Once again, bikers representing Club Try-Angles will strap on their helmets and kneepads and zip down Logan’s Blacksmith Fork Canyon to help fund research into Multiple Sclerosis.
The team, which will ride in Harmons Best Dam Bike Ride 2009, is sponsored by Try-Angles owner Gene Gieber, who will donate $25 to each rider this year. All riders must raise at least $250 to bike in the two-day event held during the last weekend of the month.
“Two years ago … I knew two family members who have MS, and now I have four so it’s personal to me,” said Geiber, noting that his mother, sister, niece and male cousin have the disease — in which the body’s autoimmune system attacks its central nervous system. Geiber has sponsored a bike team for a number of years and said he is committed to keep doing so.
So far, the 2009 team Try-Angles has nine members who include gay and straight men and straight women, said team captain Adam Frost.
“I think we have a good mix, but we’d definitely love to have some lesbians. We had some last year,” he said. He noted that two to four additional members may also join and that people can join the team as late as the day before the ride, held June 27-28.
This year, Team Try-Angles hopes to raise $5,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. At press time, their Web site indicated that they had raised almost $2,000, with some team members having raised double the minimum amount required to ride. In order to reach their goal the riders have also sponsored some fundraisers. In May, for example, the members sponsored a “Bingo Bust” Fun Bus to Wendover staffed by local camp drag group the Utah Cybersluts.
Frost said he is confident that the team will reach its goal.
“At this point if we end up with ten riders and everyone makes the $250 minimum, that’s $2,500,” he said. Frost also noted that totals tend to “skyrocket” near the cut off date for donations, as team members enter their final totals.
Last year, the team raised $12,000.
On the weekend of the tour, the team will camp at the fair grounds in Logan where they will relax between rides. Last year, Frost said that the team’s tent was a fun, upbeat place complete with massage tables, inflatable furniture and, of course, food.
“It’s kind of a party atmosphere when you get back from the ride,” said Frost. “Everyone sits around and relaxes, gets some dinner and enjoys the evening because you have another day of riding ahead.”
Team members need all the relaxation they can get on their off-hours, as they will bike in loops of 40, 75 or 100 miles on Saturday and Sunday. And while that may seem like a lot of route to cover, Frost said that putting in the miles isn’t as hard as it appears.
“It’s not a race, it’s a tour,” he explained, noting that riders are free to go at their own pace and that no segment of the ride is timed by a judge. Last year, he noted, most of the team preferred to do the 75 mile loop with a few electing to ride 40 miles. Some also biked for one of the two days.
Neither will bikers have to navigate around cars, campers or slow-moving trucks; this year the canyon will be closed to traffic on both days of the ride, which will head North to Idaho on Saturday and down through Cache Valley on Sunday.
Every five miles or so riders can also take advantage of rest stops stocked with water, power bars and fruit. ‘Sag wagons’ will also patrol the route to assist tired or injured riders, and to help repair flat tires. This year, the ride will also provide bikers with three meals on Saturday and breakfast and lunch on Sunday.
Because the Best Dam Bike Ride is so well-supported, Frost said it is the perfect ride for beginning cyclists. And beginners are more than welcome to join up with the team.
Nevertheless, even 40 miles is a lot of ground to cover. To help prepare for the ride, Frost said team members have been group — though recent inclement weather has thwarted a few team rides.
“But I’ve heard everyone else has been doing their own training rides and such,” he said.
While the bike ride is a lot of fun and can be undertaken by riders of all skill levels, Geiber also noted that it’s still a lot of work, and that he is proud of all who bike for Team Try-Angles.
“I admire them for their efforts. It’s not as hard to write a check as it is to ride those bikes, I know that,” he said.
For information on donating to the team or becoming a rider contact Frost at firstname.lastname@example.org. The team’s donation Web site is located at tinyurl.com/teamtryangles.