When's the next tour?
Each tour is the weekend before Family Camp sessions. On odd numbered years, it's before First Family, and on even numbered years, it's before Second Family. Or, just check the FPYC website.
How far do we ride each day?
This varies based on the route selected. Generally though, you can expect a longer, first day of around 85 to 100 miles; a shorter, second day of between 70 to 80 miles; and the third and final day of just over 50 miles. This holds generally true unless we do a four day tour, or ride from St Cloud, or if you get lost - then, it will not hold true. Your mileage may vary. Had to say that.
Where do we sleep each evening?
Accommodations each evening, starting Thursday night, are provided by the Tour. Now, those accommodations may be quite humble. A place on the floor for your sleeping bag, bathroom facilities, and for the most part showers, are offered. Sometimes the accommodations are quite nice; for example, when members of the Lord's church open their homes to host riders. Tent camping is rarely employed but has been - year to year we'll let you know if a tent is needed.
In our accommodations we try to provide separation between the genders and where fitting, chaperones.
If you are so inclined, you can opt out of the housing offered by the tour and take a hotel/motel room at any of the stops along the tour's route. These accommodations would be at the rider's expense and may open you to receive snide or petty comments from less rested individuals.
How much does it cost?
The cost of the tour is $100. However, the ride fee is gradually waived as a rider collects more in pledged donations for FPYC. Click here for the Fee/Pledge relationship and please, whatever you do, don't stop reading here. Read the next question too.
Why does the tour ask for a ride fee?
Our tour offers a lot of goodies to the riders. When you consider the list of amenities, you'll understand that in order to keep the expenses of the ride from consuming the pledged donations, we need a little "skin" from the riders. So, the ride fees go a long way in offsetting the tour's overhead - sometimes entirely covering the cost of putting on the ride. The ride fee, or avoidance of the ride fee also provides a great incentive to ask for pledges. We totally support this - the tour's loss is FPYC's gain (x7).
Where is Togo, anyway?
Togo is a small town in Northern Minnesota. It's about 45 minutes northwest of Hibbing. Perhaps "town" is too strong a word to describe Togo. Think really small village, go a notch or two smaller and that's Togo. That's why the Tour de Togo is very much a don't-take-your-cycling-too-seriously kind of ride.
What kind of bike do I need?
Most people select a road bike. The route is [supposed to be] all pavement. The slender tires roll very well and the drop handlebars offer several hand positions which can be nice on a long day.
Having said that, people have ridden all kinds of bikes on the tour. A mountain bike with a set of slicks (tire with no knobbies) can do just fine. Why even the nurse's bike from camp [aka White Lightening] was ridden 50 miles on tour as a dare. It's still with us to this day - a ladies one-speed coaster-brake balloon tire cruiser.
The most important "kind of bike" to bring on tour is one that is in good working order, one that fits you well, and one that is familiar to you - especially your hind side. Train on the bike you'll ride. Good, free advice.
What is "The Old School Route" and how did it get that name?
The first five years we ran the tour up the same route. It's a pretty good route but we have short attention spans and began to pine for some new scenery. So we started branching out - sometimes finding great new trails and roads, sometimes finding disaster. Hasn't worked out perfectly every time, but the change of venues is nice. Also, it's really encouraging when we can involve another congregation in another part of the state.
Then we remember that old familiar route - that trustee standby. We try to go back to The Old School route every now and again. It starts in Hugo, reaching Moose Lake the first day. From there we make Hibbing on day two, and it's the beloved 50 or so miles from Hibbing to Camp on day three.
How old does a rider need to be?
This is a tough one. We've had some fairly young riders do the tour. Usually this is best accomplished with a tandem bicycle with Dad in front and the son/daughter on back. If they'll be riding a single, it becomes a parental call - can they actually ride most or all of the day's mileage? Like the situation with the tandem, for very young riders, we ask that a parent or responsible party ride wheel-by-wheel with them. Riders under 18 need to have a parent sign the waiver along with the rider.
If I miss read the question and you're really asking how old is too old to ride, than nevermind the aforementioned; I'll simply refer you to discuss this with Gary Nading.
How does my luggage and gear get from point to point?
We haven't had anyone take up the challenge of doing the tour self-sufficient and why? The tour provides support vehicles and drivers to transport all our personal gear for us. In addition, our support drivers provide encouragement, tour-snacks, energy drinks, and are also well equipped when first-aid is required. And, if your day on the bike goes really bad, put your bike on the rack and hop in.
We love our support drivers.
Why should I register?
For a number of reasons:
Can I recruit a Friend to Ride?
[Hold on! What kind of softball question is this?! One you ask just so you can provided random information?] Umm... Well... Yes.
Recruit a first-time, never-done-the-tour-before "rookie" and we'll reward you handsomely. We really love seeing new riders each year. Now, aren't you glad I asked?
When does registration open?
March 1st ~ more or less.
How long has this been going on?
We started this in 1992 with nine riders on a 100 mile soaker. It's been going strong ever since. Check out the History page.
What does FPYC have to show for all these miles?
The tour has prompted generosity from individual donors in excess of $250,000 over it's 26 year run. Wow, let that sink in.
Tour Funds have gone into improvements starting with the "new" Dining Hall; then for more than two decades, many other remodel projects, roofs, and recently cabins . But a sizable portion of funds has been used directly to open up camp to a lot of kids and families. To good effect - camp is so important to our youth today. Just ask them. Or better yet, notice how many of them are on bikes with us this summer.
Got a Tour Question?
Submit it and perhaps I'll blog on it here.