CowaLUNGa FAQs & Rider Documents

Cow Rest Stop

ROUTE OPTIONS
RIDE LOGISTICSCOSTS & DEADLINES
 TRAINING & SAFETY
LUNG HEALTH CHAMPIONSTEAM INFO
FUNDRAISING SUPPORT   FAQs & RIDER DOCS


Got questions? You aren't alone. We've listed a number of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) here and provided the answers below. Click on an individual question to skip down or scroll through the entire list.

Still can't find what you need? Contact us via email or call 312-628-0210. 

RIDER DOCS

Below are PDF versions of important rider documents that you can download:

NEW: CowaLUNGa 2017 Scavenger Hunt!

Find instructions for being part of the first-ever CowaLUNGa Scavenger Hunt.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

About CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour FAQs

 

 

  I've never been on an organized ride before and I'm a little nervous.
  
  Do I need to purchase a new bike for CowaLUNGa?
  
  Do I have to wear a helmet?
  
  Am I required to fundraise?  
  What are the benefits of being a Lung Health Champion?  
  I'm riding CowaLUNGa by myself. Do others ride alone?
  
  Can I join a team if I have already registered as an individual?
  
  Is there a minimum age to participate?
  
  Is there day-of-event registration on Saturday, July 29, 2017?
  

  Can I transfer my registration to another person or to next year

  

On the Ride FAQs

  
  Will I need to carry identification during the event?  
  Do I have to wear a helmet?  
  When will I receive route information and an event itinerary?
  
  What about meals?   
  What kind of overnight accommodations are available?  
  Do I have to carry my belongings with me on my bike?  
  Where do I keep my bike overnight?
  
  How do I find my way on the route?
  
  Am I out on the route alone all day?
  
  What if it rains during the tour?
  
  What happens if there is an emergency?
  
  How much time do I have each day to complete the ride?
  
  Do I need to check-in when I'm done riding each day?
  
  What happens if I get a flat tire?

  
   

Lung Health Champions FAQs

  
 
 What is a Lung Health Champion?  
  Why should I be a Lung Health Champion?
  
  Who can sign up to be a Lung Health Champion?
  
  Can I start or be on a team if I am a Lung Health Champion?
  
  What if I don't meet my fundraising obligation by the deadline?
  

 

ABOUT THE CHARITY BIKE TOUR: FAQs

I've never been on an organized ride before and I'm a little nervous.
Respiratory Health Association (RHA) has hosted 21 successful bike tours so whether you are a first timer or a veteran rider, we know exactly what you need and when you'll need it. We provide lots of support throughout the three day ride - SAG drivers patrol the route in case you need a ride or other assistance, mobile bike shops are available for on-the-road repairs, and medical volunteers keep an eye on our riders and remind everyone to stay hydrated. We supply food, arrange overnight accommodations, transport your gear, and get you and your bike back to the start line location. RHA even provides pre-ride training opportunities and fundraising coaching. You will have all the tools you need for a successful and enjoyable experience.

I don't own an expensive bike. Will I have to purchase a new one for CowaLUNGa?

No. It's not important to own an expensive bike. What is important is your bike fits you, you are comfortable on it and you have trained on it. Also, it's important your bicycle is in good condition. (We suggest a tune-up at one of our sponsoring bike shops - Village CycleSport or Wheel & Sprocket.) CowaLUNGa participants ride different types of bikes - road bikes, hybrid bikes, mountain bikes, recumbents and even tandems.

Do I have to wear a helmet?

All participants are required to wear a helmet. Your safety is our number one concern so no helmet = no ride.

Am I required to fundraise?
Yes. Funds raised by CowaLUNGa riders support RHA'S mission to promote healthy lungs and fight lung disease through research, advocacy and education. We've set reasonable minimums and have many past participants who've raise well above that amount. Review the requirements and deadlines here and visit the Fundraising Support page for resources to help you reach your fundraising goals.

Please note that riders who have not yet met the fundraising minimum by Saturday, July 29, 2017 will be required to provide credit card information at start line check-in to participate in the event. If the minimum still has not been raised by the fundraising deadline, Friday, August 11, 2017, the credit card provided will be charged the difference between the current amount raised and the minimum required. You are not allowed to participate in this year's ride if you have not fulfilled the minimum pledge requirement from a past event.

How can I become a Lung Health Champion and what are the benefits?

Lung Health Champions commit to raising a minimum of $1,000 and receive our gratitude along with many great CowaLUNGa benefits. See the Lung Health Champion's FAQs section below or click here for more information.

I'm riding CowaLUNGa by myself. Do others ride alone?

All kinds of people participate in the CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour. Families bring their young children, groups register together, and single people come alone. No matter who you are, you will meet many people with similar interests and by the time the ride is over, you'll have many new friends. Everyone becomes part of the CowaLUNGa family. Actually, CowaLUNGa can even take credit for a number of marriages! If you think you'd feel more comfortable being part of a team, read more about joining Team CowaLUNGa here.

Can I join a team if I have already registered as an individual?

Yes! Email gms@lungchicago.org with the name of the team you'd like to join and we'll get you added.

Is there a minimum age to participate?

There is no minimum age to participate in the CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour. Please read our Child Rider Policy for rules and requirements.

Is there day-of-event registration on Saturday, July 29, 2017?

No. Online registration closes July 24, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. After that date, call (312) 628-0210 to check availability as last minute cancellations may create open spots to participate.

I registered, but can no longer participate. Can I transfer my registration to another person or to next year?

All CowaLUNGa fees and donations are non-refundable and non-transferable. Please let us know you will need to cancel your registration as soon as possible.

ON THE RIDE: FAQs

Will I need to carry identification during the event?

All participants MUST carry a current driver's license, state-issued ID or student ID with them at all times. It's important each rider is easily identified if necessary. We also require each participant to submit emergency contact information upon registration. This information will be used only if an accident occurs during the event.

Do I have to wear a helmet?

All participants are required to wear a helmet. Your safety is our number one concern so no helmet = no ride.

When will I receive route information for the event?

Route information will be provided when you check in on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at Gurnee Mills in Parking Lot J (check-in starts at 7:00 am that morning). A "cue sheet" is provided for each day of the ride, offering turn-by-turn directions and mileage for the route.

What about meals? I love to eat and want to be sure there will be plenty of food.

Riders receive all-you-can-eat breakfast and dinner each day except Saturday morning when snacks are provided at start line instead of breakfast. You can also visit the official rest stops along the route - a "morning" and an "afternoon" stop are availble each day - loaded with an assortment of fuel-up foods and beverages. Although you are responsible for your own lunch (bring some cash), the route is planned so there are places to stop along the way, including places to eat.

What kind of overnight accommodations are available?

Accommodations are included in your CowaLUNGa registration fee and you'll choose "indoor" or "outdoor" when you register. Indoor accommodations include rustic cabins on Day One and dorm rooms at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on Day Two. There is no air conditioning at either site. In all cases, two people are assigned to a room (and sometimes more on Day One, depending on your cabin assignment). You will need to bring your own linens including sheets, pillow, blankets, and/or other items important to you for a good night of sleep. Bring a shower towel to use for the weekend.

If you'd prefer to sleep outdoors, space will be made available for you to set up your own camping equipment. RHA will transport camping gear but cannot assist with set up. Campers will have access to restrooms and showers. Bring a shower towel to use for the weekend.

Do I have to carry my belongings with me on my bike?

No. RHA provides a gear truck at start line check-in for one-, two- and thre-day riders and transports your belongings along the route. You'll be able to retrieve your gear when you arrive for daily check-in. Please, one bag per person. Campers are allowed a second bag for their camping gear. We've assembled a Packing Check List to help you make sure you have everything you need.

Where do I keep my bike overnight?

Riders are allowed to keep their bikes in their cabins on night one. On night two, bikes are NOT allowed in dorm rooms and are required to be locked in a secured place overnight on campus. We suggest taking off any removable equipment, as we are not responsible for lost or damaged items.

How do I find my way on the route?

When you check-in at the start line on the first day of the event, you will receive a cue sheet for that day's route. Cue sheets have line-by-line instructions of every road and turn along the route and mileage information. Each night when you check-in at the overnight location, you will receive a cue sheet for the next day's route.

The route is also marked with stenciled colored directional arrows spray-painted on the pavement. You will see an example of this arrow at check-in at the start line.

Am I out on the route alone all day?

No. Volunteers patrol the route in support and gear (SAG) vans during official ride hours. These volunteers are there to make sure everything is going well on the route. They can assist if you are in need of help. Use the "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" signal to let them know they are needed. In addition, there will be two mobile bike shops and a mobile volunteer medical team available. You can flag down any CowaLUNGa vehicle if you are in need of any of these services, because all official CowaLUNGa vehicles can communicate with each other and can call for the appropriate help.

What if it rains during the tour?

The event does go on, rain or shine. Though we generally experience great riding weather, it's still summer in the Midewest. Be sure to bring rain gear just in case - check your list of things to pack for more information.  In cases of severe weather conditions (lightning, excessive heat) the event may be delayed and/or portions of the route may be closed. Potential weather issues will be communicated to all participants.

What happens if there is an emergency?

Our mobile volunteer medical team patrols the route and will be contacted in the event of an emergency. They will also be available before and after ride hours at our overnight sites. We will alert riders of information via social media, email and on the ride at rest stops, sites and on the route.

How much time do I have each day to complete the ride?

Although it's not a race, there are hours in which you must finish the ride each day. These hours will be printed on your itinerary and your cue sheets, which are available at check-in on the first day of the ride. Ride hours are roughly from the opening time of breakfast until the middle of dinner hours. This is plenty of time to complete your daily ride in a leisurely fashion. If you leave before ride hours begin or finish after ride hours end, support services will not be available.

Do I need to check-in when I'm done riding each day?

Yes. This is mandatory and VERY IMPORTANT. The check-in procedure is done for several reasons. First, this is how we know that you have made it safely to the end of the day and how we keep track of everyone. Second, you must check-in to receive your room assignments for the night. Third, you must check-in to receive the next day's cue sheet. Although it's tempting to relax after you've made it to the end of each day, you must check-in before you do so. If you don't check-in promptly, you are making volunteers and staff work longer than necessary. Volunteers and staff work hard to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable ride and they deserve to have some resting time too, so please keep that in mind.

What happens if I get a flat tire? Will I have to carry my bike to the nearest rest stop?

One of the many services offered along the route is bicycle support. Our mobile bike shops, Village CycleSport and Wheel & Sprocket, are available to solve any repair problems you may encounter. Should you require help while on the route, use a ‘thumbs down' signal to let an approaching repair van know you need help. However, carrying spare tubes and a pump and knowing how to change a flat is recommended. Changing tires and simple repairs are complimentary. Parts and more complex repairs will be assessed by each bike shop and charged to the rider.

Lung Health Champions


What is a Lung Health Champion?
A Lung Health Champion is part of a group of riders who have committed and guaranteed to fundraise $1,000/person to support the CowaLUNGa Bike Tour and Respiratory Health Association. The deadline to fundraise $1,000 is August 11, 2017. Exclusive benefits are provided to Lung Health Champions.

Why should I be a Lung Health Champion?
By committing to fundraise $1,000 as a Lung Health Champion, you not only receive exclusive Lung Health Champion benefits but also support RHA's mission to promote healthy lungs and fight lung disease, thereby improving the quality of life of those living with lung disease.

Who can sign up to be a Lung Health Champion?
Anyone can be a Lung Health Champion - all you have to do is sign up. (Choose YES on the Lung Health Champion registration question.) Standard registration fees apply and are due at the time of registration.

Can I start or be on a team if I am a Lung Health Champion?
Of course! Lung Health Champions can be individual riders, team captains or team members. There can also be multiple people on one team who are Lung Health Champions.

What if I don't meet my fundraising obligation by the deadline?
As a Lung Health Champion, you have committed and guaranteed to fundraise $1,000 by August 11, 2017. If you don't meet the $1,000 commitment, you will be responsible for paying the balance due.

Still have questions? Contact us via email or call 312-628-0210.