On December 30th I’m planning to ride 500 km (311 miles) on the Tempus Fugit route on Zwift to raise funds and awareness for World Bicycle Relief. World Bicycle Relief provides life- and livelihood-changing bicycles around the world to those that need them to get to school, work, medical facilities, clean water sources, and to bring goods to market. The bikes they supply are durable, their model scalable, and importantly, they also teach bicycle maintenance to their recipients.

Brent Lewis, who lives near me here in East Central Illinois, and with whom I got to ride the last half of the 2019 Ride for Ray, has been riding the weekly Saturday BMTR (Bear Mountaineers Training Rides) Category C imperial centuries at least twice a month for a while now. Some of the folks he regularly rides with are going to be doing this and I jumped at the chance to join them and have a goal with a cause to finish out the year.

I ride with that group now too (see picture above), but when I first discovered BMTR last February I was still Category D and I don’t know the other folks doing it. That’s OK, though, because some other locals such as Cliff Channel, Evan Smith, our teammate Scott Dahman, and at least one of the 217 DGP may come help. A few BMTR riders will help as well, and the ride itself has a big group.

There are a few ways you can get involved if you so desire:

  • If you Zwift you can formally join the ride and make your own donation page by following the instructions on The 500 Km club in support of World Bicycle Relief Strava page. I don’t recommend just anyone do that, so please be careful about this option. I saw recently that RUSA RBA Greg Smith of the Driftless Randonneurs decided to participate, but he can just do stuff like this without needing to train.
  • You can donate via my donation page, or Brent’s donation page, or the group donation page. There are some good donation-matching things thanks to a Nike executive getting involved recently. You can read about some of it here.  
  • You can ride with me for part of the day! To do this, please follow me on Zwift and use the Join Another Zwifter option to find me in Watopia on December 30th. I expect that for the first part of the day I will be doing what is an endurance pace for me, probably 2.1 or so W/kg, which is a steady output for me of 200 W. On a flat course like Tempus Fugit that will amount to keeping up with lighter riders riding at 2.5-2.7 W/kg. I expect this will take me at least 14 hours and it could take as long as 18 hours. I will start at 5 am CST and hope to finish by 9 pm but am prepared to ride until midnight if I have to. By evening I may be going much more slowly.
The Tempus Fugit route on Zwift

Thanks for your support and well-wishes, and thanks are especially due to BMTR for hosting their weekly Flat 100 (Mile) rides on Saturdays, (frequently hilly) fundos of varying distances on Sundays, and supportive Mid-Week Adventure groups that keep me trying to go faster for farther. I wouldn’t be able to do something like this if it weren’t for the base miles I’ve put in on those rides this year.

Someday this pandemic will end, and I’ll get back to being able to ride outdoors again with Wild Card Cycling. For now, I’m just glad to have Zwift and a goal that sets me up to ride well when that happens.