The Tour de Belleville is a fun, family friendly bike ride throughout the streets of Belleville, IL. I had some work out in St Louis today and was surprised by the number of cars on the highway heading towards Belleville with bicycles attached to their cars. This event usually pulls in around 2,000 riders each year but, this year seemed a bit bigger than usual.
I liked the 2011 Theme of Belle Vegas and think that would be a pretty smart way to promote the city.
I saw four other Masonic brothers at the race and as many fellow karate people. Thanks to one of my Mason brothers I did not have to wait an hour (or more) to get started. The race starts at the back of a church parking lot, you go out of the parking lot, turn right, then turn right again at which point you are in front of the church. So, if you can live without making the first two right turns in the route, then you can start out in front of the church and have an extra hour of life to do something else with, like blog, for instance 🙂
I did manage to take a couple really nice, blurry pictures of the lower parking lot full of people waiting to start.
There were about as many riders behind me as were in these pictures. It was a bit different just doing the 5 mile route instead of the 15 mile option but still a lot of fun. I got to talk to a couple guys at the front of the church and they told me about the Tour de Corn which was a few weeks ago, Century Rides (bike rides of 100 miles) and Half Century Rides (50 miles). They also told me about a Metric Century which is 100 kilometers or about 62 Miles. 🙂
And, wouldn’t you know it, when I got back to my car after the race there was a flyer on my car for an upcoming bike ride which included all those distances! Soooo….. I signed up for my first Half Century Bike ride scheduled for Saturday, September 6th called the D.A.R.E to Ride To The Lake! which is a bike ride from Trenton, Illinois to Carlyle Lake Illinois and Back.
I’ve also noticed that bike rides are a lot cheaper than running type races. The Tour de Belleville is only $16 bucks a rider and they even have special price breaks for families so it’s even cheaper. I don’t recall how much the Tour de Donut is tomorrow – and NOW I’m REALLY Looking forward to that race! For this race on Sept 6th – any distance is only $20 and they have 5 distances to choose from; in miles they have an 11, 25, 50, 62 and 100.
One nice thing about the Tour de Belleville is that all the money they raise stays in town. I think last year about $5,000 went to help maintain and improve bike paths and running trails in the area so that’s pretty cool 🙂
hmmmm….. I checked my stats on Sports Tracker comparing last years bike ride to this one. Last year I did the 15 mile route and averages 12.3 mph. This year I did the 5 mile route and averaged 12.4 mph…..
One cool thing about starting at the South end of the parking lot instead of the East end is that I actually finished my ride so quickly that when I got back, there were still a couple hundred people waiting to start! I’m pretty certain I’ll do this run again (can’t beat the price & fun combo) but, I don’t think I’ll be taking those first two right turns – only miss out on about 1/8th of a mile but easily save an hour of time.
I AM looking forward to eating some donuts tomorrow! 🙂 There’s supposed to be a Rib Fest in Staunton tomorrow after the race and I’m looking forward to eating some ribs as well 🙂 Which reminds me – I weighed 262 this past Thursday but haven’t gotten that blog in yet. For those of you keeping score, that’s a 10 pound gain since the week before …yawn & ho-hum. No biggie. yikes – just realized I’m sitting out here in my garage with the door open and I’m wearing a biking helmet – my new neighbor that just moved in is going to think I’m a kook.
I’ve never actually been to Staunton, Illinois …Looks like it’s 42 miles away from me. This is cool – they actually allow you to camp at the city park where the race begins the night before the race for free.