Perfect bicycling weather greeted the 228 riders in the Tenth Annual Tour de Marco, held on Sunday, February 23rd.
Temperatures were at a chilly 58 degrees with a light breeze at the beginning of the 30-mile tour. By the time the riders of both the 15 and 30-miles rides were back in the Y’s Airnasium, temperatures had risen to the mid-70s. Not a bad winter day on Marco Island.
“The weather was fabulous,” stated Cindy Love-Abounader, CEO at the Greater Marco Family YMCA. “I started out with a jacket on. Then I thought, ‘I don’t need this jacket.’ It turned out to be perfect. It’s such a great event. And it’s a great event to meet new people. Because it’s a tour, you’re not racing, you can talk to folks. It’s a great social event.”
Tour Director Tony Delucia, the Y’s Community Relations and Marketing Manager has been involved with the tour for all of its 10 years. Under his guidance, the tour continues to become more and more a part of the community.
“The Tenth Annual Tour de Marco was exemplary,” remarked Delucia, “everybody had fun. No accidents. Thank you very much to the Key Club of Marco Island and the Marco Island Academy. Thank you to the Civilian Club of Marco Island, and thank you to all the volunteers who showed up early to get everything set up, for all the businesses who provided the door prizes. And thank you to Sunshine Stitchers for all of the shirts and all of the signs.”
Random comments heard around the route gives a flavor of the ride.
One rider had recently ridden a bike tour in Cape Coral. While riding through some of the hills in the estate area, she shouted excitedly, “There are no hills on the cape!”
Another rider, while climbing Indian Hill, the highest elevation in SW Florida, said, “I ride up this hill every day and it never gets easier.”
There was another rider who said, “There’s no shame in walking your bike up Indian Hill.”
One lady exclaimed, “This weather is so perfect! The temperature is perfect… and look at that blue sky!“
Many riders were comparing how many times they had ridden in the Tour de Marco. A couple was heard to say they had ridden in all 10 tours. There we even a few “vintage” Tour de Marco shirts along the route.
Next year’s Tour de Marco will be held on Sunday, February 21st. Proceeds of the Tour de Marco are used for programs at the Greater Marco Family YMCA.