Ryan Hunter, Park Ranger at Abilene State Park, has confirmed that the park will again welcome riders from Tour de Gap without the usual park entrance fee after your ride on Saturday and Sunday. Just tell the entrance personnel you’re there for a shower and show them your bib number. The State Park is a beautiful place just down the road about 4 miles. It was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and is renowned for its architecture and nature trails.
This year we’re making a change, going to a system used by a lot of big races around the country. You’ll still get a paper bib number and it goes on the left side of your jersey. Your timing chip is contained in a peel-off strip that is at the top of the printed sheet you will receive at packet pickup. Carefully peel the long strip off the backing, taking care not to crimp or crease the chip. Then starting at the mid point, wrap it around the seat post of your bike. Then stick the two sides together evenly.
In the lower right of the sheet is a helmet sticker for the front of your helmet. The other stickers are just extra. There are two perforated tags at the bottom. The one on the left is for your lunch. If you have paid for another sandwich, you will have a notation on the tag when you receive your packet. The tag on the right is for the free swag raffle, which will be going on after the rides come in. Put that tag in the entry box at the north end of the Pavilion. Enjoy your time at Tour de Gap!
This year’s shirts for Tour de Gap will have a small addition in memory of a huge loss suffered this spring by Big Brothers-Big Sisters Abilene-Lonestar, Tour de Gap and our city’s community at large. Right below the main logo you’ll find a hashtag: #makeyourmark.
Mark Rogers, Executive Director of BBBSTx, passed away in a car accident in March. Mark was a constant presence at the last few Tours, famous for his “Dad jokes” and entertaining riders and their families while announcing the winner categories and the raffle. His presence will be missed terribly. Here’s some of the community’s response in the Abilene Reporter-News editorial:
“Our nonprofit community is devastated by the loss of one of our most gifted leaders, Mark Rogers. A personal friend, a board member at United Way and later serving as the West Central market president of Big Brothers Big Sisters, Mark was a mentor to many and the ultimate ‘Big,’ as they are called at BBBS,” she told us. “Mark had a big smile, spread joy in a big way and cared passionately for children and young people like no other.”
“His loss leaves the biggest hole for all of us.”
Cathy Ashby in the Abilene Reporter-News
A special web site has been set up for those who would like to help extend Mark’s legacy by helping the family or Big Brothers-Big Sisters. That site is available here.
The Biketown Fire
In the early morning hours of July 8th a fire broke out at the bike shop of our Title sponsor and longtime #1 organizer and event promoter, Biketown. The devastation was almost unbelievable, according to Jim Macdonald, who owns Biketown with his wife Kelly. If you would like to know more about that event, the Biketown Facebook page can keep you updated. Please note: Biketown has reopened with a temporary store and it is right next door to the store at 1789 Industrial. PACKET PICK-UP will still be Friday July 23 from 10 am to 6 pm at the temporary store. If you need supplies like tubes, gels, or anything else, the staff has done an amazing job of quickly getting set up to be able to handle what you need.Emailis still the best way to reach the shop at this point.
Both of these losses have had the effect of making us more resolved to do the best we can for Big Brothers-Big Sisters and to make the 2021 Tour de Gap the best ever.
We’re proud to announce that the Tour de Gap Team has decided to offer prizes in the 50K ride as well as the 100K ride this year for the first time. So in each of the several age groups, the top 3 riders in each gender will get their choice of great bike merchandise selected by Biketown! Your chances just improved!
Even if you didn’t come in top 3, stick around because we have the unique to Tour de Gap Swag Raffle. To enter that, you just tear off a little tab on your bib number and put it in the box to the north of the Pavilion after you finish your ride. You must might win something cool! For this one you do have to be present to win.
And speaking of raffles, how’s this for great: We’re raffling off a Wahoo Elemnt Roam, brand new version 2. It’s the most powerful bike computer on the planet, and can display detailed route maps with turn by turn instructions. It’s a $380 value and the raffle tickets are only 1 for $2.00 or 3 for $5.00. You’ll be helping Big Brothers-Big Sisters Abilene-Lonestar in another way!
We are keeping registration open all the way until the first riders roll out on Saturday morning the 24th. Just as we have done in past years, the discounted registration of $45 will end Thursday night at 11:59 pm. You may come by and register Friday from 10 to 6 at Biketown, 1789 Industrial Blvd, 79602, or at the Pavilion in Buffalo Gap on Saturday morning for $55. It always helps if riders pre-register online. Remember, registration includes your lunch, a T-shirt, goodie bag, and a chance to win some wonderful raffle items. Plus you’ll be helping many young people in West Central Texas find the mentoring and resources they need to thrive in tomorrow’s world through Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Abilene-Lonestar. Click the BikeReg logo below to get started!