necessary at this point. So even if you are thinking “hey, sounds kinda interesting, but I have to see if I can find someone to take care of my pet slug Malcom for the time that I would be away before I can commit” that is OK, just let us know.

As for the ride itself, after our last-minute change in plans last year in response to the hurricane that forced us to re-route the ride, we will be returning to Florida this year (presuming no new hurricanes!). We have checked with our scout on the ground in the Keys, Taz Sheperd, and she has verified that the entire length of the East Coast Greenway from the mainland through the Keys all the way to Key West has been repaired and is safely passable (she did this by actually running the entire 100-mile length of that portion of our route back in May for the Keys 100 Ultra Marathon!). With the route safety confirmed, our plan is to do as we did for the first seven years of Curt’s Ride, and approximately follow the East Coast Greenway down the Atlantic coast of Florida. Shown below is the schedule for the ride. As before, this schedule is based primarily on how we have done prior rides. Expect that we will change the ride length each day based on our progress, how the team feels, weather, and our riding pace. As always, flexibility will be key for this trip!

Sept 28 – Travel to Jacksonville, FL.
Sept 29 – Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach to Daytona Beach, ~115 miles
Sept 30 – Daytona Beach to Cocoa Beach, ~87 miles
Oct 1 – Cocoa Beach to Fort Pierce, ~75 miles
Oct 2 – Fort Pierce to Boca Raton, ~90 miles
Oct 3 – Boca Raton – rest day
Oct 4 – Boca Raton to Homestead, ~85 miles
Oct 5 – Homestead to Long Key, ~65 miles
Oct 6 – Long Key to Key West, ~70 miles
Oct 7 – Recovery!
Oct 8 – Columbus Day recovery from recovery, and head home

For each stop along the way, the designated stopping locations are considered “soft targets.” Based on how the team is doing, we may want to ride longer or shorter each day. When we have done the ride at this same time of year previously, finding lodging was not a problem at all – this is the off season, and rooms are available all over the place (the one exception to this will be Key West on a holiday weekend, which we will discuss soon).

The next thing to note is that we are working furiously to get the “Curt’s Ride” web site back up and running (thank you, Stacey!). As soon as we get the DNS updated (give us one more day for this), you will be able to go to curtsride.com to see the updated version of the site. Simultaneously, we are just finishing up the new ACS donations site for this year. By the end of the week you will be able to go to curtsride.info and register as a team member so you can start to log your donations with ACS (we will send out another message to confirm when the team donations site is up and running).

One other item of importance. Alan Dooley has offered to drive the support van again for us this year (yay Alan!). So that is one big item already checked off the list. All we need now is a support van (right about now, the lyrics to “Drive My Car” should start running through your head). We are in the hunt for a large cargo van to use as the support van for the ride again this year. We are looking at the options associated with renting a van in Jacksonville for the one-way trip to Key West. However, if you happen to know of anyone that has a van available for us to borrow/use as a support van, please let us know and we would certainly like to talk with them about that possibility. In either case, we will also be searching for a sponsor to help cover the costs of the support vehicle for the event this year. If you know any companies that might be interested in becoming the van sponsor for the ride, then let’s talk!

Once again, we will be producing bike jerseys for the ride for everyone. Sid Stromsdorfer has worked up another beautiful design for us. We will need to know very soon (like within the three weeks or so) how many to order. If things work out the way we hope we may be able to get the jerseys for about $60 each. So, would you please let me know if you would be interested in getting a team jersey at that price, how many you would like, and what size(s). We are using Verge Sport to produce the jerseys again this year – please refer to their sizing chart (v-gear.com/Sizing) for any questions about jersey sizes.

We are sure that there are still a gazillion questions running through your head about things we forgot to mention here. Please just fire off the questions and we will attempt to answer as many as possible.

Finally, the most important thing to remember is that this whole adventure is supposed to be fun and personally rewarding while we are trying to do something meaningful to help ACS and cancer survivors. If you are riding, you will be pushing yourself to complete a physically demanding task. But we will not push anyone beyond their ability. Ride at a pace that is comfortable, and you can be sure that there will be others that will match your pace. Enjoy the scenery, the route we will ride, and the company we will all be keeping, and you will have a great time. Use this as an opportunity to leave work problems, social anxiety disorder, worries about whether or not you turned off the stove, and other stresses completely behind, and just enjoy the process of making your feet go round and round just over one-third of a million times (yes, we actually figured this out).

For all of those able to participate, no matter what role you choose, we can promise that participating in the 2018 Curt’s Ride to Cure Cancer will be an amazing experience that you will remember for your entire life. Or at least until the heavy post-ride pain-killer narcotics kick in, whichever comes first.

-Dave and Stacey

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