Thanks to member Lynn Horrigan for this report on Hammerdown Multisport's Tour de Ranch. Sounds like they put on a great event.
Tour De Ranch 2015- Metric Century
62 mile bike -Vernon, Florida
First of all, like most of my "virgin" ventures in triathlon, I went into this a little worried about what exactly I was getting myself into. But yes, let's pay 45 bucks, drive an hour + to a little town that even the GPS seemed confused about and then let's ride some REAL hills and go further than we have ever gone before... (Because let's be honest, the most I had ever ridden before was 56 miles).
What an absolute blast! Would I do it again? YES, PLEASE!
It turned out to be a super laid back event with several different distance options going off minutes apart. “G” and I had planned to stay together and pretty quickly found ourselves grouping up with 2 other ladies and eventually adding a third new friend who kept passing us on the downhills. We blew by the first aid station but G and I knew we needed the second one and stopped for cookies and the porta potty when it came up. Two of our group rode on but thank goodness we did stop! The hills are mainly AFTER the notorious Orange Hill which was pretty late in the ride (somewhere in the late 40's range?). Those smaller hills were quite evil and numerous, but super fun! I personally have never gone downhill that fast before and never even thought about the possibility of having to get off my bike to walk up a hill...hello Orange Hill. We did not have to walk it but that sucker is steeeeeeep.
We were only slightly disappointed that the roads were not marked a teeny bit better. Due to rain they couldn't paint arrows and the signs were few and far between. Twice we were really concerned about having gone the wrong way but just kept going and were fine. Also, no beer at the end, no cookies at the end (they were so good at that 2nd stop) and we sorta thought there was going to be BBQ for some reason? But there was Popeyes red beans and rice, soda, chips and water. *Do keep in mind you have to obey all traffic lights and signs, even if they are 5 feet after the start of the race. I don't know why I thought there would be someone there holding traffic or something…
BTW I would totally get a couple of 50 milers in prior to this so you can really enjoy it. Hopefully this will pay off as part of our training for Gulfcoast 70.3 J
All in all, a well-organized ride with a super laid back vibe. A great place to try something new or to go and get some hill training in! I will for sure do this one again in the future.