HostGator is proud to have presented the 2012 Tour Du Rouge, benefiting the Gulf Coast chapters of The American Red Cross. The ride traversed five hundred and twenty-six miles, beginning in Houston on May 6th and ending in New Orleans on May 11th, at an average of 88 miles each day. HostGator designed the awesome jerseys visible in the images below, as well as t-shirts and lots of other event graphics. Allan, one of our Admins who participated in the ride this year, was kind enough to share some of his experiences with us.
The morning of the ride began with a performance of The Star-Spangled Banner, followed by a group prayer. After the ceremonies, a police escort (complete with horse-mounted officers) accompanied the riders from the starting point in Northeast Houston through to the first major freeway, about five miles away. Beaumont would be the destination for day one. Allan completed this 88 mile trek in just under 5 hours, despite some rough patches of road along the way. The image below is from the starting line, with Allan front and center, notice those stylish HostGator jerseys!
Day two would take the riders from Beaumont through Port Arthur and ultimately over the bridge, across the state border into Louisiana. The group stopped for lunch on Holly Beach before hitting the road again and enjoying the scenic Gulf Coast view; finally bedding down in the city of Sulpher, Louisiana. Allan would traverse these 93 miles once again in just under 5 hours.
Day three held the longest single stretch of the tour; just over 100 miles, from Sulphur to Abbeville. The day began around 6:30a, in order to get a head start of the inevitably blaring sun. Unfortunately, Allan experienced a flat tire around mile 3 on a particularly bad patch of road. This day would turn out to be his most difficult, as he also suffered a knee injury fairly early in the day. Things began to turn around during the lunch stop in Mermentau, though and Allan was able to finish the day strong. He made it to Abbeville in about 6 1/2 hours; 30 minutes before the pouring rain. The weather would prove to be more of an adversary as the tour continued, though.
Day four would deliver the riders into Morgan City, Louisiana. Breakfast at a local café that morning included an a capella performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by the café owner’s son. Later in the day, the riders paid a visit to Avery Island for a tour of the famous Tabasco factory and it’s attached store, which reportedly had some rarely-seen, but absolutely amazing Tabasco chipotle raspberry ice cream. Allan spent just over 4 hours on this 78 mile trek; by this point, the riders had now covered a total of over 360 miles.
Day five took the riders across the Mississippi River and into Gonzales, Louisiana. All told, this would be the least eventful day for the tour. The highlight was the lunch stop at St. Joseph Plantation that included some log cabin style, old-timey school houses. In hindsight, it would be the calm before the (quite literal) storm that would rain down upon the riders on the final leg of their journey.
The final day of the ride would prove to be a fitting end of a long journey. Destination: New Orleans, Louisiana! Following a slightly confusing (and last minute) re-routing of the riders’ path, Allan and the others would battle fierce wind and sudden downpours as the weather finally decided to let loose on the riders after many threats earlier in the week. Allan would cross the finish line having spent just over 4 1/2 hours on the final 84 miles of the tour.
With the ride now behind them, and the riders now in dry clothes (at least temporarily), the group gathered at the New Orleans Police Department for an escort into downtown ‘Nawlins. Despite the continuing wind and rain, the riders were warmly greeted by not only a cheering crowd, but also an impressive live band.
Clearly at this point, the only reasonable thing left to do was spend the evening on Bourbon Street in celebration of a ride well ridden. We’d like to share a picture from Bourbon Street, but to be honest, they’re all a little bit blurry for some reason or another… All told, Allan’s GPS reports a total of 532.7 miles covered, with a total ride time of 29hrs 43mins 30secs over the course of six days. The 2012 Tour du Rouge was now in the history books.
Our sincere appreciation to The American Red Cross and all those who took part in the 2012 Tour du Rouge, especially the riders themselves and our very own fearless Admin Allan who was kind enough to not only share his experience with us, but also the following pictures: