The greatest event Lubbock has ever seen? We just call it
the Tour de Tech Terrace. Founded in the summer of 2004,
the Tour started as a small cycling event. Since then it
has grown to proportions neither of its founders could have
imagined. The idea started the way most great ideas begin,
at a party. While enjoying themselves at a close friend's
backyard summer event, Omar Abotteen and Aaron Blom came
up with an idea that was beyond anything they had done before.
With Omar being an avid cyclist and Aaron being a daily
commuter the idea formed a cycling theme. The initial thoughts
were simple. Bike riding, relaxing pace, good friends, house
stops, and drinking. The thoughts were combined to create
a ride Lubbock had never seen. With Tech
Terrace being the nicest college neighborhood in the
immediate Texas Tech vicinity, the Tour was planned to take
place within its boundaries. The layout of the event was
simple and easy to follow. Ride from a starting house to
nine other houses, each of which being no more than a mile
away, and drink a beer at each of the ten total houses.
A small fee would have to be collected (the first Tour entry
fee was $10) to pay for the beer provided at the stops but
a general fee was not going to be charged just for riding.
Of course not everyone would drink beer, so it was decided
that people who did not want to drink beer could bring their
own beverages and ride with us for free. As the thoughts
grew and were being thrown back and forth in the midst of
that summer eve one large question still remained. When?
Omar and Aaron stared at each other and decided that if
a date was not chosen on the spot the event would simply
be written off as a stupid party idea and be forgotten by
the next week. The date was set to be the first weekend
after school got back in session, Labor Day weekend.
In the coming weeks ideas were developed
and eventually formed into what we now know as the Tour
de Tech Terrace. The first thing that had to be established
was which ten friends' houses were going to be included
in that first Tour. Aaron's house was a given but the other
nine houses took some effort. Some of the friends who bravely
put their houses up for the first Tour included Marcus Parks,
Jacob Gosschalk, Nick Carissimi, and the historical starting
house of Joey McPherson, Charlie Taboada, and Cody Hughes.
Shirts were also printed to mark the occasion. The front
logo involved a variation of the Tour de France logo while
the back had the now classic motto "Don't drink and
drive, Drink and Bike". The challenge of the first
Tour, and every Tour after, has always been just finishing.
That first Tour planned on ending at the Tech radio stations
KTXT) annual new hire party. Of the riders who made
it to the final house, not many stayed around for the post
party. With a grand total of 35 people, the Fall 2004 proved
to be a huge success!
Holding the Tour annually proved
to be a problem due to the overwhelming amount of fun riders
had at the event. The Tour was then determined to be bi-annual,
one in the fall semester (Labor Day weekend) and one in
the spring semester (first weekend in April). The Spring
2005 Tour required more planning than the original ride.
New houses, routes, and methods had to be conceived to account
for the amount of new riders. A new shirt was also developed
which sported a new logo of a classic cruiser bike. The
next Tour rolled along without a hitch. This new Tour, though,
featured four friends on pocket bikes acting as our own
personal motor brigade. These bikers helped stop traffic
at intersections and kept riders safe from automobiles.
The Spring 2005 was a great start to the 2005 Tour season
and neither Omar nor Aaron could have imagined how the Tour
grew. The total count of the riders was 72. The Tour had
The Tour was growing at an exponential
rate and gaining popularity by the semester. The third Tour
was planned for the traditional date of Labor Day weekend
and everyone was getting ready. Flyers were printed to help
remind previous riders of the event and also attract some
new riders. For the first time bicycle friendly stickers
were printed and sold before and after the Tour. Again,
new shirts were designed for this fall 2005 ride. The shirts
were printed on long sleeves and featured the Kool-Aid man
riding a bicycle while holding up a pitcher of Kool-Aid
branded with "XXX". With this increase in popularity
came the press. Coverage of the Tour came via the Daily
Toreador and News
Channel 11 KCBD. Tamsin Rash, an original Tour rider
and Omar's girlfriend, came up with the new idea to have
the Tour help the community. She suggested that the Tour
raise food to be donated to the South
Plains Food Bank [blog].
The idea was a hit and for the first time the Tour did something
to help the people of Lubbock. The entry fee dropped and
everyone was asked to bring two canned food items to help
the hurricane Katrina victims. With new route maps in hand
and fresh riders the Tour rolled out of 31st and Boston
with a record number of riders, 150. The Tour had once again
The Tour has obviously grown and
evolved to something Omar and Aaron could not have imagined
it to be when they conceived it on that warm summer night,
but one thing that they can count on is that this Tour is
going to be the best ride yet.