Check out our Podcast for the 2020 Tour d’Apple
iDaph Events has produced a Podcast for participants for the 2020 Tour d’Apple, which takes place on Monday, September 7, 2020.
Listen to everything you need to know for Packet Pick-up, what to expect on ride day, COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines, and more! We have also included the script below.
To listen to the podcast, please click on the button below. Thanks for listening!
Stephanie: Hello and welcome to the iDaph Events Podcast.
Daphne: Hey everyone!
Stephanie: Today we are going to talk about the upcoming cycling event, Tour d’ Apple. This event always takes place on Labor Day, and this year that date is Monday, September 7th.
Daphne: This is one of my favorite events! The rides start at Blue Ridge Community College in Hendersonville, North Carolina and winds through the beautiful apple orchards and mountains of Henderson County. It is a fundraiser for the Hendersonville Four Seasons Rotary Club. And wow they do so much for the community. Over the years it has been amazing to see the impact that they have been able to make within the community just from the funds from this one event!
Stephanie: Yea, I was surprised to hear at a recent committee meeting all the ways the funds have been utilized.
Daphne: In the past the Back to School backpack program has been a prominent way that they have utilized the funds to provide kids supplies to use when heading back to school. And that was just one of the ways they used the funds. This year they are building a scholarship and emergency fund for the Blue Ridge Community College. They also are going to install new playground equipment on West Allen Street and they will provide several hundred books for public school libraries.
Also, they are going to accept canned food donations at packet pickup for the Interfaith Assistance Ministries. So bring your cans of food!
Stephanie: So awesome to see that kind of an impact from this charity ride!
Daphne: I know, it really does give purpose to all the miles that people are riding on Labor Day at the event.
Stephanie: How did this ride start and how long has it been happening?
Daphne: Dick Miley and Barry MacDonald are both Rotarians with the Four Seasons Rotary Club and I believe they originally came up with the ride. They had been producing it for a few years and then asked me if we would be able to pitch in and help. The ride was growing slowly from year to year but they wanted to see if we could help them reach more cyclists and increase their participant numbers and help them with the organization and leadership of the ride. We have been helping them a few years now and the energy that Dick puts into this ride is truly inspiring and we are so honored to be a part of the team.
Stephanie: This ride has something for everyone. How many routes are there to choose from?
Daphne: There are 4 routes to choose from for this ride: 25 mile, 45 mile, 62 mile and 100 mile. There is really something for every type and level of bike rider. And let me emphasize here that this is not a race. It is a ride. Haha
Although people do ‘race it’ for bragging rights. Nowadays you have Strava that tracks everything so there is still a way to track the top ladies and men in an event like this even though it is not an officially timed event.
Stephanie: Oh yea, I can see that, of course you would want to test out your fitness on a ride like this!
Daphne: Prior to becoming the Ride Director I participated for at least three years in the ride. The course is challenging, but the roads are great, the scenery is awesome and I enjoyed it every time I did it.
Stephanie: That’s cool, what distance did you ride? The 100?
Daphne: Actually to much of the cycling community’s surprise I have not done a 100 mile ride yet. Yes, I realize that is shocking to many but I am waiting til I get ‘older’ so I have something to look forward to. Haha – So I did the 65 mile one year and the 45 mile at least 2x. Don’t let the 45 mile ride kid ya, it is tough and awesome. That is definitely my favorite distance at this event. Just enough challenge but ya still can function the rest of the day.
Stephanie: Sounds like fun. So is the elevation tough for these rides?
Daphne: Yes, especially for folks that are coming from out of town. These routes all are covering hilly and mountainous terrain. But they are all doable and so worth the ups and downs. The roads are rural, typically with not much traffic and the road surfaces are usually in good condition too.
Stephanie: So is there anything different this year that riders can expect if they have done these rides before?
Daphne: First and foremost the start of the ride will be the most noticeable difference to the cyclists. If folks have been to the ride before the start and finish are now in the same spot. There is a hub map floating around on the website too for people to look at to see what that looks like. When cyclists arrive as they are prepping their bikes and supplies they will need to wear a face covering, they are required.
6. Social Distancing:
Participants will not be permitted to form in groups. They must maintain 6 foot distancing while in the start/finish area, in the event hub, and at all rest stops.
Participants are encouraged to keep a minimum of 6 feet between each other while riding.
Lines for portajons, post event food and other potentially congested areas will be marked off with cones/stickers/etc to social distance participants in these areas.
Cyclists will be encouraged to leave a parking space in between each rider to encourage social distancing.
Cyclists can start the ride anytime they want between 7am-10am. When they are ready to ride they just show up to the start line and go. Just keep in mind that the
Courses close at 4:00 pm with no exceptions.
Rest stops will not be open for the entirety of the ride, so please plan your ride around the following schedule, so you will want to check out the rest stop schedule on the important things to know blog on the TDA website.
There won’t be any hanging around and waiting on groups to form or anything. They will need to just go out and start their ride. Typically there has been a mass start at this event but due to the social-distance measures, we can’t have everyone showing up at the start line at one time. So they can grab a friend or two…
Stephanie: Or up to six is that right?
Daphne: Yea, we are asking folks that aren’t riding by themselves to ride with folks that are in their ‘bubble’ of friends/family members and to limit that to 6 of their closest friends or family. For this year, it is important to not be drafting right up next to someone, on their bike wheel or to be swapping spit or sweat with them. Everyone needs to use common sense and be cautious. It isn’t the year to have packs and big groups during the ride.
Stephanie: That makes sense, so they will also want to stay apart on the ride and only ride with family and close friends that perhaps they have already been riding with.
Daphne: Yes totally. And if for some reason they start feeling bad before the ride, there are deferment options so folks don’t need to feel like they have to be a hero and ride if they aren’t feeling the greatest this year. Be smart and ride smart.
Stephanie: Okay, so what else is different.
Daphne: The flow into parking is a little different. There also isn’t the same pre-or after party atmosphere at the ride. Cyclists will have already gotten their ride number and goodies the day before at the drive thru packet pickup at the college and so when they show up and park they should either stay in their car til they are ready to go or use the restroom and then get on their bike and go. No hanging out in the parking lot either. After the ride, they will put their bike at their car, they can grab a Chick-fil-A food bag from the food tent and then they will need to leave. We also ask that when folks are done with their ride that they put their face covering back on.
Stephanie: So on the route is there anything different that cyclists should know about?
Daphne: Yes, there was a section within a few miles of the ride that had a curvy, downhill section that ended up being much more dangerous than the ride committee realized. So that section has been removed and riders will skip that part. There is a road that parallels that road called ‘Oleta’ and so it doesn’t dramatically change the route or elevation it just moves the route over to a safer road.
At the stop-light in Dana (Mile 4.2) all cyclists will continue STRAIGHT on Ridge Road. The Yellow (100 mile) and Orange (65 mile) routes will NOT turn onto Oleta Road; they will continue along with the Blue (45 mile) and Green (25 mile) cyclists to a right turn on Piney Mountain Road at Mile 5.8.
The Yellow (100 mile) route adds beautiful 270-degree mountain views on Orchard Circle at Mile ___ after the U-turn at Jump Off Rock in Laurel Park.
Also, there is a new roundabout at the end of the ride that is awesome, but different. Last year they were working on it and we had to detour around the construction and it is now completed.
We do have Henderson County VIPs out on the course in various intersections and locations too. There will be route markings. The route markings this year are
Red/pink X wrong way
Stephanie: iDaph Events has helped put on this event for 3 years. But this year – and I know we say this quite a bit in our podcasts – this year, things will look quite different. We are having the event as planned, but we had to put some socially distancing guidelines into place to adhere to the North Carolina guidelines.
Daphne: In years past we have had almost 700 participants join us for this ride. But due to COVID we capped this year’s event at half that number at 350.
All staff/volunteers will be required to wear a face covering during the event. These will be provided to volunteers if necessary.
Participants must wear a face covering (the free TDA buff meets this requirement) until the event starts, at all rest stops, in the line for restrooms, and after they finish the event – and maintain 6 foot distancing.
Masks or a face buff are mandatory, and our volunteers will not give out water or food items to anyone not wearing one. You also have to take off your ride gloves when you come up to these stops. (really? lol) Also once you grab your food and drink, we ask that you leave the rest stop quickly to help adhere to social distancing.
Something else to note at the rest stops – we ask that cyclists should leave rest stops 1&2 and 3 as quickly as possible to avoid congregating and honor social distancing.
At rest stops, cyclists will receive water and gatorade in cups.. There will not be any peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or cut up fruit, however all four rest stops will have Gatorade and water for cyclists in individual cups, which cyclists can drink or pour into their water bottles. We will have snacks like packaged peanut-butter crackers, pretzels, etc. Clif Bar is providing a Clif Bar for each cyclist in the goody bags.
There will be extra trash cans so please don’t litter!
Wiping down surfaces
There will be a guide at rest stops 1&2 – if you are confused as to where to go, just ask.
Stephanie: New Packet Pick-up Procedures: The packet, numbered bib and swag for this event were shipped before the ride for $10, an option that is available when you register. That deadline has since passed, but we did have a lot of participants opt in for the shipment of their goodies.
For those who do not want their packets mailed, there is a Drive-thru Packet Pick-up the day prior to the event (September 6th) from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Blue Ridge Community College Parking lot.
Sycamore Cycles will be at the Packet Pick-up selling t-shirts, fuel and hats, so feel free to bring a credit card or cash and help support this awesome business, which is also a sponsor for this event.
All registered participants will receive a copy of the course profile and maps via email in their event guide before the ride. Please print your own cue sheets and use RidewithGPS on your electronic devices to navigate the routes. To reduce contact between staff, volunteers, and riders, we will not provide printed copies this year.
Also – Daphne, isn’t there a virtual option for this event?
Daphne: Yes! A Virtual option is being offered so you can participate in this cycling event ANYWHERE and still donate to a great cause and show your support. Compete from your home, the park, or anywhere else and submit your results online.
Daphne: Alos new this year are the new ride buffs. We will have Buffs for all 350 participants at this year’s event, and they are customized with the Tour D Apple logo and Sycamore Cycles is such a big part of this ride and the history of it. Their logo is also on the buff. And Stephanie by the way, the shirt matches the buff, the buff matches the jersey and shorts so yea, every thing is matchy and colorful and PINK!
Stephanie: What does the after party look like this year?
11. Post-Ride Refreshments:
Post-ride Refreshment Schedule: Begins at 10:00 am and ends at 3:30 pm.
Unfortunately, with social distancing measures in place, we will not have a finish line ‘experience’ of music and hanging out after the ride. After you are finished with your ride, we ask that you grab your food box and drink and head out of the venue area. Boxed food and drink will be available for pickup between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM.
Stephanie: Well, that about wraps it up, is there anything else that cyclists need to know?
Stephanie: Oh – we almost forgot Daphne! The spectator zones.
Stephanie: Thank you for being here today! We appreciate you listening and we hope to see you at our next event!