Tour de Toys: Calling all Santas

Tour de Toys cruises downtown Raleigh.

Sunday, Dec. 14, is the fourth running of the Tour de Toys, a unique charity ride in the world of two-wheel fundraising. Unique because it’s in chilly December, typically a slow month on the cycling calendar. Unique in that whereas the long option in a typical charity ride is 64 miles and the short 32, the hardcore at Tour de Toys will be going 12 miles, the recreational riders 6.

And unique in that the entry fee isn’t an arm and a leg, but rather a toy (of $15 or greater value). The toys will go to the Women’s Center of Wake County and be given to kids who spend the holidays at the center.

The ride was conceived by local cyclist/equestrian/adventurer Camye Womble. Camye took five earlier today to answer five questions about the ride.

GGNC: What prompted you to start the ride four years ago?
Camye: I cant really pinpoint a clear defined answer other then it just popped up in my head that it needed to happen. I’ve done several events in the past that were  bike related for the local MTB community and to be honest I just had this strong message that I needed to do this. So I did some research for a group locally and the women’s shelter popped up as the one clearly in need. One of the best parts of the event is the passing of the gifts to the shelter — they are truly grateful  for all the toys as these kids would likely get very little to nothing otherwise as donations have fallen off in the last couple of years. I recall two years ago we were unloading and a man that was on his way back from the Food mission set his food down to help us unload and thanked us for what we were doing. He was brought to tears.

Why 12 and 6 miles?
CW: I chose shorter routes so that just about anybody regardless of their “Biking Status” — or lack thereof — could feel like they could join the route and involve the entire family.

How would you describe both routes?
CW: The routes encompass the city. The 6-mile runs through some older parts of the city and goes pass the Governor’s mansion. I wanted it to be a fun sightseeing ride as well. The 6-mile is lead by CrankArm Rickshaw and they offer rides for those that cannot ride their bikes and ask for donations to go directly to the shelter. The 12-mile passes through the city toward the greenway past Meredith College and over the I-440 bridge to the N.C. Museum of Art and back into the city. I want folks to see our wonderful city and greenway system.

What kind of crowd does TdT attract? And what kind of bikes?
CW: The ride attracts all kinds of riders — some of the best riders in the area to folks that may only ride for this event. It’s an all-inclusive ride for the entire family. I’ve seen kids as young as 5 riding their bikes. The bikes range from some very high end MTB and road bikes to BMX to cruisers to vintage bikes .

What’s the coolest toy you’ve gotten?
CW: They are all cool to the kids that get them, and I’m sure they mean a lot to each and every family that receives them. The shelter sets it up so that the parents actually give the toys to their children so they all get the feeling that parents have done this for them. I’m sure its got to be rewarding for the parents as well.

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Tour de Toys
When: Saturday, Dec. 14; 12-mile ride begins at 10 a.m., 6-mile at 10:30
Where: Natty Greene’s Brewing Co., 505 West Jones St., Raleigh
Admission: One toy, of $15 or greater value
Registration: Is required, by going here.
More info here.

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