Testimonials from Tour de Blast!

Thank you to all riders who have participated in Tour de Blast. All your support, and wonderful comments have not gone unnoticed.

Thank you from the entire 2009 Tour de Blast Committee. See you next year!

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I just had to send you a note and I hope you can post it where all your Tour de Blast 2009 volunteers can see it.

My fiancee and I rode the Tour de Blast for the first time this year.  
We stumbled upon the ride in 2007 when we were just visiting the park as tourists (we’re from Vancouver, BC) and thought it looked like a great time!  Unable to do it last year, we signed up in early spring and started training in March.  What a fabulous ride!

The most important reason for writing to you is to thank your volunteers.  This is one of the most organized events of any kind I’ve ever done.  There were a great number of friendly and helpful volunteers at the start, rest areas and at the end.  The food at the stops was plentiful and tasty.  In fact, a big part of our story is how I didn’t touch any of the energy bars or gels I loaded up on at REI before the ride – I was fueled only by turkey sandwiches and chocolate brownies for the entire ride and felt awesome!  :)  The end feed was great, too – plenty of good food and friendly people.  The package pick-up was insanely easy and each rest stop was well organized and even the line-ups for the loos weren’t too long!

I hope all the riders treated your volunteers with respect and we tried to thank each one we saw.  Again – very well organized and we had a great day.  We made a long weekend of it and had a wonderful time.

Thank you so much!  We hope you found the day a success and were able to raise some money for your organization.

Sincerely,
Diana Chaytor
Vancouver, BC

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I rode the full route on Saturday, and had a blast!  Thank you so much for the organization, the great food, the friendly volunteers, the signage,  the whole package.  My son and daughter-in-law and I will never forget the event.
I ride in lots of these events in Colorado:  the Triple Bypass, Ride the Rockies, Elephant Rock Ride, Copper Triangle.  I’ve also done the Santa Fe Century.  Your event ranks right up there.   The food was the best I’ve experienced.  And, the post-ride feed at Toutle HS was great.
Thanks again!

Mark A. Hanson

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This was my first time riding tour de blast and I wanted to say thanks for a great ride.  Everything was well organized and I can’t wait to do it again.  My only request for next year is that you turn up the heat a little on the down hills.

Thanks again,
Luke

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My husband and I rode in the Tour this year for the first time.  We just wanted to thank you for coordinating such a great event.  Plenty of support staff from the time we parked to the spaghetti dinner. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. 

Thank you,

Joe & Michele Chacon

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This was my first year riding Tour de Blast and I will definitely be back next year.  The support was outstanding, probably the best of any ride I have done in years.  Overall, this event is definitely one of the top rides in the Portland/Seattle area!

Thanks to everyone who helped make the ride a success!

Best regards,
Preston

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Thank you for your hard work and efforts to make this event so popular.
I rode the tour this year for the first time, and surely enjoyed it, despite of not-so-wonderful weather condition.
As a non-mountain biker, sure it was a hard one to conquer, but not impossible.

Again, thank you for your dedication to keep this tradition year after year.
Myung Hong

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2009 was my first ride in the area. My goal was to make it to Elk Rock, but I decided to go for the gusto when I reached that point.

I made it to Johnston Ridge, and was still able to run to the food tables and those great coffee brownies! I may have been one of the last ones back rolling through the rain and arriving at the school 4:45, and still there was this terrific spaghetti feed to enjoy.

You folks had a wonderfully organized tour, great food, honey bucket stops in the nick of time, and friendly volunteers all along the way. This year I celebrated one of my decade birthdays and decided to take up cycling to avoid a knee replacement, at least for a few more years. Thanks for your help as I enjoyed my first ever ride over 55 miles!

Thank you!

Sally Greer

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THIS YEAR WAS MY HUSBAND’S FIRST RIDE AND MY 3RD.
 
I AM STILL IN HEAVEN ABOUT THE RIDE…IT FELT LIKE WE WERE IN HEAVEN ON THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN!
 
THE SUPPORT WAS FANTASTIC AND THE POTATOES MY FAVORITE!
 
IT IS QUITE AN ENDURING RIDE AND A CHALLENGE BOTH PHYSICALLY AND MENTALY.
 
THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY AND ALL THE HELP.
 
PJ AND MARK ENBUSK

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Please let everyone know involved I had a great time and appreciated the great sandwiches and cookies…they were very good! Keep up the good work.

Jon Breiling

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Thanks for the great experience this year. The road was clean, course well monitored, and no sleet!

I registered by mail this year and picked up my number at the start. I quickly packed the paper items, met up with friends and did the ride.
Only when I returned home (to Seattle) did I have/make the time to read the "newspaper". I was sorry that it was only then that I understood about "Olivia", and was reminded of some good tips about how to prepare for the ride. Next year I’ll pack a cap for my chilled head.

This year I opted to turn-around at Coldwater. It’s too bad that that building needed to close. I guess that you can’t promote it as an official turn, as it isn’t supported. But that’s a nice element to this course – you can turn around wherever you choose. No mapwork needed.

Looking forward to this challenging event in 2010.

Liz Labadie

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That support was the best I’ve ever experienced. The sandwiches were yummy. The spaghetti was hot, the brownies were orgasmic, and all staff were very friendly. But what I REALLY liked was that fire pit to sit around with fellow riders at one of the rest stops…. a touch of decadence!

Thank you.

Rider 1188

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While this is fresh in my mind, I want to thank you all for a really great ride event!  This was my first time at TDB, and, even though the weather was not the best, it was a lot of fun.  The event had great support, the volunteers were great, the food was great, and the high school a perfect location to start/end.   I am hoping to ride it again next year, but this time talk my husband into it so we can ride the tandem, come the night before, start early, and take time to tour the visitor centers.  I hadn’t realized the visitor center admission was included in registration – now I know, I want to take advantage of it on the next ride.

Thank you so much for a wonderful ride experience!

Kathleen Robertson

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Thank you so much for putting on such a great event @ Tour de Blast 2009.

This was my first time participating in the Tour, and I’m very glad to have done so.  Also, I plan to make this an annual event and I’ll bring friends next year.

I was very pleased with the level of volunteer support.  The food was perfect and well-timed, your people were courteous and helpful, and in particular I want to thank your volunteers at Elk Rock for two things:  1)  the bonfire which thawed my frozen feet before my descent, and 2) the supply of plastic food-service-worker gloves which I helped myself to in order to protect both my hands AND my feet during the chilly descent.  I was under-prepared for the cold (I didn’t expect 46 degrees at 3800 feet this time of year!), and those cheap little throwaway gloves saved me.  Big time.

So, thanks — and congratulations on such a great job well done! I hope you reached your fundraising goals.

Sincerely,

Max Booher

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Wow!  What a ride! This is my first year biking outside and this is the first time I’ve tackled anything this challenging. With sheer determination my boyfriend and I made it all the way up to Johnson Ridge! The climb from the first rest stop to Elk Rock was a non-stop incline and very challenging! I had to talk myself through it. Then the downhill after the Elk Rock rest stop was a much needed rest but as I got to the bottom, I realized I would have to go back up that 7 mile stretch on the way back! It was at this point I started singing all the nursery rimes I had been taught over the years to get my mind of the climb!  (smile)  The weather was a bit cold, especially on the decent. All in all, the support on the the ride was wonderful. I felt very safe riding the roads and bridges with the amount of volunteers constantly driving the roads to be sure everyone was OK. Especially liked the Espresso Cookie Bars!  Great job guys!

Now Bill and I can officially say "We biked Mt. St. Helens"! 

Joanne LaFord and Bill McGinnis
Vancouver, WA

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My 1st Tour de Blast, and I made it at age of 52 with my other 2 brothers, Terry and Doug!  Terry came in at 2:10pm , Doug at 3:15pm, and I came in at 3:38pm….it was an awesome ride and would like to thank everyone who helped put on this ride.  The food was excellent and everyone was friendly and will recommend this to anyone who is looking for a real challenge and to help you meet your 2,500 goal of riders next year!

Thank You also for having this ride!

Ken

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I look forward to this ride every year and love it.  Thanks to all of the many volunteers, etc. for putting up with us riders and the
weather.  I’m sure that the event raises a lot of money that goes towards good things .

Thanks again!
 
Kurt

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I have been participating in bike events since 1987 and this is one of the best events I have ever done.  The entry fee was reasonable, parking was a breeze, the registration was quick with no line, the bathroom lines were short, the start area was clearly marked, the support on the course was superb, the food and snacks at the rest stops was delicious, the post race feast was fit for a king and the cold shower woke me up for my drive home.  This is the first event I have ever done where free showers were available on site after the ride. 

I sincerely hope you made a lot of money for your organization.  I plan to do this ride again and will tell all of my cycling friends who have not had the pleasure of doing this ride, that they need to do it. 

Sincerely,
Ted Mittelstaedt

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New! A Must Read! Click here to read this heart warming story by Richard Rhodes: Tour de Blast and the Hidden Joys of Parent/Child Riding

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I had the pleasure of participating in this years Tour De Blast with
my two sons, ages 15 and 13. This was the second organized ride they
have done with me and was a big step up in difficulty for them. They
have been training for it since March. The organized support for this
ride was amazing. Even though it was mighty windy at times, this is a
wonderful route, and we look forward to riding it again in the years to
come. The food and rest stops were the best, and the folks manning them
were most helpful and cheerful. Both my boys made it to the top of
Johnston ridge, and back to Toutle, and I am not sure that would have
been possible without all the great food, massive amounts of water, and
their own hard work. Thank you all for this great day that my son’s and
I will cherish forever.

See you next year.

Keith Board
Chief Editor, Northwest Cable News

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I have ridden in quite a few organized rides now and I must say the Tour de Blast has been by far the most enjoyable. Kudos to the extremely friendly staff and the great food was much appreciated!  The Tour de Blast has now become a yearly ‘must ride’ event. Thanks again!

See you next year :)

Eric

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I am writing you this email to say THANK YOU for an awesome ride.  I have participated in many ride events, but they have NOTHING on you.  Your ride organization is absolutely outstanding!  This has been, by far, the best ride I have ever participated in.  The food at the rest stops and spaghetti feast was the best food I have ever encounter in any ride.  I commend you all for a superb job.  I believe that ALL cycling clubs should come to your event and take notes.  You organization has definitely set a high standard for cycling events.  I was dumbfounded by the views throughout the ride and I was also challenged by the climbs.  The food at each rest stop was fresh and delicious as was the spaghetti feast at the end of a great ride.  Last, but not least, thank you so much for providing us access to showers after the event.  I will definitely be back next year.  THANK YOU so much for an awesome experience!

F. Almeida
Bremerton, WA

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Thanks to all the incredible volunteers this year!  I have never ever seen quicker registration tables! And the on-the-road support was super.  I can’t wait until next year!

Mark

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My wife and I wanted to thank you for the great ride we had in the 2008 Tour de Blast.  Everything was as good as expected and even better.  Some items of note:

  • Parking was adequate
  • We had preregistered and was efficient to pick up
  • The route was well marked
  • Food stops were great
  • Wonderful volunteers throughout!!
  • Visible law enforcement on the route reassuring cyclist safety
  • HAM radio communication assuring quick commication if needed
  • The post-ride meal was one of the better ones we’ve experienced (loved the ice cream!)

We camped out at one of the local campgrounds and stopped by the local diner for breakfast and met with the same friendly hospitality before departing for home.
Thanks to all again involved with the Tour de Blast.  I’ll be sure to inform my friends to put this on their ride schedule next year!

Dave and Sandee Schumacher
Marysville, WA

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I was and still am very impressed by the event organization.  I cannot say thank you enough to all the participants that made this event such a lasting memory.  And of course, you may use may email response.

Please thank everyone for me.  You guys were AWESOME!

Best regards.

Almeida

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Dear Longview Rotary,
This was the toughest ride and athletic event I have participated in.  The hills that never end! 
You folks put on a beautiful ride.  I have not participated in very many rides yet (my rookie season) but I have to say that this is the bench mark that all the other clubs should copy.  Very good food at the rest stops, not all packaged items, plenty of water and plenty of assistance along the ride if needed.  Showers, and spaghetti feed  at the finish!  Ice cream sundaes for desert!  

An inexpensive ride…45$ includes a nice t-shirt!

Thank you very much.  I will be riding the Tour de Blast again!

Mark Simoneaux  (49 year old in my rookie cycling season)

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I rode this year’s event, second time around for this ride.

(My first attempt, a few years ago, was hammered by inclement weather, snow even, and the ride was terminated somewhere around Elk Rock.)

It was a well-organized event and my thanks to all the Rotarians who worked on it.

The brochure, web site, and support (including the pasta feed) were all very efficient, and the en-route food was just right as well.

I had planned on doing the full 82 miles, but started to run out of steam towards the end of the 17-mile uphill section (didn’t train enough!) and so I turned around and skipped the last 15 miles.

Which turned out to be a good decision, since my body (including my backside) were just about depleted by the time I got back into Toutle-town.

It’s a challenging event, and took me a week to recover, but it was very worthwhile and I hope to participate again, and hopefully do the entire course.

Thanks,

Ron Boydston
Lakewood WA

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You folks did a real good job of putting on the ride this year. When the word gets our about the amount of food and water you supplied, this ride will swell to at least double its size. Also of note was the wonderful humor of the volunteers. We were miserable much of the time, but at least we kept moving. They were standing still, struggling to keep a warm smile… but they did. Hats off to your club and the folks who made it all happen. Our group will return next year.
The logo was great this year so I can’t wait to receive the poster. T shirts were a winner too.
P.S. The lemon bars were the hit of the ride!

Jim McCommon, CLP

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I’m emailing to commend everyone involved in the Tour de Blast this past Saturday. This was my first time riding in the event. At 64 I’ve ridden many, many organized rides and I’m happy to report that your is by far the best organized and supported I’ve experienced.
Of course you have a maginificent route, but the real difference was in the quality of your volunteers. To a person each was friendly and seemed happy to be taking part. Your rest stops were well stocked with a variety of choices.
As a first timer I took it easy getting to Johnston Ridge in 3′ 25" and completing the ride in 5′ 41".  Next year I’ll see if I can do better.
And next year I’ll bring my son and some friends.
The Tour de Blast lives up to its name; it is a blast!
Thanks again for doing such a great job.

Jon Blake

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Good morning!
I just wanted to thank you all for all the hard work that you all put into the Tour de Blast.
It was my first time riding and not once did I feel intimidated.
It was such an experience that I will never forget.
Thank you again and I was wondering how many people did ride?

Have a great day.
P.J. Enbusk

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Reading the front page of your paper.
Registration packet was AWESOME.  Total of about 30 seconds! (I was there as 6:45am)
Food choices were great.
No lines at the sani cans.
Poster was really cool – I bought one.
Thanks again.

Andre Vachon

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Dear Rotarians:
That was a fantastic ride yesterday!  Thanks so much.
We thanked everyone that we came in contact with – but we missed lots of people.  This was a beautiful ride … it was wonderfully supported (loved the fire pit!) … and the spaghetti feed was terrific.
Thanks for all that you did for us riders out there!

Anna

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007 5:16 PM

Thank you so much for your fantastic support. We were hesitant in going this year after last years problems but they told us a new person was in charge of support. We were very happy this year.
The food was great.
The pick-up truck water/gatorade system was awesome, filled your water bottle in seconds and there were no lineups.
And the fire pit at Elk Ridge was a nice touch if you had to wait for some of your group.
Thanks again for your help on this event.

Roy
Vancouver, Canada

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Last year I was very disappointed in the support I found on your ride and wrote an email expressing my concern. I was assured that this year the support would be much better. I am writing to say that I found the ride to have great support. I especially enjoyed the fire pit on the way down!
I think the Tour de Blast is a great ride – it is challenging, beautiful and now I will add "well supported" when I tell other people about it.
Just wanted to give you feed back that you promised and delivered.

Ron Montague

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Hello Tour de Blast folks,
I just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know that your improvements were really noticed this year.  This is a really challenging ride, but the level of support and the friendly faces at each of the rest stops made it really enjoyable.  The organization was great, the food and water were plentiful and of course, the ride itself was awe-inspiring.  I plan on coming back for many years to come. 
Many thanks,

Matt Disbrow
Hewlett Packard Company

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I just wanted to thank you for putting on this ride. My group had a great time.
We also did this ride last year and your improvements were definitely noticed. It was much better supported!!!
There was plenty of food and water available. Noticed a lot more road support and ambulances.

Thank you again,
Julie Conroy

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We did the ride last year and it was a complete disaster.  By the time we got to any rest stop there was no food left.  Try burning 4000 calories and not replenishing them throughout the day.  As a result, I couldn’t finish the ride, and that made me mad.  I’m not a quitter.
This year was completely different.  From the quick check-in with the correct-sized t-shirt in a bag to the short lines at the toilets to the generous amount of food throughout the ride to the huge water containers at each stop, it couldn’t have been a better day.  And you even managed to hold off the rain.
I’m really glad you learned from last year’s fiasco.  As long as the ride is managed as it was yesterday, we will try to make it a yearly event.
Thanks for your hard work.

Mary Ruth Hanna

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Greetings Rotarians!
I just wanted to thank everyone in your organization that made Tour de Blast such a success.  The registration process had a good, organized feel and the on course support was evident (although thankfully I had no need of it).  The rest stops ran like clockwork, the volunteers were friendly and cheerful, and the food choices were just right.  Loved the firepit at the first summit.  My friends and I had a great day on a challenging course, thanks to your team’s efforts.
I’ll be back next year!
Thanks,

Brian Pratt
Seattle, WA