Sequim’s lavender fields aren’t just for a single weekend.
Organizers of the fifth Tour de Lavender are inviting locals and visitors to take a tour of the popular purple-clad farms in one of two rides set for Saturday, Aug. 5: the Metric Century (100 kilometers or about 65 miles) and a Fun Ride (a lavender farm tour of about 35 miles).
When the event started, race organizer Ken Stringer says, it was simply a fun way to get some local riders out and about. But now in its fifth year, the Metric Century and Fun Ride events are expected to draw about 400 people. Generally 50-60 of those riders are from Victoria, B.C., while a group of about 10 are returning from Arizona this year, Stringer says.
“The majority (of riders) come from off the peninsula,” Stringer says. “People come out and say, ‘This is one of the more beautiful rides we’ve ever done; this is great.’”
The fully-supported Metric Century ride route is on back roads of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley and the Olympic Discovery Trail.
The Fun Ride is a family-friendly ride featuring easy riding and several lavender farms, each offering refreshments. The ride’s ride length can be varied to suit families with small children.
Participating lavender farms include: Washington Lavender Farm, Victor’s Lavender Farm, B&B Lavender Farm, Lost Mountain Lavender Farm, Olympic Lavender Heritage Farm, Kitty B’s Lavender Farm, Jardin du Soleil Lavender Farm and Purple Haze Lavender Farm.
To date, the event has raised and donated more than $10,000 toward construction of the Olympic Discovery Trail along with other community beneficiaries, and showcased the area to more than a thousand riders and their families, race organizers say. The ride also is supported by donations from local businesses, the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce, lavender farms and the Sequim Boys & Girls Club.
“It is very much a community event,” Fun Ride organizer Tom Coonelly says.
Race organizers are able to donate so much, Stringer says, because they’ve smoothed out bumps and hurdles from the past four events. The group was able to donate more than $5,000 from last year’s Tour de Lavender.
“We’re covering our expenses and ending up with a surplus with the number of riders who are turning out,” Stringer says.
Registration fees are $55 for the Metric Ride, $55 for Fun Ride and $10 for children under the age of 12, and $65, $55 and $15 for after Aug. 2.
Registration for both are set for 7 a.m.-noon at the Sequim Boys & Girls Club (event headquarters), 400 W. Fir St. The event fee includes “swag bag” of gifts. Custom T-shirts are available for purchase.
See tourdelavender.wordpress.com for more information or to register.
Tour de Lavender is part of the Pedal Power Weekend, which is capped off by the Ride the Hurricane event on Sunday, Aug. 6.
Ride the Hurricane is a challenging round-trip bike ride to the top of Olympic National Park’s Hurricane Ridge.
Cost is $50. Riders can register from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4, or Saturday, Aug. 5, at the Port Angeles Visitor Center, 121 E. Railroad Ave., Port Angeles. Or, they can register at 6 a.m. the day of the event in the Peninsula College parking lot, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd.
Hurricane Ridge Road will be closed to motor vehicles from 7 a.m.-noon for riders to safely participate.
See www.portangeles.org/pages/RideTheHurricane/ for more information or to register.