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3 Rides, 2 Options, 1 Purpose

3 Rides, 2 Options, 1 Purpose

Jen Merschdorf (left) at 2013 West Coast TdP, with YSC State Leader and survivor Kate McGough. (Photo by Capture 14)
Jen Merschdorf (left) at 2013 West Coast TdP, with YSC State Leader and survivor Kate McGough. (Photo by Capture 14)

Did you hear? All YSC Tour De Pink® (TdP) routes are new this year – how cool is that?

The East Coast (Sept. 19-21) route begins in Philadelphia and ends on Assateague Island, Md. I didn’t know much about Assateague, let alone how to pronounce it. But when I saw pictures, I fell in love with this gorgeous island.

When you arrive at Assateague – which is a National Park – wild horses greet you on the beautiful beach!  During our three days, we will ride from Philadelphia to Dover, Del., and stay at Dover Downs. From Dover, we will explore Maryland’s scenic Eastern Shore. On day three, we’ll enjoy the waves crashing, horses galloping and celebrating 200 miles of riding through Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.

Oh, and one more thing – the optional century ride on day two is a flat (yes, FLAT) 100 miles. I think I’m going to go for it! I have always wanted to do a century but never had the guts. This could be my year.

The West Coast (Oct. 17-19) route begins in Paso Robles, Calif. Once again, Giant Bicycles will send us off, but from a new starting location. (Side note: I have said this before, but Giant’s partnership with YSC is immeasurable. For my first TdP as a survivor rider two years ago, I received a donated Inspire bike from Liv/Giant. The bike, designed by a YSC survivor and TdP alumni rider, was the boost I needed to learn to ride – and the rest is history.)

Now, back to the route. We will ride from San Luis Obispo to Solvang and finish at Point Mugu. I’m from the West Coast, so this ride holds a special place in my heart. Riding in California inspires me to keep riding for all young women affected by breast cancer who can’t join us. I take deep breaths as I look at the ocean (while trying to keep my eyes on the road) and remember my own breast cancer journey.

Solvang, Calif., is one of the cutest little towns and I can’t wait for you all to experience it with me. The little bakeries and shops give you that hometown feel with beautiful California sunshine. And we end day three on the beach….. AHHHH! It can’t come soon enough!

The Atlanta ride (Oct. 25), our one-day ride, is once again in the Atlanta, Ga., suburbs but we’re taking a more scenic route this year. This will be my first time heading south for the Atlanta ride and I can’t wait to see it. I have heard so many stories from participants who look forward to the event year after year.  It really is much more than a bike ride. It’s a family-friendly event with more than 800 participants from the surrounding community.

After participants run, walk or ride, they enjoy food and drinks in the hospitality area from local community restaurants. Then they browse the expo area to check out local businesses. I am looking forward to being with the local community of survivors as we watch the emotional opening ceremony together!

Of course I want September and October to hurry up and get here so I can ride my bike alongside so many of you, but I need to get training AND fundraising. I am dragging myself to the gym through the snow and ice that have blanketed the East Coast. As soon as it is warm enough, I will be back in the saddle with my heart set on riding my first century! Fundraising is the easy part, but I always put it off too long – so this year I am going to start early.

So, which one will you ride this year? A flat century in September? A ride through the California vineyards in October? Or a one-day community event in Atlanta?

Sign up now – before all the spots sell out: