Tour de Palm Springs Expo

February 13, 2012

James and Michael in front of the AIDS LifeCycle booth at Tour de Palm Springs 2012
James and Michael – two awesome guys working the AIDS LifeCycle booth

The expo lined the streets of the corral area, so I explored a little before and after the race.

I wanted to spend as little time as possible lugging a bike around, so I waited ’til the ride got closer to rent one. This was not the brightest idea anyone’s ever had.

I gave myself almost an hour to rent a bike, which I figured would be plenty of time considering all the rental places were right there. I also called a bike rental shop a week or two beforehand. They said there’d be plenty of bikes, so I figured I was fine.

In the end, I was fine. I don’t know why it took me forever to find a rental. First I was asking around about which booth had rentals. Four of them did, so I kept getting sent in different directions. Every time I found a booth, they were all out of bikes! I don’t know why that was so surprising to me since I was in the last group to start (of five distance options, with the earliest group starting at 6am).

I finally found the elusive fourth booth that surprisingly many people didn’t know about. Shout out to FunSeekers!

little blue see through Piggy Bank from Pacific Premier BankWhile I’m doing shout outs, quick shout out to Pacific Premier Bank for my sweet new piggy bank, also to lovely Mariellen and Burt from Massage Rx. They had a massage booth and were raising money for MS. (Mariellen has MS, and still went out and rocked the bike ride! (Then she gave massages for the rest of the day. So, hats off to her!)

Burt gave me the best massage after the race. I might have to do this ride next year for the massage alone!

One thing that was really cool and fun about this expo was that every single thing was brand new to me – all the jargon, all the fun challenges and events – everything was new.

Did you know that people spend seven days biking from San Francisco to Los Angeles? (Multiple companies host an option for that.) The first booth to tell me about that ride was the California Coast Classic. And… you get finisher medals!

I’ve heard that cyclists like to be “real athletes,” making fun of runners for always wanting something just for being a participant – whereas, as a cyclist, you have to “earn it.”

I was pleasantly surprised to hear that plenty of cyclists like getting medals, and plenty of biking events offer them. I guess that means I can be a cyclist! 😉

balloon arch at the start of the Tour de Palm Springs 2012Another booth that had the San Fran to LA option was the AIDS LifeCycle booth (which was chock full of awesome people, btw).

Everyone really had me convinced that I could (and should) ride a bike many miles a day for a whole week, camping in between – and riding over 500 miles in the process.

Keep in mind, I have a pretty tenuous hold on how to ride a bike. I’m also not sure I would love camping. I mean, I’m awesome at going days without showering (lol), but I’m kind of terrified of animals (and I don’t particularly love the outdoors). Either way, the people working this booth had me convinced!

(Although, I couldn’t ride it this year even if I wanted to be crazy enough to do that, ’cause I already have a half marathon going on during their ride, but you should sign up!)

Not only did AIDS LifeCycle have the best, most fun & noticeable booth, but they also had fun events (some even included free food!) throughout the weekend – a barbecue, a film screening, a recovery ride, and more. I mean that’s a lot of planning and love they put into this weekend!

I can’t wait to tell you about the barbecue and my incredible hosts for the weekend tomorrow!

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?