Tour de Somewhere This Summer
Tour de… what? Pick a county, a region or a theme and tour it! Those two words start many a summer bike ride, raising funds or enticing people to explore a new community. I’m guilty too, with my Tour de Tilth ride that I host to area farms during the fall harvest season.
This summer, why not Tour de Somewhere?
Event riding is rewarding in many ways. People do the STP (Seattle to Portland) for the challenge of it, and cycling athletes take on much more strenuous rides than that. To each according to his abilities.
I like to do a couple of the big group rides every year for fun, and I also try to choose one charity ride a year to help out the community of cyclists and the organizations they support. Making these choices gives my riding a purpose, so for a while I am “in training” and working toward a goal.
Another benefit of choosing a group or charity ride: you can easily explore new terrain, because riding marked routes in a group, with supporting vehicles and comfort stops, takes most of the guesswork out of cycling in unfamiliar territory.
Want to try your first group ride? How about your first century (100 miles) or metric century (65 miles)? Or just raise a bit of money and take the shorter cruising route on a charity ride?
Here are a number of great Tour de Somethings originating in the Puget Sound region this summer:
June 20: Wheels to Meals — supports emergency food programs in Pierce County. Rides through the Puyallup Valley.
June 27: Tour de Paws — raises funds for the Auburn Valley Humane Society. Starts at Game Farm Park in Auburn, with 18, 30, 65 and 100 mile routes.
June 27: Red-Bell 100 — supports World Bicycle Relief and the Cascade Bicycle Club Education Fund. Ride from Redmond to Bellingham on low-traffic back roads and trails.
June 28: Tour de Pierce — 25th annual ride that exposes you to the terrain east of Tacoma. Starts at Washington State Fairgrounds in Puyallup, with distances from 12 to 50 miles.
July 18: Tour de Peaks — 27th annual tour of the Snoqualmie Valley, with 25, 50 and 100-mile routes and a finish line at the North Bend Block Party.
July 18: Tour de Whatcom — 9th annual fun ride from Bellingham. Routes from 25 to 105 miles.
July 26: Tour de Kitsap — From Silverdale or the Bremerton ferry terminal, cycle the rural roads of Kitsap County in six routes from 20 to 100 miles, with themed rest stops.
Aug. 1: Tour de Lavender — Ride through the Dungeness Valley near Sequim for fun, or tackle the challenging Hurricane Ridge climb in Ride the Hurricane on Aug. 2.
Aug. 1-3: Courage Classic — 24th annual ride to support the intervention and prevention of child abuse and neglect. From Snoqualmie to Skykomish the long way, via Leavenworth, in 3 days. This is a challenge and an accomplishment.
Aug. 8-9: Obliteride — With routes from 25 to 150 miles starting in Seattle, this big ride raises funds for Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center.
The rides continue into the fall, and I’ll post more ideas later this summer. Get out and ride!