Celebrating An Amazing Ride

The Tour de Ford event concluded last Sunday on a glorious late summer afternoon.

I want to personally thank the organizers, the volunteers, the sponsors, and the riders from all parts of the System and community for making this such an incredible event.

The ride along Belle Isle on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012

In the third year of the Tour, we had over 500 riders and raised over $50,000 for the Tom Groth Patient Medical Needs Fund, which provides health care, medication, medical supplies and social services to underinsured patients at Henry Ford.

My wife and I rode the “35-mile” route, which according to my GPS was 38.45 miles.

We had a great ride through Eastern Market, down the Dequindre Cut, over to the Riverfront, east to the MacArthur Bridge to Belle Isle, a quick spin around the island, back to Jefferson, Indian Village, The Pointes and a welcome rest stop at our Cottage facility.

Did a banana, orange slice and water ever taste better?

Back on the bike, westward to Midtown and finally the Henry Ford Hospital Campus, where our great friends from Subway provided the lunch, and drinks, including some great Michigan ale from Rochester Mills Brewery, were a plenty.

Lots of celebration of the ride, the day and each other.

In all:

  • 3 hours in the saddle
  • 2,048 calories burned
  • average heart rate of 129, and
  • average moving speed of 12.0 mph

I would have gone a lot faster if I were 40 years younger and 25 pounds lighter. Training wheels didn’t help. Nor did the inner thigh cramp at mile 36 (what muscle is that anyway?).

It is impressive to have what looks like a permanent imprint of the bicycle seat on the back side. Goes well with the road rash abrasion on the left knee gained during training when my brain couldn’t disconnect from the pedal cleats.

Man versus pavement, even at 0.1 mph, is no fun. Fortunately, being a physical klutz is not a major impediment to hospital leadership (please no editorial comments on any of these self revelations!).

There are lots of big plans for the Tour in the future: 1,000 riders would be in reach, as would $100,000 of benefit for our patients who need it most.

Incredibly impressive for a grass-roots-employee event.

Dr Ronny Otero, one of the founders of the event, is planning a 100-mile ride for our 2015 Centennial!

We hope future events attract all of our employees to a celebration of our giving spirit our commitment to health and wellness, and the joy of being part of each other’s lives within our Henry Ford family.

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10 thoughts on “Celebrating An Amazing Ride

  1. We had a perfect day for a beautiful ride in the “D”! Many thanks to those involved in planning and executing the ride! The generousity of all involved is heart-warming. I am proud to be associated with these great folks and this fantastic organization!!

  2. As one of the committee members I was very pleased as to how the “word is spreading” about TdF. I spoke with many at the food/beverage-fest by the tennis courts and heard many favorable comments by “non-HFHRs”. Many said they would be back next year. One individual came from Muskegon, did the 70 miler, and planned on returning that afternoon. Said he thoroughly enjoyed it and would bring his wife next year to help as a volunteer.

    As was discussed at our post-TdF committee meeting last night, perhaps we should consider a team “challenge” competition to encourage fundraising–team w/ most pledges/funds would keep the “traveling trophy” (w/ their team name inscribed) for the year.

    Great job everyone.

  3. This was an awesome opportunity to work with the community, our neighbors, friends, and co-workers and give to a great cause! I am so proud to work for an organization that supports such worthwhile events! I enjoyed the shout outs from neighbors when we were preparing the route and riding thru the city. I can’t wait until next year!

  4. What an AMAZING event! It’s been such a pleasure being involved on the committee since the event was just a concept about 4 years ago! Now, after our 3rd Tour de Ford this past weekend, I can’t express just how proud I am of this event & all those involved! It’s so awesome to see all the different people come from all over to participate in such a fun wellness-focused event! It was so great lining the streets of Pallister (where riders were ‘taking-off) & seeing the community members & residents come outside, cheer riders, take videos & express their joy. I had little kids come to me asking what it was & that they thought it was great & they themselves wanted to ride. It makes me so happy to think that exercise & fun can be in the same sentence & Tour de Ford is making that happen, for sure!!
    Thank you to all the volunteers, committee members & RIDERS!! Keep spreding the word ~ we want to continue to make this event grow! Next year – come on down – get out your calendar & a pen Sept 8, 2013!

  5. I wanted to Thank Dr Otero and all of his team for the success of the Tour de Ford. It was quite an experience riding 35 miles in the streets of Detroit with my nephew and 72yr old father. We talked for hrs while viewing wonderful sites. 3 generations of Cavanagh’s. Also thank you to the mechanic who fixed my Dad’s tire. He had it switched in one min. Dad was able to finish his first bike event. Helping the HFH Tom Growth fund, uninsured pt’s is the best part. This is a great family event. Directions great, food superior, volunteers were tops. Thanks again Tour de Ford!!!

  6. I am an former HFH ER nurse and was a ride marshall on the 35 miles route … the last rider. I would like to commend all the riders who rode the 35 miles route on bicycles really meant for a quick trip around the block. I was impressed with the determination to finish the route on such heavy bikes with fat tires. I hope to see all of the riders next year … keep riding, learn about different bikes and equipment.

  7. As one of the organizers I can say I am so proud of the growth of this event and will continue to work to make the event bigger and better!! We are already working on getting feedback to plan for next year. For all those who think it is something they would like to try out —please come out.
    Start training today. We want employees, community members , friends and families (ages 14 and older) to join us for a healthy and fun event. Thanks to Dr Popovich for his support ,all of the committee members, sponsors and volunteers who got up at the crack of dawn to prepare and check-in riders. Next year is going to be huge !

  8. While the event is a great opportunity to give back to the community, it simultaneously offers an amazing tour of Detroit.

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