Here are answers to some of the most Frequently asked questions about ratpod.
Q: Do you provide mechanical and sag support along the route?
A: There will be mechanical and medical support, as well as emergent sag support in case of injury. If you only plan to ride a portion of the course, riders are asked to start and end only at official food/water stops and should arrange for their own transportation.
Q: How much of my entry fee and donations/pledges I raise go to the camp?
A: Our goal each year is to cover all RATPOD expenses with corporate sponsor contributions. If that goal is met, then 100% of both the entry fee and all rider-solicited donations are fully contributions to Camp Mak-A-Dream.
Q: I have a friend that will be riding, but I would like to attend just the wrap up barbeque. Can I do that?
A: Riders may purchase guest tickets for both the Friday night pasta feed and the post-ride BBQ, however, those tickets should be purchased in advance since we do have limited capacity for those meals. Tickets may be purchase by riders during the online registration process, or by calling the Camp Mak-A-Dream office at (406) 549-5987 in advance of the event.
Q: I think I would like to be a sponsor. Who do I contact about that?
A: Thank you very much for your sponsorship offer. You can contact Courtney Imhoff at Camp Mak A Dream (406) 549-5987.
Q: I'd like to buy just a t-shirt. Is that possible?
A: If we have extra event t-shirts following rider and volunteer check-in, you can buy them either at the post-ride BBQ on Saturday night in Dillon, or call Camp Mak-A-Dream (406) 549-5987.
Q: If this is Levi's "STOMPING GROUNDS" can't he give us a clue about the wind?
A: It is variable at best and a good idea to get an early start to avoid Westerlies. Riders may begin as early as 6:00 a.m. from the official start line in front of the UM-Western campus in Dillon, once they've checked in with ride officials.
Q: Is there a minimum donation amount required?
A: Riders will be asked to raise at least $100 in donations for the 2017 ride and are encouraged to raise as much as possible. Incentives include great prizes (awarded at the post-ride BBQ on Saturday night in Dillon), free RATPOD jerseys, early entry in the following year's rides to name a few. Riders can even set up a personalized online fundraising page at: http://www.firstgiving.com/campdream/ratpod-2017.
Q: Is this a race or a ride?
A: RATPOD is a ride, not a race, however new is 2017 we will be adding Strava KOM options which riders can elect to participate in. Riders are welcome to do as much or as little of the ride as they like and may start/finish at any official food/water stop along the route as long as they are a registered rider. This ride is a fund raising event for Camp Mak-A-Dream, a cost-free camp in western Montana for children, young adults and families affected by cancer. Visit www.campdream.org for more information.
Q: What is the difficulty level of the ride? Do you need to be an expert rider to do it?
A: RATPOD follows a 130 mile loop through the Pioneer Mountains and up over the Scenic Byway. There is a fair amount of elevation gain, but riders are also welcome to break it up and ride as much or as little of the route as they wish, as long as they start and end at any of the official food/water stop locations and check in with event officials.
Q: What kind of food will you have at the feed stops?
A: Breakfast: Hot breakfast burritos, bagels, fruit, coffee, hot cocoa, drinks / Lunch: Meat & cheese for sandwiches, chips, cookies, fruit, drinks / Water: Watermelon, assorted fruit, water, power drink / Pie: Homemade PIE & ice cream, drinks.
Q: Where in Dillon can I stay during RATPOD? Can I camp at the university?
A: Please refer to Lodging & Area Attractions page of this website for motel, camping and dorm options. There will NOT be camping allowed on the UM-Western campus.
Q: Why did you lay out the course clockwise & how much south wind do you get?
A: We wanted to get the biggest climbing over early. The wind is the big unknown. Let's hope for as little wind as possible!