Our Photo Tour of the “Tour”
Let’s set the scene… Sunday, October 9th. 8:00am. Mt. Brighton lodge. Nearly 800 cyclists laughing and chatting, grabbing a final breakfast bar and topping off their water bottles. Tour de Livingston time…
We were up extra early packing bikes, gear and tools at the shop (left). James and Amanda manned the Hometown tent at the Tour (Amanda wheeling out a Jamis Hudson Cruiser, right). James, Amanda… you are awesome. Thank you both!
Hometown’s tent was hopping with last minute bicycle repairs and deflated tires. (Shaun, left. James, right.)
We snuck in a little time to build our Bicycle Tug of War. Of course, we had to test it out first… you know… to make sure it was fun enough. It was. (Valiant knights, right. Trusty steeds, left.)
At the Tour, willing volunteers made sure our tug-of-war bikes were working properly (left). Then, let the games begin! Jack watched on to make sure there was no monkey business (right).
Tour directors were launching cyclists in waves for a variety of short and long, road and trail loops (right). We grabbed a quick photo op with our 500 Mile Challenge superstars, Steve and Jill (left). (Read more about their success story below.)
Dawn and I set off a little late, but rarin’ to go on our 100-miles-on-a-tandem-1-day-before-our-1-year-wedding-anniversary adventure! We encountered all kinds of roads…
And all kinds of scenery…
And all kinds of ‘wildlife’ (cows, left – horses, right).
Our favorite rest stop was Dexter Cider Mill (left), where we chowed down on fresh donuts and cider (with zero remorse). Tour planner and coordinator (and the evil mastermind behind the 62-mile loop, Ann Arbor hill climb), Jim Gilligan of Snedicor’s Cleaners, was there to welcome cyclists with refreshments and good cheer (right).
Our last 38 miles benefited big time from the awesome company of Hometownie, Barry Wynn. A flat (left) didn’t stop us for long. Neither did Michigan’s infestation of orange barrels (middle). Most of the ride was smooth sailing (right).
On the final stretch, when we were questioning our sanity, Tour Director Peter Bowen’s creative road markings in front of our shop (left) inspired us to go the distance. Victory was sweet. 100 miles, baby!! That’s definitely something to smile about (right).
So, who’s ready to ride with us next year??
The 500 Mile Hometown Challenge: ACCOMPLISHED
Remember when Shaun challenged two, innocent customers to ride 500 miles in one summer on their new bikes? Since then, Jill and Steven have become local superstars, pedaling all over the county. They conquered their last 38 of the 500 miles at the 2011 Tour de Livingston. Their letter says it all:
“When Shaun asked us to ride 500 miles, our first thought was, he wants us to do what? This challenge was pushing us out of our comfort zone.
But we accepted it, and conquered it. It not only pushed us to ride, but has brought us closer together as a couple.
We traveled to more places that I did not even know existed. There were many Sundays we would go to church with the bikes packed and head off to an unknown destination. We [even] took a bikecation to the west side of the state.
Our vacations and summers will never be the same, now that we have our bikes, and I (Jill) have challenged myself to ride 1,000 miles!
We will always be forever grateful to the staff at Hometown!
Jill & Steven Gautherat
P.S. We are NOT done riding… there are some more beautiful days ahead, we are going to take advantage of them!”
Congratulations, Jill and Steven! You’ve inspired all sorts of people with your determination… including us!!
“A nice day for a little ride with several hundred of our closest friends.”
– Tour de Livingston 2011, TdL Facebook Page