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Jim Guidry Commentaries
Harris County
Red Cross Tour de Rouge
News Release
Monday, April 25, 2011

Tour du Rouge Draws Eclectic Mix of Cyclists for May 2011 Ride
Teens, Seniors and International Cyclists Ride for the Red Cross

Houston – On Sunday, May 1st, more than 70 cyclists will leave Houston, heading for New Orleans in the 3rd Annual Tour du Rouge.  The 526-mile cycling adventure raises awareness and money for Red Cross services along our disaster-prone Gulf Coast and benefits seven Red Cross Chapters.  For the second year in a row, HostGator.com is the presenting sponsor for Tour du Rouge. HostGator, a leading web hosting provider, is based in Houston.  Money is raised through corporate sponsorships and the cyclists’ fundraising efforts.  Bike Barn is our Supporting Sponsor and provides mechanics for on-the-road repairs.

The cyclists will leave Houston Sunday morning, May 1, from the Sheraton Intercontinental Airport Hotel and spend their first night in Beaumont. The following nights will be spent in Louisiana, in    Sulphur, Abbeville, Morgan City and Gonzales. After having averaged 88 miles per day, the cyclists arrive in New Orleans on Friday, May 6.

They will enter the Crescent City riding along the top of the Mississippi River levy, have lunch in Audubon Park, and then ride through the French Quarter led by a police escort. Friday night, Tour du Rouge cyclists, their family and friends will celebrate the end of the Tour with a party at Mulate’s restaurant, known for its great Cajun food, live Cajun music and dancing.

Tour du Rouge continues to grow and attract a diverse group of riders locally, from across the country, and the globe. This year’s cyclists are from 14 different states and two of them, a father- and-son team, are from Denmark. One-third of the cyclists are returning Tour du Rouge riders. Ages range from 17 to 69. In fact, four of our cyclists are in their 60’s. And for some, Tour du Rouge is family time.

In addition to the father-son team from Denmark, a mother and her teenage son are riding and there are two husband-and-wife teams. One of the husband-and-wife teams are Houston Area Red Cross Disaster volunteers, who will be riding a tandem bike. The family theme extends to the crew too, as several of the Tour du Rouge crew members are married to cyclists.

One of our cyclists is an Army Colonel with the Medical Service Corp, stationed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.  A returning cyclist this year is one of our Red Cross Board Members, Carlette Moore, an ExxonMobil Tax Attorney who rode in the first Tour du Rouge, in May 2009.

The 526-mile Texas/Louisiana route offers a variety of scenery:  serene beaches, misty swamps, wildlife, even an occasional alligator. Cyclists will also see signs of lingering devastation from previous hurricanes, reminders of how vulnerable the Gulf Coast is and the importance of communities and residents being

prepared. Cyclists will have the unique opportunity to glimpse the communities they are helping by participating in the ride.  

Tour du Rouge is a fully supported ride with SAG vehicles, Mechanical and First Aid Support and Rest Stops every 20-25 miles. Many of the Rest and Lunch Stops are in scenic locations such as Avery Island, home of the Tabasco Factory. 

Tour du Rouge offers cyclists a great experience each day…and at the end of the day. Double occupancy motel accommodations are provided each day as well as massages. All meals and snacks are included. Dinners are at great local restaurants.  After the victory party in New Orleans Friday night, cyclists and their bikes are transported back to Houston the next day.  No other ride offers the experience and personal attention that Tour du Rouge provides its cyclists.  For more information, visit http://www.tourdurouge.org/

About HostGator.com

HostGator is a leading provider of web hosting including shared hosting, reseller hosting, and dedicated servers. The company provides hosting for over 5.7 million websites and supports more than 50,000 resellers worldwide with 24/7 technical support and state-of-the-art web hosting tools including free billing software for resellers and access to over 4,500 high quality free web templates.  In 2008 and 2009 HostGator was ranked on Inc. 5000’s list of the fastest growing privately-owned companies.

About Bike Barn

Bike Barn is the leading independent bicycle dealer in Houston, TX. Established in 1983, they have seven stores supporting the greater Houston area. The Company is ranked nationally as a Top 100 dealer in an independent survey of bicycle dealers across the country. Bike Barn offers bicycles to support all levels of cyclists from riding in the neighborhood with the kids to racing on Mountain or Road bikes. The goal of the Company is to share the joy of riding a bicycle.

 

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit
www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.



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