“The Tour de Shore Children’s Foundation (TDSCF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to improving the lives of children in the Greater Philadelphia and South Jersey area. We do this in three ways: by supporting the families of first responders who are killed or severely injured in the line of duty, by improving relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve and by encouraging our children through education and recreation.”
It goes without saying… this is a great cause myself and Brett ride for. Similar to the EMS Memorial Bike Ride, my dad and I take part in every year, the Tour de Shore raises money for families of first responders who have died in the line of duty. The Tour de Shore ride is a one day event. It starts in Philadelphia and ends in Atlantic City. This year the course changed up a bit, but it was the same 65 mile distance. In past years, the ride started at Irish Pub by Rittenhouse Square and ended at Irish Pub in AC, but this year it started at Franklin Square (which is at the base of the Ben Franklin Bridge) and ended at the Showboat in AC.
This would be the second year I’ve attend this event and Poulton and Chelsea’s 3rd. Chelsea is the savior every year, as she is the drop off and pick up person (or as we say it on the EMS Ride, our support). Couldn’t do this thing without her… thanks Chelsea!
The morning started off with a little detour, as we drove up to the Ben Franklin we quickly realized we were running late because the bridge had already closed. We darted back to the Walt Whitman and made our way down 95 towards the starting point. We were, legit, 2 of the last few people to go. One of the highlights, every year, is getting to ride over a closed Ben Franklin Bridge.
Haddon Avenue is one of the first roads you ride down and it’s always pretty rough. Between being crowded and parts of the road that suck in your bike tires, there’s always crashes. I almost went down twice in this area last year. This year, we passed three accidents and two of them had people leaving in ambulances. Always have to have your head on a swivel on this road!
A lot of people sign up as “teams” to help raise more money. Myself and Poulton were team Way Too Beautiful, but it was just the two of us. There are two teams we always enjoy seeing. One is Team Murphy, which consists of Phillies announcer, Greg Murphy. There is also Team WMMR Rock & Rollers, which consists of local radio host, Casey Boy, from the Preston & Steve Show. Those guys had, hands down, the best jerseys this year! Brett and I were pissed we didn’t hop on their team for the sole reason of getting a jersey.
We made it to the first rest stop in no time. I ran into my friend, Steve, who is a police officer in Hi-Nella and we talked for a few minutes. He was helping with directing bikers and traffic. After Poulton put some air in his tires we were back on the road. We were making such good time, we decided to skip the second rest stop. Instead we were going to make our own. The day before I had stopped in Glasstown Brewery, after timing a triathlon, and picked up a four pack of Danky Kong Jr. IPA. It was at mile 38 we decided to pull over, watch the other riders go by, and enjoy our brews!
I’m glad we enjoyed the beers then because the next stretch was the toughest of the ride. It was about the same point last year too, although it felt earlier last year, but I digress… The stretch of road must be on the slightest of inclines because for those 15-20 miles it is a struggle. It just feels like you’re riding through mud. Needless to say, we DID NOT skip the next rest stop! We loaded up on water, Gatorade, and PB & Js (I know I personally ate too many PB & Js).
The last stretch of the ride always provides us with a nice head wind to end the day. Luckily the road is flat, so it makes the head wind more bearable. We were extremely lucky this year because the weather was perfect. It didn’t get hot until this last stretch into AC. It’s always great passing all the cars stuck in traffic (which I’m sure is partly caused by the ride), but this year was also because The Chainsmokers were performing a concert on the beach.
Poulton and I decided early on that when we were crossing the finish line, we would have Dreams and Nightmares by Meek Mill blasting (Go Birds!).
As we crossed the finish, we were on the lookout for Chelsea and once we found her (much easier than I would have thought, considering how many people were lined up along the finish) it was time to put our bikes away and head to the beer/food lines!
After quite a few beverages it was now decision time. That Chainsmokers concert I talked about earlier… we had a bunch of tickets. Brett’s sister, Alyssa, and her friend, Stacey, met us at Showboat to watch us finish and to go to the show. We told them we would be game time decisions, pending how we felt. Well, we were all pretty beat so we unfortunately opted out of the concert. After a few photo ops, we gave Alyssa and Stacey all the tickets and told them to enjoy the show (next year we’ll bring some Red Bull).
The only thing left to do before we hit the road was Brett had to jump in the ocean. On the ride down he made a post to social media stating, if anyone donated $20 more to his fund it would get his total to $600 and for doing so he would ride right to the ocean and jump in. Surely enough, on the way down, our friend Chris donated the final $20. Brett made true to his word and dove right in.
And so ended another great Tour de Shore ride. Can’t wait until the 32nd annual! Hopefully we can convince a few of you to join us…