Lauren Katzenstein Ride Attracts Hundreds of Riders

The Seventh Annual Lauren Katzenstein Celebration Ride attracted more than 400 registered riders Sunday morning, June 28, 2009.

The event celebrates the birthday of Lauren Katzenstein, a high school sophomore who was killed by a reckless, unlicensed driver while she and her father were participating in the MS150 Breakaway to Key Largo charity ride in 2003.

Lauren’s birthday was the last day of June, so it was decided to schedule the ride for the last Sunday in June as a celebration of her life. You can read more about Lauren here.

Here’s a video of the start of the ride.

Temperatures were into the 90s as the morning went on and the humidity felt like it was about 110 percent, but there was a slight cloud cover that offered some relief. Riders had the option of riding 10, 22, 40 or 62 miles.

Where’s my palm tree?

The rest stops were staffed by friendly and enthusiastic volunteers, although I was somewhat let down by some of the teenage girls who were working the Delray stop. I had them pretty much convinced that the only way I’d make it would be if they would cut down a palm tree and run alongside me making shade. They must still be working away at that palm tree with their nail files, because the promised shade never materialized.

The Delray stop had what was billed as WATER and GATORADE bananas (see pictures), but they tasted like regular bananas to me.

Crashes are part of cycling

There were some minor scrapes in the first mile while the pack of riders got sorted out, but the group soon got it together. Two riders at the south end of the course were taken to the hospital after a crash, but I don’t know how seriously they were hurt.

In addition to the well-equipped rest areas, a wonderful BBQ chicken dinner with all the fixin’s was waiting at the end. Ice-cold watermelon slices were especially welcome.

Here are pictures along the way

(We’re experimenting with a new plugin. Click on a thumbnail to bring up a larger version. Once the image is on the screen, you can hover your mouse over the left or right side of the picture to bring up an arrow that will take you to the next or previous picture. To return to the thumbnails, click “behind” the picture to return to the web site. )

10 Replies to “Lauren Katzenstein Ride Attracts Hundreds of Riders”

  1. Ken,
    What a great website! Thanks for covering our ride so well. I loved the video and pictures. By the way, the BBQ chicken and baked beans came from PARK AVE BBQ AND GRILLE in Boynton Beach.

  2. Robin,

    Your daughter, who was responsible for the Water and Gatorade Bananas, has a great future ahead of her in marketing.

    Her skills at cutting down palm trees and providing shade need some work, though.

    Park Ave BBQ is one of my normal post-ride cravings. I was really happy to see it waiting at the end.

    Iced watermelon and cold celery are two other things that I find go good on a hot ride. The melon really hit the spot. Adding the ice took it to a whole higher level.

  3. It appears the new plugin discourages editing and layout. I prefer the old look with a few selected photos next to copy and maybe a link to a separate page for the thousands of photos. But then I’m old school as well as just plain old.

    Congrats on the coverage, however, and the time on the Freakbike ride. I’ll try to be there on one of my less conventional machines.

  4. Robin, the Park Avenue BBQ was a wonderful surprise as was the ice cold watermelon.

    I wasn’t expecting a meal at the finish line — that wasn’t promoted on your web site nor in any of the ride notes. The bagel breakfast from Panera wasn’t noted anywhere either. At least not that I remember.

    The weather was wonderful and the route was nice.

    My only complaint was that the rest stops sould have been better marked. The signs were small and couldn’t be seen until it was too close to stop. I saw a number of near misses as riders slammed on their breaks so as not to pass the rest stop turn off. Another set of signs 100 yards before the rest stops would be great.

    Thanks for organizing the ride, the good eats and the great weather.


  5. Mr. Keefer, Sir,

    I don’t disagree with you about the graphics plugin. The reality is that I didn’t have enough copy to wrap around almost 100 images, and if I did, nobody would bother to read it anyway.

    Most people who visit a posting like this are probably just looking for themselves or their friends, so they aren’t going to scroll through every picture.

    Some days I try to make pictures that a interesting in their own right, but event shooting is more about getting a good, clean, sharp picture of as many folks as possible, rather than a single image that sums up the event.

    Let’s face it, when we were cutting down trees, squirting ink on paper and then belching dead dinosaurs to throw the result in puddles, we would be lucky to get one image published.

    Electrons are cheap, so I can throw up 100 pictures here.

    I see there’s an 80% chance of rain for the Summer of Love ride Wednesday night. Better bring a bike that won’t short out and electrocute you. (Or let me know which puddle you’re going to ride through and I’ll be waiting. I promise I’ll lead the page with your sparking image.)

  6. I so completely disagree.

    It may be that the 400 people at the event come to your site to see if they can find a photo of themselves, but they all have their own cameras in their cell phones and already have done that.

    They come to your site to see who you talked to and what they said and who you made famous for 15 minutes.

    There is buzz and there is interesting. Making something interesting is an art that is learned slowly.

    They can’t with their cell-phone cameras. You do because you can write.

    Writing can take someone from a derelict to a celebrity in a day. A bunch of photos can’t.

    As much as you might enjoy the hits, if they only come to your site just to see their picture, what good are they?

    Oh. I forgot. They may see the advertisements.

    Sorry, Ken, but you are interesting. You are why we come here.

    Don’t let a plug in dazzle you.

    It is the content. And that is you.

  7. Chuck,

    Thanks, I think.

    When I was a shooter back in Athens, OH, another photographer and I did a daily photo essay for the paper.

    Our goal was to create a complete portrait of our community, focusing on folks who typically appeared in the paper when they were born, got married, got stopped for speeding and, eventually, died.

    It was really cool to do a story about a waitress in some greasy spoon and show up the day it ran to see the rush she got when all her customers showed up with copies of the page under their arm.

    I enjoy writing about people, but a lot of folks never have the opportunity to see pictures of themselves riding their bikes, particularly when they’re giving it their all.

    It was fun to look through the pix and see how many riders were giving me a thumbs-up or a wave.

    Now, if I was a daily newspaper running jail booking mugs on my homepage to whore for hits, then I’d agree with you, but I’m going to go with galleries from time to time when it’s appropriate.

    Don’t worry, though, I have a story about a small joint that makes the best hamburger in New Mexico in the pipeline.

  8. According to the Lauren Katzenstein web site ( ), the ride is no more. Giving the same reasons PAL was almost canceled (no sponsors and increased costs), the ride has been discontinued.

    Any chance we can claw this ride back as with PAL or is it just dead?


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