The greatest event Lubbock has ever seen? We just call it the Tour de Tech Terrace. Founded in the summer of 2004, the Tour started as a small cycling event. Since then it has grown to proportions neither of its founders could have imagined. The idea started the way most great ideas begin, at a party. While enjoying themselves at a close friend's backyard summer event, Omar Abotteen and Aaron Blom came up with an idea that was beyond anything they had done before. With Omar being an avid cyclist and Aaron being a daily commuter the idea formed a cycling theme. The initial thoughts were simple. Bike riding, relaxing pace, good friends, house stops, and drinking. The thoughts were combined to create a ride Lubbock had never seen. With Tech Terrace being the nicest college neighborhood in the immediate Texas Tech vicinity, the Tour was planned to take place within its boundaries. The layout of the event was simple and easy to follow. Ride from a starting house to nine other houses, each of which being no more than a mile away, and drink a beer at each of the ten total houses. A small fee would have to be collected (the first Tour entry fee was $10) to pay for the beer provided at the stops but a general fee was not going to be charged just for riding. Of course not everyone would drink beer, so it was decided that people who did not want to drink beer could bring their own beverages and ride with us for free. As the thoughts grew and were being thrown back and forth in the midst of that summer eve one large question still remained. When? Omar and Aaron stared at each other and decided that if a date was not chosen on the spot the event would simply be written off as a stupid party idea and be forgotten by the next week. The date was set to be the first weekend after school got back in session, Labor Day weekend.

In the coming weeks ideas were developed and eventually formed into what we now know as the Tour de Tech Terrace. The first thing that had to be established was which ten friends' houses were going to be included in that first Tour. Aaron's house was a given but the other nine houses took some effort. Some of the friends who bravely put their houses up for the first Tour included Marcus Parks, Jacob Gosschalk, Nick Carissimi, and the historical starting house of Joey McPherson, Charlie Taboada, and Cody Hughes. Shirts were also printed to mark the occasion. The front logo involved a variation of the Tour de France logo while the back had the now classic motto "Don't drink and drive, Drink and Bike". The challenge of the first Tour, and every Tour after, has always been just finishing. That first Tour planned on ending at the Tech radio stations ( 88.1 KTXT) annual new hire party. Of the riders who made it to the final house, not many stayed around for the post party. With a grand total of 35 people, the Fall 2004 proved to be a huge success!

Holding the Tour annually proved to be a problem due to the overwhelming amount of fun riders had at the event. The Tour was then determined to be bi-annual, one in the fall semester (Labor Day weekend) and one in the spring semester (first weekend in April). The Spring 2005 Tour required more planning than the original ride. New houses, routes, and methods had to be conceived to account for the amount of new riders. A new shirt was also developed which sported a new logo of a classic cruiser bike. The next Tour rolled along without a hitch. This new Tour, though, featured four friends on pocket bikes acting as our own personal motor brigade. These bikers helped stop traffic at intersections and kept riders safe from automobiles. The Spring 2005 was a great start to the 2005 Tour season and neither Omar nor Aaron could have imagined how the Tour grew. The total count of the riders was 72. The Tour had just doubled.

The Tour was growing at an exponential rate and gaining popularity by the semester. The third Tour was planned for the traditional date of Labor Day weekend and everyone was getting ready. Flyers were printed to help remind previous riders of the event and also attract some new riders. For the first time bicycle friendly stickers were printed and sold before and after the Tour. Again, new shirts were designed for this fall 2005 ride. The shirts were printed on long sleeves and featured the Kool-Aid man riding a bicycle while holding up a pitcher of Kool-Aid branded with "XXX". With this increase in popularity came the press. Coverage of the Tour came via the Daily Toreador and News Channel 11 KCBD. Tamsin Rash, an original Tour rider and Omar's girlfriend, came up with the new idea to have the Tour help the community. She suggested that the Tour raise food to be donated to the South Plains Food Bank [blog]. The idea was a hit and for the first time the Tour did something to help the people of Lubbock. The entry fee dropped and everyone was asked to bring two canned food items to help the hurricane Katrina victims. With new route maps in hand and fresh riders the Tour rolled out of 31st and Boston with a record number of riders, 150. The Tour had once again doubled.

The Tour has obviously grown and evolved to something Omar and Aaron could not have imagined it to be when they conceived it on that warm summer night, but one thing that they can count on is that this Tour is going to be the best ride yet.