The Early Bird Check-In Party (as it was called for the SoCal Tour de Cure) was not something that I got to attend. It was the Wednesday before the ride and we weren’t arriving in CA until Thursday night. For the Longmont, CO Tour de Cure, there were originally two dates scheduled for Pre-Packet Pickup. The Wednesday before the ride was one of those times as was the Friday before the ride. The Wednesday date got canceled and I’m glad that it was the Wednesday date instead of the Friday date.
We got into Longmont, CO with plenty of time to go to the pre-packet pickup event for the Tour de Cure. It was awesome to get to get checked-in the night before the ride. I didn’t have to deal with any lines the morning of the ride.
They had a line going on with multiple people handing out our packets. All I had to do was tell them what team I was on (because that’s how they had us organized) They asked us for our emergency form and our fundraising envelope and they gave me my envelope and I was on my way.
They were very nice and friendly and they had their acts together. Our packets contained a map of the fairgrounds so we knew where everything was located, maps of our routes, our bibs with our numbers on them. It was all very well organized (something I couldn’t say for the check-in the morning of the SoCal Tour de Cure but I also don’t know how their Early Bird Check-In Party went as I couldn’t attend.) But CO even had the packets if you didn’t pick them up early, so they still 1-up’d CA in that respect.
The Pre-Packet Pickup was at the Radisson in Longmont CO where the people that raised $1k or more were going to have dinner with Greg Lemond. Even though I had the funds to take me to 1k I decided not to do it because grandma was with me and for her to have dinner with me while I was having dinner with Greg Lemond was going to cost another 1k (which I thought was a bummer because Gram’s wasn’t even riding.) In not giving my extra $500 (which is going towards my next ride instead) I also forfeited my opportunity to meet him on ride day and I also forfeited my entrance into the VIP tent and my membership in the Trail Blazers Club. I was kindof bummed but I didn’t let Gram’s know because she was so excited to be there with me and be spending time with me and that was important to her (plus, she now gets to accompany me on another ride this year because I have the cash for sponsorship).
The coolest thing to me about the Pre-Packet Pickup was when I walked in there was this lady (these poor people, I just don’t remember their names) said hi and asked if I was a RED Rider. I said I believe I am and told her that I was supposed to be switched to that team earlier in the week. Another lady, who happened to be Mari Ruddy (the brains behind the RED Riders) asked me my name and when I told her she said “yes, you most definately are a RED Rider” They told me to get my packet first and then come back to their table because they had a jersey, t-shirt, and water bottle for me.
Lisa was who I had the fortunate of talking to when picking up my packet. I had had several conversations with her prior to me registering for the ride when I was wanting to get information. She seemed like a really nice lady and sent me everything I needed and she was just as nice when I met her, CO has some great people working for the ADA and just meeting them and seeing the things that they had done to make the ride easier for us really just made me want to make the Longmont, CO Tour de Cure an annual event.
When I went back to talk to Mari she gave me the shirt and jersey and water bottle, tried to give me a One Touch Ultra Mini blood glucose monitoring machine (they wanted to make sure that all diabetics were testing their blood along the ride). She told me about the RED Riders tent and how a couple of the riders from Team Type 1 were going to be there. Mari was so nice and so excited, it was incredibly encouraging. She told Gram’s that she could help out if she wanted (which was good for Gram’s because I really didn’t want her to sit around for 2.5-3 hrs bored out of her mind).
Even thought I was only at the Pre-Packet Pickup for maybe 10 minutes it was awesome and it really set the stage for a great ride the next day