The Tour de Cure was this past weekend, and Travis, a buddy of mine from work, and I signed up for the fun. A fundraiser tour much like the MS150, this one supports Diabetes research and the ADA. The first day of the event was 68 miles from Bolles High School in Jax to St Augustine Beach pier. A very nice route, with lots of wooded 2 lane roads near the river and then the last stretch almost due east over the intercoastal to the beach. We arrived in about 4.5 hours and averaged 19mph with three stops. We got to the finish and sat in the shade tents and had some refreshments and then headed on down the beach to the Holiday Inn. I don't know what it is about Holiday Inns, but nothing attracts blue collar, fat, smoking, retired, welders from Cleveland like a Holiday Inn. Tattoos, pot bellies, bad C-section scars, and ill fitting bikinis all around. This one was no exception and the service from the staff was certainly pandering to the clientele, with nary a whit of customer service or hospitality to be found. DUMP.
That night we walked back up the beach to the event dinner, which was held in the same tent city in the parking lot of the pier that hosted the arrival bash. Dinner was catered by Carrabba's and it was better than marginal, but not scrumptious by any stretch. Too much garlic and butter for folks who needed to get out of bed the next morning and ride another metric century. Travis and I bloated up on the free grub and then teetered back to the Shanty Inn for a few beers and then an early night to get ready for the next day's miles. Shanty Inn had other plans though, and the pool-side bar was closed when we got back! Saturday night at 7pm and the damn bar is closed?! mmmmm...Hospitality . I always wondered why every half-wit in community college studies "Hospitality Management"...now I know there are even more that need to!