What’s the Tour like?
- The 2024 Tour begins with a mandatory orientation and dinner on Sunday evening, so you should plan to arrive early enough to check in to the host hotel, pick up your gear, get your bike ready, and be ready for the evening’s programs by 5:00 p.m. The Tour will roll for five days: Monday through Friday.
- As part of your full-time Tour registration, you will have six hotel nights covered (Sunday night through Friday night). You will have a roommate unless you request and pay a supplement for a single room. We do our best to accommodate roommate preferences. If you do not request a roommate, our Tour Director, Paul Wood, will team riders up using his proprietary algorithm.
What is each day like?
- Each morning, you’ll bring your packed travel bags to the luggage truck/ designated area (usually near the lobby) at the time announced on the white board and at the rider briefing the prior evening.
- Eat your breakfast, fill your water bottles, air up your bike tires, and find your ride buddies.
- There will be a mandatory rider briefing each morning about 15 minutes prior to rollout which will cover what to expect that day, including weather, road conditions, events.
- We roll out as a group.
- There is generally a morning rest stop, lunch stop, and afternoon rest stop placed ~20-30 miles apart along the route, with other stops added, as needed.
What are the stops?
- Events– These are community engagement events with VIP hosts, media, etc., so you are strongly encouraged to plan your ride so that you can attend, participate, and help advance TREE Fund’s mission. You are an ambassador for TREE Fund, the Tour, and our Partners. Community members will be eager to meet you and understand why you are involved in the Tour.
- Programs– These are short presentations or tree planting ceremonies that you are encouraged to attend.
- Rest Stops– A stop with just food and bathrooms.
What else will happen during the day?
- Towards the end of the day, support will SAG any riders that may still be on the road at the time necessary to get everyone to the hotel safely and in time for the rider recap and dinner.
- Massage therapy is available in the bike room at day’s end. Add your name on the list first thing when you arrive to the hotel.
- A mandatory rider briefing is held during dinner each night. We review the day, discuss any potential adjustments to make the next day even safer, and preview the next day’s ride and activities.
- Dinner does not include alcohol. Bring cash if you’d like adult beverages.
What cities will we be visiting in 2024?
The 2024 ride will be roughly 425 miles and the schedule is as follows (subject to change):
- Riding Day 1: Stamford, CT to Middletown, CT- 82 miles
- Riding Day 2: Middletown, CT to Smithfield, RI- 82 miles
- Riding Day 3: Smithfield, RI to Falmouth, MA- 78 miles
- Riding Day 4: Martha’s Vineyard loop- 73 miles (ferrying to the island and back)
- Riding Day 5: Falmouth, MA to Providence, RI- 103 miles
How can I stay informed about Tour details and any changes to plans?
- Before the Tour, the best place to find the latest information is in the Participant Resources page on the TREE Fund website.
- After you register to ride, you will also receive a monthly e-newsletter, The Ride Guide, that will keep you up on the latest details.
- During the Tour, we communicate via the mandatory rider briefings (morning and evening), a white board located in the bike room, and apps that can send mass texts to riders.
How will I know where we are going?
In the final Ride Guide before the Tour, Paul will broadcast the finalized RidewithGPS files so you can download them to your respective navigation tools. RidewithGPS will provide turn-by-turn instructions and alert you if you go off course. The next day’s route is reviewed at the rider briefing each evening. If needed, additional route markings may be used to help guide riders to any hard-to-find areas, but, for the most part, the navigation app will tell you exactly where to go and any hazards. Always bring a cell phone and never ride alone.
What if I can’t ride the whole day?
No worries. We have “SAG wagons” available to transport cyclists as needed due to mechanical problems or fatigue. The hope is that you can ride most of the way, but if you need help, it’s there. When you’re out of gas – the van won’t be!
Can I bring a guest to dinner?
Yes, we are happy to have guests join us! Please let Paul and Jonathan know in advance if you’re planning to bring one (or more), so we will have enough food. The cost per guest (age 12 and older) for breakfast or lunch is $25 and for dinner it’s $50, payable by credit card to Jonathan the day of the meal. Please note that we do NOT make any money off guest meals; we are simply covering our costs so we can keep Tour expenses in line.
What can I expect from the mechanics?
The Tour mechanics can handle just about any repair. You are responsible for the cost of items needed to repair your bike. Help is always available, but you may have to wait a bit for it. Please note:
- Being able to fix a flat yourself will get you back on the road faster.
- Knowing how to assemble/break down your bike if you’re shipping it will make your life easier.
What kind of training is recommended for participation in the Tour?
Here are some general training tips to prepare for riding 425+ miles in five days:
- If you have limited time for training, pool it and ride 50-65 miles twice a week rather than short rides every day.
- Ride back-to-back long rides of close to 80 miles as often as possible in the final six weeks, but stay within your weekly mileage goal. Riding long on consecutive days in training is the key to feeling good on the Tour.
- Be comfortable training 200-250 miles per week for the eight weeks before the Tour. Get ready gradually.
- Train on the bike you will be riding on the Tour. If you are concerned about bike fit and your riding position, get advice from a cycling coach, bike shop professional, or knowledgeable rider before the Tour. Don’t make position changes without adequate time to adapt.
- Participate in weekend group rides to become comfortable with other wheels just inches away. Group rides tend to be fast too, which is good training.
- Begin some of your training rides in the early morning. Try to ride occasionally on rainy days and in other less-than-optimum conditions so you’ll be ready for anything.
- Get comfortable eating on long rides. You’ll need to consume roughly 250-300 calories per hour will help ensure all-day energy. Drink at least 24 ounces an hour (one water bottle) to stay hydrated.
- Don’t forget speed. Training rides should include some rolling hills to sprint up, some escapes from farm dogs, and some fast tailwind stretches to help you turn a big gear. Making these surges, rather than always riding at a constant pace, will help raise your fitness and cruising speed.