Sequim’s Tour De Lavender sees sunny skies, big turnout

Sequim’s lavender fields got another slew of visitors this summer — this time, on wheels.

The sixth Tour de Lavender saw somewhere between 490 and 520 riders make the trek from downtown Sequim to various lavender farms across the Dungeness Valley on Aug.4, helping boost local causes in the process.

“From our perspective it was an incredibly successful tour,” event director Ken Stringer said.

“We’re still (counting ridership, but) I know we hit a record in rider numbers,” he said. “With seventy-five or so more riders than last year? That’s not bad.”

This year’s event raises funds for four local entities: Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula, which once again served as host for the Tour; Sequim Wheelers, a local nonprofit giving rides to persons with disabilities using specially-made bicycles; the Olympic Discovery Trail via the Peninsula Trails Coalition, and the Olympic Peninsula Bike Alliance.

Stringer said he expects the Tour will provide at least a couple of thousand dollars to each entity.

For riders, Stringer said, the payoff was once again the experience.

“Everybody loved the farms: they are just blown away by the beauty of the lavender farms, the aroma, and most of all the hospitality of farm owners,” he said.

Stringer said Dan and Janet Abbott of Washington Lavender Farm were key in getting the event complete (Dan served as the Tour’s executive director).

Sponsored by the Sequim Lavender Farmers Association in partnership with local cycling groups, the 2018 Tour De Lavender included a Fun Ride and Metric Century (100-kilometer) Ride, as participants had the opportunity to visit 10 farms, enjoying snacks, drinks and a short tour at each stop, plus an event after-party.

Over the past five years, the Tour has donated more than $50,000 to support the building and maintenance of the Olympic Discovery Trail, and the Olympic Peninsula Bicycle Alliance (OPBA)’s programs to promote cycle safety, education, and training, and to make the entire region cyclist-friendly.

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