The Medals of Honor, Tour de Natchez Trace is an epic 4-day, 444-mile ride along the distance of the Natchez Trace presented and supported by the Aegis Sciences Foundation. Proceeds from this ride benefits veterans and families of our fallen military through Medals of Honor.
What are the dates for the Tour de Natchez Trace in 2018?
Tuesday, May 22- Saturday, May 26.
What are the ride distances?
The Epic is 4-days and 444-miles. The Memorial Mile Century ride is on the final day of the event and is approximately 120-miles.
When does registration open?
Soon! And there are a limited number of slots for this concierge ride. So keep up with your training, follow us on Facebook and sign up for e-mail updates to stay informed and ready for this once in a lifetime event. Registration is expected to open later this month.
How much is registration?
The initial registration fee is $25 (which is applied to your fundraising goal), plus your fundraising goal.
How much is the fundraising goal?
The goal is $2,500.00 per 444-rider and $1,000 per Memorial Mile Century rider. FYI, past riders have found success by asking for support by the mile.
What support will I get to help with my fundraising?
- Fundraising Site: We will provide you with a personal fundraising page that's also attached to our Tour de Natchez Trace 444 team page. From this page, you can share your story, solicit donations and quickly and easily share updated with your supporters. Our fundraising site has many features that will make fundraising a breeze!
- FaceBook Group: You will have access to our exclusive MOH TDNT Facebook group where you can connect with each other and share what's working (and what's not). You will have access to social media memes that you can share with your peeps.
- Fundraising Playbook: You will have access to our fundraising playbook that will help guide you in asking for donations and ways to get creative to raise funds outside of social media.
- Team Captains: You will have access to our MOH TDNT-444 team captains who are there to help you be successful. They will inspire and encourage you every-step-of-the-way!
What if I can't reach my fundraising goal?
If a rider's total fundraising goal is not met by June 10, 2018, they will be charged their pro rata share of total rider participation costs (transportation, lodging, meals, ride support, rider swag and permits). For example, if you are $200 short of the minimum fundraising goal, that is your maximum additional cost (but only if the total goal is not reached.) With everyone working together in support, we fully expect to exceed our entire fundraising goal.
What nonprofit benefits from this event?
Medals of Honor - for more information about MOH click here.
Is there a cap on how many riders can participate? Why?
Yes. The race is limited to 44 participants to ensure the safety and best race experience for all.
Is there a registration deadline?
Yes. Epic (full-tour ride) is May 20, 2018. For Saturday's Memorial Mile Century Ride is May 22, 2018. We anticipate both rides will sell out before their deadlines. Rider registration is first-come, first-serve.
What is the Memorial Mile Century Ride?
This is a one-day century ride on the final stage of the Tour, Saturday, May 26, with a maximum of 20 riders. Memorial Mile riders join the Tour on Friday night, May 25 in Florence Alabama, then finish together on the final day.
As mentioned earlier the fundraising for this event is $1,000 per rider, all riders receive free transportation to Alabama on Friday, with hotel and meals covered as well as attendance at the "after party."
I’ve committed to the minimum charity fundraising target, so what does my trip include?
444-Mile is an all-inclusive, concierge event, which includes:
- Lodging (double-occupancy hotel rooms on the route for all riders).
- All meals
- Transportation during the event
- Van support
- Supportive leaders
- Link to the ride video and photo record of the adventure.
We provide a professional grade experience, including:
- Bike mechanic
- Soigneur services
- Nutritious meals and on-bike food and drink (at established “feed zones”).
What's not included in my 444 Epic experience?
- Alcoholic beverages
- Travel/transportation to and from our start/finish point in Nashville.
- Bike shipment to and from the starting/finishing points.
- Any personal items a rider might wish to purchase outside of the supported ride.
What can I expect of lodging accommodations?
In the spirit of riding for charity, we keep costs down by reserving rooms with two beds for double occupancy; you will have your own bed. Every rider is paired with another Tour participant (your new BFF) and you will stay with the same roommate the entirety of the Tour. You may submit a roommate request, and we will do our best to accommodate. Past riders have really enjoyed this arrangement, as they get to know each other on the Tour. We do ask that if you use a CPAP machine during the night, please let us know so that we may pair you with another CPAP user.
What if I don't want to share a room?
The majority of our Tour riders choose to have a roommate. If you want to pay extra for single occupancy, we can adjust your reservations.
Is the Tour open for male and female riders?
Absolutely! Every previous Tour has included both men and women.
What time does the Tour get started in the morning?
Typically between 7:30-8:30 a.m. We like to get an early start to avoid traffic, heat, and winds. Times will vary according to circumstances.
I am coming alone on this Tour. Will I be the only one traveling alone?
Most of our participants come by themselves and ride with the Tour group. Whether you organize friends to join you in this charity ride or start it solo, you’re sure to create memories as comrades with other Tour participants.
Do we ride in groups? And what if I cannot keep up?
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a National Park with regulations that do not allow cyclists to ride the Natchez Trace as if you were in a peloton. Each day, small groups, riding in single file are organized according to physical conditioning and the level of support resources that you would like. As a professionally organized event, we plan for your successful ride of a century each day, but we also expect someone to "bonk" or need a break. That’s when one of our several support vans and Tour managers can shorten the miles or flatten the hills on demand. We will be watching out for everyone until the last person comes home for the day.
Can I ride the whole course solo?
Yes, we’ll let you try and tackle the course solo, but we do not recommend it, and this opportunity comes with a few stipulations. Since we operate with a lean crew, you must adhere to the transfer opening and closing times. We cannot wait all day for one rider to finish so we can get the whole group to the hotel. If at any point, you fall more than one hour behind the group, you will be picked up at the next feed zone and transferred by vehicle.
How do I know if I am physically ready for 444-miles on the Natchez Trace and how will my riding ability be taxed?
Chances are if you’re reading this FAQ section, you’re already involved in a certain level of training that probably has you more ready than you think! Perhaps you’ve completed at least one century ride, or you’ve had that as a goal. If so, this ride is for you. This is a road ride with flat to moderate terrain. When you hit the hills, you will know it -- they are typically long and challenging… without being brutal. Most participants are dedicated cyclists, not Tourists; but remember, our support vehicle is always available to pick you up if you get tired. That’s what we’re there for, to help you have a fantastic experience.
How do I train for this Tour?
We believe a century rider is ready for more than one century ride, but a six-week training schedule may help you strive for a level of fitness that will add to the enjoyment of the trip. During your training, try simulating course conditions: ride in hilly terrain, draft behind other riders, and work with several other riders in a pace line formation at speeds ranging from 15 to 25 miles per hour, and ride in the rain. If you don’t have the time to adequately train, the support van is always available to shorten the miles.
Pro Training Tips From Retired UHC Rider & Owner of DaybyDay Coaching, Benjamin Day
Do I bring my own bike?
Yes, with this extended distance Tour, cyclists MUST ride their personal bikes. Upon signing up for the Tour, you will receive information for packing, shipping and flying with your bike.
Can I use “Aero Bars”?
No, this is a bike tour, not a triathlon. More importantly, it is a safety issue for all those riding, thus we do not allow aero bars.
Is there a minimum age to register?
Yes. 4-day riders must be 18 years of age or older.
Is there a health insurance requirement to participate in the ride?
We highly recommend that all participants maintain personal health insurance coverage. We are not responsible for covering health care payments or coverage.
What kind of weather can I expect?
We’re not meteorologists or fortunetellers, but we do know that it pays to come prepared for just about anything. As the course travels through Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee in May, expect temperatures that could reach 86 degrees. It will likely be humid. Rain is always a possibility. Low temperatures will typically be near 62 degrees each morning. Did we mention it’s humid? The course is relatively consistent with its topography, so there are likely to not be massive changes in climate over the course of the ride. With that said, you need to bring your own rain and weather gear.
Will you cancel the event for bad weather??
No. If at anytime rider safety is threatened by rain or lightning, we will require all riders to pause in a safe place while we wait out the bad weather.
Do I need to pay for Tuesday’s Kick-Off breakfast or Saturday’s After Party?
No. Food for you and a guest (whom we assume is providing your transportation to kick off and from the finish) is provided at no charge. We appreciate the support of your family and friends.
Will I be the oldest (or youngest) on the Tour?
Probably not! We’ve had men and women on the ride that ranged in age from 22 to 72. We believe that if you're mentally fit, you can handle anything.
What if I have to cancel?
With the fundraising nature of this event, no refunds are available for your registration. With that said, you are more than welcome to substitute a rider in your place. They will need to provide a registration form and required insurance information. If you have not reached your fundraising goal, the rider will need to carry the torch and finish what you started.
What’s the reasoning behind your cancellation policy?
In reality, we don’t like to enforce this policy, but we must. Preparing and executing a successful event takes all year to plan and orchestrate. It requires a lot of financing on our end as well. Most of our expenses are paid for before the event even occurs. When a rider signs up we plan on them participating in the ride and print materials and coordinate our permitting based on such. If a rider fails to show up to the race, it costs us the same amount as if they did. We have this policy to make sure the event can always be a first-class experience. Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to seeing you in Nashville!
How do I sign up?
The registration link will be up and running soon. You’ll need a Visa or MC number that will be charged the registration fee of $25 (remember, this will go toward your fundraising minimum and your $2,500.00 goal). You can direct fundraising supporters to our website to contribute more in your name, which will help you to increase your contributions. We will mail you a Tour confirmation packet with details about the event and suggestions for booking your own travel arrangements to Nashville.
Ready to ride with us?
Let's do this!