By Jack Tomassetti
The Spaghetti 100 has always been seen as a fun and challenging ride. New and experienced riders alike take off on an epic ride that pushes them to new heights, whether it’s riding your first 30 mile ride, completing your first century, or riding faster that ever before. This year’s Spaghetti 100 took on three additional challenges that brought a record 400 participants.
The first new challenge was to promote the reason and purpose behind the Spaghetti 100. Funds generated from the Spaghetti 100 goes to the local non-profit Capital City Cyclists to continue programs that encourage the growth of cycling in the Tallahassee Area. CCC supports many advocacy, safety and education programs. CCC’s Kids on Bikes program will reach thousands of elementary kids at Leon County Schools teaching bicycle safety skills and takes a few hundred disadvantage kids out mountain biking through the Trips for Kids program. In addition, CCC’s Committee for a Bikeable Community does a lot to build up the local cycling infrastructure and promote cycling education classes including the upcoming Cycling Savy Class in Novemeber. Capital City Cyclists does quite a bit and I would need a book to explain it all.
The second challenge we took on this year was the addition of the 35 Mile Challenge. This new route option gave serious beginner riders a doable option that was still very hilly and challenging. This new route took riders on an out and back course through Metcalf and to Thomasville. 51 riders took part this year and we hope to see them try for the longer distance options in the future as they build up and become stronger cyclists.
The third and final new addition to Spaghetti 100 this year is the addition of the Tallahassee World Champion Jersey. The Spaghetti 100 course has always been noted as Tallahassee’s “World Championships” and we formalized it this year by adding a jersey prize to the first male and female finisher of the 100 mile and Dirt Epic rides.
In the 100 mile course, local fast man Don Authore broke away with Bicycle House’s Scot Benton about 70 miles into the ride. Later, Authore put in another decisive attack in the finishing straight to solo to the finish and claim the male road jersey. The women’s road champion Liz Gerrity stuck with the lead chase group and was the first woman to finish and 4th overall finisher.
The Dirt Epic had arguably the largest and most competitive field. A lot of reindeer games took place in the early part of the ride with small attacks taking place here and there. A few riders from the Tallahassee regime stopped for a water break in Boston. Others were in the ride for a win. In particular a small team from Gainesville (Cycle Logic) was well prepared by carrying extra water in anticipation of the long ride and ready to challenge the locals for the coveted Tallahassee World Championship.
Tallahassee powerhouse David Berg was the main antagonist for the Gainesville team, doing everything he could to keep the jersey win within reach. A few attacks and some long hard chases left many of the Tallahassee group tired and after Tallahassee rider Zak Ball’s valiant breakaway attempt, Kerry Duggan from Gainesville was able to take off and claim the Men’s Dirt Tallahassee World Championship Jersey, Berg finished 3rd. Danielle Marrero rounded up all the men who got dropped from the lead dirt group and had them escort her to the finish to claim the Women’s Dirt Tallahassee World Championship Jersey.
While we were only able to give out four individual world champion jerseys this year, every rider that completed the event is a World Champion rider. There were many other champions envolved – nine hours after the ride has started, the Tallahassee Amateur Radio was still out on course following the last 4 riders finishing their first 100 mile ride. The Spaghetti 100 food crew went across the street to buy and cook 2 more boxes of Spaghetti as we had run out and a small group of riders from Albany, Georgia went back out on course to encourage and escort the remaining riders back in.
Around 5:30pm and 9.5 hours since the ride start a group of support family members, friends, cyclists and volunteers cheered on the last four riders who decided not to quit and complete their challenge of finishing their first 100 mile ride. These last four riders, all the supportive cyclists, family, friends and volunteers from the radio guys to the food crew, they are all Tallahassee World Champions in their own way and we are proud to have been part of their achievement!.
After a great event this year the folks at Capital City Cyclists are already looking to next year and planing how to make the 2013 Spaghetti 100 bigger and better!