Welcome to the Coffee Ride, where you get your week planned for you, and more.
It's summer now, folks. The sun, interrupted by only a few sullen days of rain, shines bright in Northern Michigan, and there's no place to ride like Traverse City. Our final week of June is a busy one, and there are some big summer events on the horizon as well.
Speed of Light Ladies' Night
The last of the June Classics, Ladies' Night celebrates all the tough, fun and fast women in TC. Women will be scored with 20 points, -1 to as many finishes as are present. It's a night we look forward to every year, and a stage that brings out some special efforts from everybody. Expect to see Kaitlyn Patterson, Susan Vigland and Lauri Brockmiller gunning for the title, but also to knock down a new SOL record time.
miniSOL rolls on, with our third week of action and an important milestone. It will be the first time some of our miniSOLers bump up to the big show, and we're excited to see how last week's winner Ethan McKenna fairs on the full 11.5 mile course.
Tour Competition Coming Up
After Ladies' Night, it's time for the Tour Competition. Riders take on four grueling weeks of racing, with the coveted maillot jaune, and all the other jerseys, on offer. Last year, Alex Vanias took the Tour to complete the rare Giro-Tour double, but there are a dozen riders with a realistic chance of taking the GC. The real kicker is the Queen Stage, which takes place on the final stage. Just one time a year, we do it twice; the riders still eligible on GC take on two laps of the course, prying open gaps and show who really has the legs. There's no hiding, and the stage has seen some of the most exciting and dramatic scenes in SOL history. Two years ago, race leader Ryan Kennedy survived a broken bike and crash, remounting on the bike of a teammate and relying on two riders to pull him back to the lead group. It was one of the most exciting days on the Vasa, ever.
24th Annual Pancake Ride
It is an unmissable ride, to be frank. A Traverse City tradition, our own Jason Whittaker and his wife, Arianne, put on the Pancake Ride, with support from Ec and Hagerty Insurance. With multiple distances to choose from, and the promise of pancakes at the end, it's a morning in the County with friends new and old, and one of the toughest days in the saddle if you're up for the long route. You can RSVP and find out more, here.
Tour de France 2016!
The Tour starts July 2! We'll have every stage live next door at Breakaway Cafe, with replays on throughout the day. One of the most mountainous and demanding Tours in recent years, the race starts with a picturesque and potentially windy drag race from Mont Saint Michel along the English Channel. A few days on the Norman Coast wind into an excursion into the Pyrenees by weeks' end.
You can join our fantasy cycling league at Velogames.com and using the league code 342013453736. We'll have prizes for first and last place, plus the invaluable bragging rights that come with being the smartest cycling fan in the world...or at least amongst us pals.
Balthazar B+ Demos
Also this week, we'll have Bearclaw Bicycle Co. Balthazars for demo with a full array of 29+, B+ and fat bike wheels to try out. Call ahead to reserve your demo, and see which wheelset works for you. We have a dozen or so riders using their Balthazar as their mountain bike, and with builds weighing in as light as 18 pounds, it probably is lighter than your current 29er anyway!