Wow, it's been a busy couple of weeks since my last post. But for good reason. Pedal for Paws 2011 is now in the history books. All of the last minute preparations kept us busy, and of course the actual day was crazy. But it was all worth it. Thanks to our wonderful riders & sponsors, we were able to raise a lot of much-needed funds for the shelter.
The day started out cloudy, with a few showers. But those who braved the forecast were rewarded with dry Autumn weather later on. And thanks to our wonderful volunteers (not to mention the riders themselves), it turned out to be a great day!
We had great rest stops...
We had an AWESOME band - The Sawtelles (not only is their music great, but they're huge cat lovers too!)...
We had distinctive signage (most rides just mark the road, but we think our Paw Pointers stand out!)...
Even Sylvester & Tweetie showed up!
And no well-organized ride would be without its SAG wagons. Here's one of ours, all decorated for the day. We had a few of these going along the routes, looking for anybody who needed a hand or a ride back. I think only one person took them up on their offer. They're like a first aid kit - good to have "just in case" but even better not to need them.
But what about that most-important feature of any large charity or group ride - FOOD? It's one of our BIGGEST draws and the Forgotten Felines Baking Squad goes all out for this event. Unfortunately, we were so busy eating we forgot to get a photo of the large spread. But trust us - you don't leave hungry no matter HOW many miles you rode!
Here's one of our registration tables, with a board featuring some of our cats waiting for "forever homes." Until that happy day, thanks to Forgotten Felines (and to the funds that this ride generates), all the cats are warm, safe, fed and well-cared for.
One new addition at the registration table this year was a huge map of all the routes. We included smaller maps with the cue sheets too, but this large map had all road names and the routes color coded. Definitely helpful in getting your bearings and seeing how the route(s) fits together.
Despite the forecast, it never really poured, but it was definitely wet at the start of the ride. And I got a new-found appreciation for fenders. Not that I had them on MY bike - I hardly ever ride in the rain - but they're definitely in my future. Nothing's worse than riding behind a guy without fenders when it's wet out. It doesn't even have to be raining, and you still get soaked. Unfortunately, I was "that guy" - but I wasn't the only one!
Fortunately, the weather didn't dampen any spirits, just the roads. One of the best things about Pedal for Paws, and one of the things that sets it apart from many charity rides, is that we get a lot of families - many of them doing their first "big ride" together. The short beach loop ride is ideal - flat, wide shoulders, and just over 7 miles long (a little over 11 miles with an "unofficial" extension).
And speaking of families, you don't even need to go out on the road. At Pedal for Paws, kids ride for free and these two little guys wanted to ride, but their parents didn't think they were quite ready to ride on the road. So they struck a deal: The kids would ride laps around the parking lot and the parents would give them $2 per lap so that they could participate. How cute & cool is that?
So despite the weather, the day was a great success. We got to ride our bikes on some beautiful roads, and raised much-needed funds for a great cause at the same time. After last year's absolutely perfect weather, we were due for a few showers this year. But now that we got those out of the way, we're due again for some great weather in 2012. Hope you make plans now to join us!