It’s big, and it just keeps getting bigger. The Tour de Coffee Culture is one of the biggest events on our annual calendar and boy do we get excited when it rolls around. It’s been great to see a record number of bums on saddles this year travelling in, out and around our stores.
What started small seven years ago, with only just a handful of riders completing the Pro Elite Challenge, has just got bigger and better. This year we’ve had over 200 riders (so far) put their bodies on the line to complete what is becoming an iconic Coffee Culture event, the Tour de Coffee Pro Elite challenge.
Now, the Pro Elite challenge is not for the faint hearted, and we’re not going to lie and say it’s easy. It’s tough. It takes commitment, it takes dedication and it takes a number of hours and hundreds of thousands of pedal strokes. We’ve had a few comments come in mentioning you must have to be a hardcore cyclist to complete it – so this year I went out to debunk that theory.
To give you some perspective - two weeks before I took on the Pro Elite challenge I hadn’t ridden my bike for over two years – I’m excluding the use of a spin bike as I’d hardly say spinning your legs along to music and disco lights prepares you for something like this.
I knew the day had come when I woke up to a weather forecast of midrange temps and light winds – it wasn’t going to get much better than this! Light winds being the determining factor to jump out of bed and just go for it. So out I went on what was a 198km ride around the Canterbury Coffee Culture stores. And THAT hill... TWICE. But I didn’t look back. It was a very long, hard day but I did it, and I’m sure I’m not the only one that had an overwhelmingly massive sense of relief when I finally saw that bull in the distance of store #15. Theory debunked - you don’t need to be a pro-cyclist to complete the tour.
So if you don’t need to be a cyclist to get involved what do you need? Lycra? Nope. A feather light weight bike? No way! A Strava account? Not at all. But you DO need these two things:
That’s it. If you’ve got a bike and you can ride it, you can tackle the tour – whether it be the Pro Elite, Tough Nut or one of our short stage challenges, if you have a bike and can ride it, you’ve got what it takes.
Regardless of the level you are aiming to complete, here’s a few helpful hints and advice to avoid making my rookie rider mistakes!
I’ll leave you with a super cheesey quote that you often see pop up in fitness/ gym references typically followed by #fitspo – “Will it be easy, NO. Will it be worth it – ABSOLUTELY!” That’s when you get to wear your jersey or t-shirt with pride knowing you’ve completed something pretty amazing.
Over & out.
Amanda (Rookie Rider)
p.s. We can’t wait for Evans Pass to re-open either…