|A sign of the times|
I tried not to be too enthusiastic about the MS Tour to Camrose and back. But I couldn't help myself. And I energetically described what the tour was like and that to enter, a person needs only to raise $275.00. A lot of riders that I've met on previous tours paid the 275 simoleons just to participate. Think about it. If you were to go away for the weekend and have everything taken care of for you (accomodation, food, entertainment etc.), you would undoubtably spend more than that.
Everything is taken care of for you by the MS Society. Raise $1,000.00 and they will partially dress you as well. In a very snappy Louis Garneau cycling shirt. Raise more and they will outfit you with matching cycling shorts to go with the shirt. As well, your safety is never a concern in that marshalls patrol the length of the tour on both days to ensure that everyone is safe. Pickup trucks (flaggin' wagons) connected by radio communication are there to pick up you and your bike should the tour prove to be too much for you. I found out last year in talking to one of the "slouch wagon" drivers that if you pull to the side of the road and take off your helmet, it is a clear signal that you wish to be picked up.
Every 15 klicks is a rest stop where fresh fruit, liquids and food are provided. Plus portapotties and United Cycle will be happy to make minor repairs to your bike. At the early rest stops, the lineups can be daunting (especially if you have to go) but as the tour progresses and riders spread out, you can usually have and do what you want without waiting.
|Riders have started to spread out....|
When you reach the finish line, volunteers will be there to cheer you in and a huge barn is provided to store your bike. The barn is locked up tight and has security as well. Then a huge banquet is prepared for you including live entertainment. Masseurs are on hand to unknot your muscles and moving trucks are there with your luggage all laid out in numerical order. A campground is located right at the finish line (away from the beer gardens) for you to pitch your tent.
Breaky is served the next morning starting at 6:30 and the trucks are ready and waiting for your luggage. The start of the second day is rather haphazard and the early birds really do catch the worm. Meaning that there won't be any crowding when you pull into a rest stop. Since I stay in a nearby motel, I have my bike with me and can leave the start line as soon as I scarf down b'fast.
In an effort to not oversell you, I'll leave you with this thought:
All you have to do is ride.