Help increase screening and prevention for colon & rectal cancer.


7 Tips for Tour de Tushers

Dave Klein in a Tour de Tush bike jersey looking up at a blue sky

When it comes to bicycling for colon cancer, Dave Klein is the Ultimate Road Warrior. Dave solo cycled unsupported for 59 days and 3,300 miles from California to Florida to raise awareness on behalf of his friend with stage IV colon cancer, Donna. “This is the least I could do,” he says.

Now that Dave’s epic journey is in the books, he’s got 7 tips for Tour de Tush riders this year:

1. Hydrate hydrate hydrate!
Always bring more water than you think you’ll need. Dave should know; long stretches of California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas were arid desert, making aqua replenishment that much more critical to his journey. Prior to launching, Dave had used maps from Adventure Cycling Association, Google, and satellite imaging to micromanage his daily rest stops and camping sites. But just east of Phoenix, “that planning all went out the window when I realized that several of my anticipated water stops were now closed due to COVID!” Dave explains. From then on, his exact route was dictated daily by water stops, as well as road and weather conditions (especially the wind!). So drink up!

Dave Klein in a Tour de Tush bike jersey

2. Self care, baby!
Biking is more than just endurance training, it’s about the recovery! For Dave, biking 60-70 miles during the day meant evening stretches, especially calves and hamstrings. “It was vital that I just listen to my body.” Dave explains. “There were days where I just had to cut it shorter. I knew that the next day or two would be better and I could make it up.” Dave recommends Chamois Butt’r for the friction on the saddle; and after a particularly cold and painful section in Texas, Gold Bond cream with Lidocaine was mandatory.

Dave Klein takes a selfie as he enters New Mexico, stopping by the welcome to New Mexico sign

3. Pack good yum yums!
Even a quick bike around your neighborhood burns calories, so always have snacks up your sleeve. Dave recommends quick and easy nibbles: Granola, peanuts, and light meals of cheese, fruit, tortillas and dry cereal. Still, Dave admits replenishing out on the road can be hard. “I was burning 4-5,000 calories daily and lost almost 25 pounds. I will admit though chocolate covered pretzels were a great motivator to get through the day.”

Dave Klein standing by his bicycle, wearing a Tour de Tush jersey

4. Be present!
We love a good soundtrack while riding, but sometimes soaking in the sights and sounds are what make the day special. Dave tried listening to a podcast early on his trip near Joshua National Forest but stopped after ten minutes. “It distracted me from all that was going on around me. Even in the desert, there are subtle landscape changes, unusual rock formations, Saguaro cactus fields and a million other things grabbing for attention. And being uninterrupted by outside stimuli, one’s senses become more acute. I felt the warmth (or cold) of the desert’s dryness. I could see weather patterns forming far in advance and prepare for that oncoming change. There’s a rhythm, a cadence and a pattern to the trip that becomes integral to fully feel the ride.” Find your ride’s rhythm and be present for it.

Dave Klein takes a selfie at the "welcome to Alabama" sign

5. Stop and smell the roses!
The best parts of some rides are when you’re not riding at all. Taking the selfies, chatting with people you meet, soaking in the scenery – it’s all part of the journey. Some of the highlights of Dave’s trip were hiking to visit the Grand Canyon; savoring the mouthwatering BBQ in McKinney, Texas; relishing the euphoria of riding along the Gulf Coast from Mississippi through Pensacola. All pedaling and no play make for a dull ride, so even if it adds time be sure to build in breaks!

Dave Klein biking past a rock wall

6. It’s a mind game, so play it well.
There will always be uphill stretches, headwinds, pulled muscles, and flat tires. Don’t let rough patches bring you down; instead, focus on the positives. Dave’s own biking journey had him camping near coyotes, blasted with freezing winds, riding on a highway shoulder at night (DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME!), crossing the Mississippi River on a crowded bridge during rush hour, and grunting through 109 miles in New Mexico with the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” stuck in his head. But being alone for long stretches of time allowed for introspection and gratitude.

“Yes, I was alone, vulnerable, and scared at times. This challenged me to stretch my personal comfort zone. I had to reach out frequently to strangers and ask for advice, directions, or for help. So many people along the ride did so many things that might have been little for them but were huge for me. It was the two water bottles received at the top of a mountain pass in Arizona, the protected campsite next to a church on a stormy New Year’s Eve in Texas, a warm spare camper on a frigid night, the hotel accommodation and mobile bike mechanic in New Mexico. So many were so generous. Presenting myself in a welcoming manner attracted like-minded people.”

A bike safety flag with the the phrase Check Your Colon but using the checkmark symbol, UR (short for your), and a ":"7. Share your story.
Raising money for colon cancer research is amazing. But the biggest help you can offer through Tour de Tush is telling your friends and family why you ride. Colon cancer is a preventable and beatable disease that 1 in 24 of us will face, and seeing a picture or a social media post about your biking adventures can literally save someone’s life. Sharing his friend Donna’s story across the country at every chance he got was the most important part of the trip for Dave. He spoke to media stations, strangers, and posted all over his networks, encouraging everyone to get screened for colon cancer. And while not all of us can bike from California to Florida, we can make a world of a difference by talking to the people we love.

Happy trails, Tour de Tushers! Don’t forget your helmet!



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