Seven Things I love about Venus de Miles & Giveaway

I’m getting excited for my favorite group ride event of the year… Venus de Miles!  If you’re thinking of riding, sign up now and you can use my discount code “LaurenRuns” to get $5 off your entry!  If you’re on the fence, read on for my 7 Reasons to Ride Venus de Miles — and for a giveaway at the bottom!

Seven Things I love about Venus de Miles:

  1. There is great aid station support.  There were 4 aid stations (18, 35, 45, 55 miles) that were all catered by Whole Foods. All the apples, bananas, two-bite brownies, mini cookies, bagels & nut butter that you could want.  Plus Skratch Labs electrolyte drink to fill your water bottle up with.   The volunteers kept pushing us to take more, so I’m glad Katie & I shared a stock-up backpack.

    The goodies from our backpack... halloween for athletes!

    The goodies from our backpack… halloween for athletes!

  2. The bathrooms are beautiful & well stocked. No stinky port-a-potties here.  There were tables at each station with nice-to-haves like antibacterial gel, sunscreen, tampons, and chafe cream.
  3. The course is well marked.  Like very well marked.  I recalled a section last year where a group of us got lost, and was aware of when that might occur this year.  The course was so well marked I couldn’t quite figure out where we deviated last year… sign of improvement! Not only are there arrows pointing you along, but also orange reminder signs for both cyclists and vehicles of areas needing single file, or where we’d be passing to the left lane to make a turn.
  4. It benefits an awesome charity that works to provide opportunities, mentorship, and ongoing support to high-performing, under-resourced college students. Greenhouse Scholars is exactly the type of organization I’m proud to support as they encourage the students they nurture to become “difference makers” – not only in their own professional lives but also in their communities.
  5. The atmosphere at Venus de Miles is second to none. I’m accustomed to running & triathlon events where (somewhere) there are always people gunning for a great time.  That is not the case at Venus. Everyone is so supportive, and I love that.  There is no “Move over!”… it’s “Good morning, on your left”.  This was where I did my first long ride, and I struggled. Everyone makes you feel great, from the other riders to the volunteers.  In the Chicago Running bloggers community, this event is becoming a “must do” and we had an awesome supportive turnout.

    Chicago Running Bloggers

    The Chicago Running Bloggers

  6. Post Ride Party was awesome.  I feel like I’ve been getting used to lackluster post-race parties at running events where you get a bagel & bag of chips and are sent on your way.  At Venus de Miles:  cocktails from North Shore Distillery & beer from Goose Island, great gourmet sandwiches, and delicious ice cream from the Jeni’s truck (they’re coming to Chicago!)

    Mmmm salty caramel ice cream

    Mmmm salty caramel ice cream

  7. Venus de Miles is about improving community.  It does it through it’s camaraderie, and making cycling an accessible activity, making it fun to do the ride in a group of friends, and to benefit the Greenhouse Scholars.  Whatever your reason, you’re tied into the event for community, and are supported by your community.  As I was there, I saw people from my training groups, groups of friends, and businesses that support my healthy lifestyle. I feel so comfortable there, and encourage anyone who wants to try riding in a distance event to look at Venus de Miles as a milestone for your training or as a celebration of what you can do.

You can still donate to Greenhouse Scholars in time,  or money, as this is a great organization.  If you are a foodie, you should consider going to the Community Dinner

So here is how you enter to win this super cute tote and water bottle!

Venus bag_water bottle 4(1)

  • Post This On Twitter: The Venus de Miles all-women’s road ride (Aug. 9) supports really incredible students. Use code MommyRace to save $5! Find out more here:http://bit.ly/1oNVW1W #ridevenus
  •  Post This On Facebook: Looking for something to do on August 9? Venus de Miles, a non-competitive all-women’s road ride raises money to support really incredible students from Illinois. Use code LaurenRuns to save $5! Find out more here:http://bit.ly/1oNVW1W #ridevenus
  •  Like Venus de Miles on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/VenusDeMilesRide

 After you have done any or all of the above, leave me a comment to tell me what you did and I can count you in the drawing!  Drawing closes on Tuesday, July 22 at midnight CST!

Wordless Wednesday: Finish Line

Fourth Street Louisville

IM Louisville Finisher

Newbie’s Guide to Group Rides & Gearing Up for Venus De Miles

I’ve been spending tons more time this summer cycling as I train for my big triathlon.  One of the best ways to prepare for a triathlon bike is to ride with other people… you are not doing the race by yourself!  Thinking back to when I first started cycling. And for anyone preparing for Venus de Miles or your first group ride (Venus was my first and I loved it!  It was such a welcoming atmosphere, with the best aid stations and an awesome post-ride party!)

Training!

Training!

Things to Bring:

  • Bike & Helmet
  • Bike Shoes
  • Driver’s License & Insurance card, $20 — all in a zip pocket somewhere on you or your bike.
  • A gel or bar to eat
  • Bottle with water or sports drink
  • Some groups require that you bring a flat-changing kit (spare tube, levers, patch kit, CO2 cartridge) in case you get a flat.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Call the bike shop to see what the typical distances are for the bike ride. Most group rides are beginner friendly or will clearly state a speed zone.
  • If you’re a newbie and not on a road bike, then you are likely to be riding 16 mph or less.

If you’ve been riding more lately, and want to try out a very welcoming ride, join me at the Venus de Miles ride on August 9!  They have a distance for everyone: 13 miles, 28 miles, and 64 miles!  To register with a $5 Discount, use the code LaurenRuns  when registering!

Wheels down!

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