May is the month of the Giro, and for me, one of my fondest memories of the Giro is actually from right here in northern Michigan.
During a trip home from college one spring 100 years ago, I met up with Tim Bottrell and his buddy, Mark Dressler. Mark rolled up with the coolest maglia rosa jersey I’d ever seen. Somewhere in the pockets, he also brought along some great cycling stories and an absolutely awesome route for the morning. He took me on my first Dressler 30, his iconic route in the County that combines the perfect mix of climbing, flats, and scenic views.
One of the things I like the most about the D30 is that it is so accessible. It’s thirty miles; even during the week, we can usually stretch a 90-minute ride, and on the weekends, it’s a route you can do and still be home well within two hours, ready to be the Super-Spouse you always promised your partner you would be.
We lost Mark to cancer a few year ago now, but many of us still do the Dressler 30, and many of us have some adaptation or variation of that we’ve made our own. In 2020, we put on the first Trofeo Mark Dressler to honor Mark, celebrate his route, and raise money for Less Cancer. The organization has sort of adopted Traverse City as the home of the Less Cancer Bike Ride, the primary fundraising vehicle for an organization that provides cancer prevention programming and education and has worked with doctors, medical experts, politicians, Senators, and multiple governments to do more to inform and protect Americans from the 60-70% of cancers that are preventable.
We didn’t think we’d need to do the Trofeo again this year; we kind of wanted to do is a group ride and then race the segments. But, because we’re committed to do our part to reduce the spread and get everything back to normal, this year’s Trofeo will be either solo or in small groups.
You can enter by making a $5 donation to the kolo t.c. donation page for the Less Cancer Bike Ride. More than that, we’d love for you to join the squad. Kicking off on June 5, the Less Cancer Bike Ride America will have satellite events across the country, and our goal is to make Traverse City the BIGGEST location, even if we don’t all ride together.
Like last year, the Trofeo will be scored on individual segments, and this year, we’ve chosen three tough ones!
Gallivan Sprint – Slightly downhill to start, this one is for the big men. It’s a short effort, but with wind almost always affecting how it plays out, having a lot of momentum and power is more important than a sharp kick.
The Kessell Run – Rollers! Power to weight starts to play a role here, and it’s a longer segment; pacing is tough when the effort is punctuated by a few short climbs and descents. This one is likely to go a rider who has done this route plenty of times and knows how to nail it.
Philosophy – You knew it was going to be on here. It’s the longest segment time-wise and a truly iconic climb; this is how we so often get home. It’s a climb that can suit a lot of riders; it’s never more than 8% in gradient, and those sections only come in the final third of the three-mile climb. Most of the ascent is between 2-3%, which means even bigger riders can keep turning over a big gear.
We’ll be scoring times at the end of May, which means you have all month to give it a go! Ride it solo or with a small group; just ride it.
You can check out the Dressler 30 route here.
To be scored, simply make a $5 donation to the kolo t.c. Less Cancer Bike Ride America fundraiser here.
To be scored AND join us in the effort, you can sign up for the LCBRA here; make sure you join our squad!