The Sun Always Shines on the Tour
Even when it doesn’t. Tour de Fronds 2018 got off under uncharacteristically heavy skies with a light, misting drizzle and 50-degree temperature. By mid-afternoon, it was sunny and comfortably warmer.
The sun always shines on the Tour because of the sunny dispositions of the volunteers who radiate the enthusiasm the community of Powers exudes for this event. The Friday night spaghetti feed has pretty darn good entertainment – this year it was Rob and Jeani Hamilton as well as the group Meadow and Clover. People who were strangers when they met last year - or ten years ago - meet here again to talk about the route they rode last year, the route they’re going to ride this year and how tough it can be to choose between the six or seven choices available, depending on whether nature has been unduly harsh on a particular route – this year the Big Tree route was not ridable due to blow-down.
The Tour has been around for over 20 years, but really hit its stride this year when 306 riders headed up the Coquille River. Look for registration for the 2019 Tour to be limited to the first 300 riders who sign up. Too many same-day registrations this year put a strain on the starting line volunteers. The lesson is sign up early to avoid the cut-off.
The route over Agness Pass and down to the Rogue River (The Agness Store route, 71 miles) saw a big increase in participation and is bound to continue that trend as people discover just how good it is to sit on a patio overlooking the Rogue for a lunch at the Singing Springs resort. You can do this route comfortably on 32s. I did it on 28s last year and they work, too. On the post-lunch ride back up to Agness Pass via a different route the cold-water spring 2/3 of the way up is an excellent goal to fix on during your heavy breathing.
Charles Mahaffey, age 77+, rode the century named after him. If he keeps this up, somebody is going to have to let some of the air out his tires so more of us can keep him in sight. Truly a very pleasant gentleman. Meeting and talking to him at the spaghetti dinner is a treat.
The post-ride dinner, which is served from noon to 6pm is a test of willpower. Can I possibly avoid doubling or tripling the calories I just burned? Probably not, if this year’s dessert table is repeated next year.
Honestly, driving out of Powers is the low-point of the weekend. However many days until the next Tour are too many. This community is a community of many good people working hard to put on an event that helps so many local causes in a way that does make the wait a bit too long.