Tour du Rouge spends night in Gonzales

Stephanie Hopkins
Cyclists participating in the 512-mile Tour du Rouge ride stopped in Gonzales at the Holiday Inn Thursday.

About 100 cyclists pulled into the Gonzales Holiday Inn Thursday afternoon for an overnight stop on the their way from Houston to New Orleans.

The 512-mile Tour du Rouge was held to raise funds for the six American Red Cross Gulf Coast Region chapters and aid in disaster preparedness.

On the fifth day of the ride, the cyclists traveled 98 miles from Morgan City to Gonzales.

Most of the riders were ages 40 to 60 years. The oldest was 67.

Cyclists came from all over the country, including California, Washington, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana; one cyclist was from Ontario.

Each went through months of training for the ride.

The cyclists averaged 85 miles an day, with rest stops taken every 20 to 25 miles. They spent five nights in hotels, and one night in a Red Cross Shelter on Rutherford Beach in Creole.

As the riders were spotted in Gonzales, a woman rang a cowbell and handed out hotel keys so the cyclists would not have to bother with checking in to the hotel.

The cyclists on their ride saw signs of devastation from recent hurricanes, including rubble and foundations, damaged structures, and residents still trying to rebuild their homes and lives.

The Tour du Rouge riders were supported with SAG vehicles, mechanical assistance and first-aid. The corporate sponsor for the tour was ModSpace, a provider of temporary modular buildings for a variety of emergency and medical facility needs.