A “Tour de Indiana” starts with The Woods
July 13th, 2011 | By SMWC
Cyclists crank it up on Saturday, July 16, 2011, as they pedal from Terre Haute, Ind., to Richmond, Ind., on the National Historic Route 40 for the 25th annual Ride Across Indiana (RAIN). The 156-mile ride, hosted by the Bloomington Bicycle Club, begins at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) at 7 a.m.
“I remember visiting Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College about 30 years ago,” said Jim Schroeder, coordinator for RAIN. “I remembered how beautiful it was and how close it was to Illinois.” Not only is the College the staring point, but it is also providing overnight accommodations, including camping, before the ride.
For one rider, Mike Tomey, from Indianapolis, the starting line of the race is much more than a beginning. His daughter, Allison Tomey, graduated from SMWC in 2007. His excitement for the race and to see The Woods again after four years is palpable. “It was a very memorable four years,” said Tomey, who visited the campus every fall and spring to watch Allison play on the softball team. “I think it is awesome, especially for me, that the race starts here.”
From concerts to symposiums, SMWC plays an important role in the community. Many people come out simply to walk the grounds and enjoy the tranquil beauty of the campus. “I'm sure the cyclists will enjoy starting the ride down your serene, tree-lined boulevard,” said cyclist Mike Finger, from Bloomington.
This year, Schroeder and the other volunteers are expecting a record turnout for RAIN. There are already 1300 registered participants, but they expect 1600-1700 to show up the day of the event. “If it is a nice day, there could be a lot more people,” Schroeder said. “Some people wait until the day of to see what the weather is like.”
The ride includes five scheduled rest stops roughly every 25-30 miles and officially concludes at 9 p.m. at Earlham College in Richmond, Ind.
People from all around the country have come to traverse the state for RAIN. “All states have been represented,” Schroeder said. Many of these out-of-state riders are staying at SMWC, which often provides beautiful and affordable space for many special events, camps and conferences throughout the year.
For more information about hosting an event at SMWC, visit www.smwc.edu/resources/conferences.