By David Cox, Capital City Cyclists
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The way Jennifer Koch sees it, what cyclist wouldn’t want a hot spaghetti dinner after 100 miles in the saddle to top off one of North Florida’s most scenic bike rides?
Koch and her team of kitchen warriors form Tallahassee’s Capital City Cyclists club makes sure the aroma of herb-filled tomato sauce, garlic and everything Italian greets the riders of the Spaghetti 100 at the end of their journey. She’ll do it again on Oct. 6 when the 29th edition of this classic bike ride takes riders through rural North Florida and South Georgia.
“The cyclists are so appreciative coming in from the century or the metric century and seeing all this food,” said Koch. “It gives me a real sense of commitment to our cycling community.”
The Spaghetti 100 began in 1983 when a couple dozen Tallahassee cyclists gathered for a 100 mile ride and a spaghetti dinner afterward. It has now evolved into one of the area’s most anticipated cycling events. As more ride options were added for both road and off-road enthusiasts, those initial few dozen participants has swelled to 400 riders expected for this year’s edition.
And more changes are coming, said Zach Finn, president of Capital City Cyclists. A 35-mile road ride has been added for riders new to cycling, but Finn’s most anticipated addition is the award for the Tallahassee World Champion rainbow jersey.
For years the first finisher of the Spaghetti 100 road century was unofficially dubbed Tallahassee World Champion. This year the first male and female riders of the road c
entury and the 65-mile dirt epic ride will be officially recognized with a rainbow jersey. While the competition is informal, there are no timing chips and the winners will be determined on the honor system, Finn is excited about this new twist.
“It is the Tallahassee World Championships, but there are going to be a lot of champions out there participating in the all the events,” Finn said.
Everyone who has ridden the Spaghetti 100 has a story.
Tallahassee triathlete Brook Pace rode her first Spaghetti in 2006. She had recently started cycling and some friends suggested doing the ride. “It was my first 100-mile ride. We did it really slow and stopped at every rest stop. I was wearing soccer shorts and a tee-shirt,” Pace said.
Now Pace is a contender for a women’s Tallahassee World Champion jersey. “It just seems like every time I’ve done it, it’s the hardest 100-mile ride I’ve ever ridden,” she said.
Beginning in the crossroads community of Miccosukee, about 20 miles east of Tallahassee, road and dirt road riders will be treated to the areas rolling hills, historic Southern plantations rustic country side and plenty of small town hospitality.
There are several rest stops stocked with high energy drinks and snacks along the route plus a sit-down (or fill up your jersey pockets and go) lunch stop in Boston, Ga.
Proceeds from this year’s event will go to support Capital City Cyclists’ bicycle advocacy programs, such as the Kids on Bikes Elementary Education program, Trips for Kids, and other regional youth-focused bicycle programs.
In the years since the Spaghetti 100 began, Capital City Cyclists added a metric road century to encourage more riders to participate. About 12 years ago possibly the most popular addition to the ride was the inclusion of two dirt road rides. The routes take riders through the heart of some of the area’s most beautiful plantations and forested areas.
Rick Ashton is a Tallahassee endurance athlete who got hooked on the dirt rides immediately.
“I can’t even remember the first time I did the Spaghetti,” said Ashton, 65. “I always did the road 100 before the dirt rides started up, but I’ve been doing the dirt ever since. It’s just so nice to get off the roads and into the woods. You don’t have to worry about traffic and you see a lot of wildlife. It’s just real cool back there.”
Enough, though, about riding bikes, let’s get back to that Italian dinner at the end.
In the past Koch has worked with a local culinary school the week before the ride to prepare the estimated 16 gallons of spaghetti sauce (meat and vegetarian) 30 pounds of pasta, 30 pounds of salad, and 30 or more loves of French bread needed to feed everyone.
But this year the school has an out of town commitment before the ride, and Koch is wondering how much of the dinner preparations can be done in her home kitchen. Still, she makes this solemn promise:
“I will make it, and the spaghetti will be there Saturday morning. It always is.”
*Since the article was written, Keiser University has stepped back up to continue to provided the Spaghetti & Sauce for Spaghetti 100!
Register Online Today: http://www.prerace.com/races/event/41886
Article Feature in Florida Cycling Magazine, September 2012 issue 2: http://www.floridacyclingmagazine.com/current-issue-1.html
Saturday November 3rd
Tom Brown Park
1125 Easterwood Drive
Tallahassee, Fla. 32312
Check-In Opens at 6 a.m.
Tom Brown Park will be the start and finish of this year’s NAMIBikes Florida event. The day will feature two road rides (a 100 mile ‘Century’, and a 64 mile ‘Metric Century’), a 30 mile off-road ride, a six mile family ride, and a kids safety course.
Check-In and breakfast opens at 6 a.m. Ride start-times vary according to distance.
Courses will be clearly marked with rest stops at 18 -24 mile intervals, and vehicle support. A barbeque lunch serves at 2 p.m. for all participants.
Kidical Mass Ride
Join us for a Kidical Mass ride this Saturday, September 22nd
We will start at 2pm from Optimist Park and make our way through the Indianhead neighborhood, stopping at Vertigo for milkshakes if the group so desires.
Let me know if you plan to come along for the ride! And feel free to forward this email to friends who might be interested.
(see below for Kidical Mass links, rules and general ride information – feel free to email me if you have any questions!)
Looking forward to seeing you all!
Kidical Mass ride – General information
For the ride, children can ride their own bikes or ride along in trailers, trail-a-bikes, or in bike seats. Bikes with training wheels, tricycles and balance bikes can be brought along for children while at the park, but are not recommended for the group ride for safety reasons.
|A few rules:- All bicycle riders or passengers under 16 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet.
– Follow all traffic laws.
– Children must be accompanied by an adult. Parents are responsible for the safety + behavior of their kids.
– No one should pass the group leader. A group sweeper will make sure that no one gets left behind.
For more information about Kidical Mass: http://www.kidicalmass.org/
For more information about this ride or if you would like to volunteer as an extra adult rider please contact Marie-Claire Leman: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow us on Facebook at Kidical Mass Tallahassee
A report of the 2012 March 3rd Lake Seminole ride curtesy of the Tours Des Vagabonds
By Jim Higdon
Vagabonds Riders on the Ride (alpha order)
Pre Trip Friday March 2nd
Jim Mann took the lead Friday night and we decided to go for it. We had been planning for a long time, and the weather was forecast to be good after a rain front moved through on Saturday.
Day One Saturday March 3rd @ 9:00 a.m.
Vagabond riders met in Havana at Tom Strazulla’s House Saturday morning.
At 9:05 after a group photo, we rolled out – our noses into the wind with some humid and breezy conditions. That morning, riding was great and we were all able to share banter about cycling gear, local sites and previous trips of various members. Riding west near Quincy, we hit some rain. We made a short scheduled stop in Quincy at the Piggly Wiggly for a breakfast top off, and to buy lunch items. We also fixed a minor mechanical on one bike. At this point Phil Ligget would say “the rain is really starting to fall and the boys are donning their capes”
Around 10:30 the rain went from steady to heavy and near Gretna we were treated to an impressive “light show.” Lightning began to strike on both sides of the highway and an executive decision was made in order to save life and limb. We shoved our bikes along a fence row, and despite a very real concern about trespassing and “rural justice” we virtually hurdled the fence and made a run for a large pole barn/tractor shed. This was our shelter for the next 30 minutes. As we waited out the weather – I pulled up radar on my phone and verified the heavy red and yellow thunderstorm cell which was directly over us. It also showed that the worst of the weather would soon pass. During that time we decided that if the wind took out the barn we would seek shelter under one of the massive John Deere tractors.
After the worst of the weather passed, we rolled towards Chattahoochee, and finally hunkered down for that sweet uphill grind into Chattahoochee. We “danced on the pedals” through what was now only just a blowing steady rain.
At the top of the hill, we saw our shelter for the night, opting to stay at the “Relax Motel” instead of camping.
We all agreed it would probably a miserable cold night in our tents. The next couple of hours were spent hanging our cycling gear to dry and grabbing a great lunch at Jerry’s Restaurant in town.
That evening we drew down on the “China King” restaurant, with lots of laughs especially reliving each of our own “Usain Bolt” moments running to the tractor barn in the storm. We then walked back to our motel full and happy.
Day Two March 4th at Chattahoochee Relax Motel
Sunday morning we were greeted by brisk but clear conditions and fueled up at Jerry’s again, with hearty breakfasts and great coffee all around. Leaving town and heading west we cashed in on the payoff for the uphill grind we had earlier, coming into Chattahoochee the day before, as we flew down over the bridge and into Sneads.
We made a leisurely stop in Sneads at the market for odds and ends and our last major opportunity to food shop before reaching Lake Seminole.
Riding north the temperatures came up as the day progressed, along with a fairly brisk wind.
Towards noon we had a nice lunch stop along the Chattahoochee River
Later nearing the Lake Seminole Park, we made a stop for drinks and potable water at a corner Market.
Arriving at the park for the first time, I should say, it is clean and modern. Pitching our tents at our sites and nice warm showers were followed by a nice supper and lots of laughs during supper at the diner. Leaving the diner after dark our rear blinky lights and headlights paid off. With temperatures dropping and a full day of loaded touring behind us we were tired, and all opted to pack it in to our respective tents.
Day Three March 5th – Breakfast – Leaving Lake Seminole Park and on back to Havana
That night, temperatures dropped into the 40s, so in the morning it was a quick scramble to dress and pack for the day. ahead. In ones and twos we headed on our bikes to breakfast. The diner puts out some great food accompanied by more laughs and good natured interaction with the local residents. We all packed away a substantial breakfast anticipating a full day of riding.
Outside of Bainbridge we encountered couple of significant climbs. I know now that my choice to switch to lower mountain gearing really paid off with a 40 lb. payload to drag up those inclines.
Around 12:15 we stopped just this side of Bainbridge for a nice relaxing lunch under and around the remnants of an old tractor shed. It was a great opportunity to rest and take in the perfect spring weather. Heading towards our goal in Havana we all had time to stroll along and continue conversations about the sites along the road and other bike trips.
Later, rolling onto Havana temperatures continued to climb into the warm-to-perfect zone. Just outside our goal we encountered a couple of significant climbs, and the low range touring ratios on our bikes paid off.
Arriving back at Tom Strazzulla’s house we unpacked our bikes and all agreed it was a great event. Looking back – the best part of this tour was the great scenery and camping. along with sharing ideas, getting to know the other members, as well as the more experienced riders sharing their knowledge of touring with the newer lesser experienced ones. I am really looking forward to the next trip!!!!
September 16, 2012
Maclay Gardens State Park
(picnic pavilion by the lake)
Gates open 8:00am
Rides begin 8:30am
Food served 10:30am
Membership Meeting and Presidents Presentation 11:00am
The date has been set and the location reserved! Mark your calendars and please join us for the 2012 annual Capital City Cyclists club picnic and general membership meeting at Maclay Gardens on Sunday September 16th 2012. This year’s picnic is poised to be a lot of fun with the highest club memberships in our history offering lots of opportunity to socialize! Plus we have a some important items to cover during the membership meeting portion at 11am:
1) Club president Zach Finn will present the club’s accomplishments for the year – and we have had many!
2) Club members will vote to approve our new 501c3 bylaws
In addition to official business we have lots of fun lined up as well with the usual road and off road ride options and food will be served starting at 10:30am. We are working hard to get a big turn out at this years event so please stop by at 11am for the members meeting and presidents presentation even if you cannot rider earlier. And of course spread the word!
Bring: Food (enough to share) bicycles, canoes, kayaks, swim suits, and $ to get into the park
We Supply: Meat, soft drinks, plates etc
For additional information contact club Vice President Jennifer Koch 850-766-4734 or email@example.com.
See you at the meeting!
Help Shape Florida’s Greenways and Trails Vision
Provide input on the new Florida Greenways and Trails System Plan
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is seeking your input regarding the new vision for the Florida Greenways and Trails System (FGTS). A new FGTS Plan is being developed to establish priorities and define the role of the FGTS in advancing Florida’s economy, tourism, health, alternative transportation, recreation, conservation and quality of life. This is the first new FGTS Plan since adoption of the original in 1999 by the Florida Legislature.
The draft Plan and Maps are now available for your comments on the Office of Greenways and Trails website. In addition, attend one of the open houses listed below to comment on the FGTS Plan, as well as the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) and the U.S. Forest Service’s Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST) Route Designation.
Join us at one of these Open Houses
- Tallahassee – Wednesday, Sept. 12, 4-7 p.m., Florida Dept of Transportation Headquarters
- Panama City Beach – Thursday, Sept. 13, 4-7 p.m. (Central), Panama City Beach Senior Center (FGTS and FNST only)
- Palatka – Tuesday, Sept. 18, 4-7 p.m., Ravine Gardens State Park (FGTS and FNST only)
- Sanford – Saturday, Sept. 22, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens
- Sarasota – Tuesday, Sept. 25, 4-7 p.m., Sarasota County Public Works
- Boca Raton – Wednesday, Sept. 26, 4-7 p.m., Sugar Sand Park Community Center
For more information about the FGTS Plan and Maps, contact Samantha Browne by email Samantha.Browne@dep.state.fl.us or phone at (850) 245-2052.