Time to ride the lavender

Second Tour de Lavender wheels locals, visitors across peninsula

Dan Abbott of Washington Lavender and Tom Coonelly of Sequim Spoke Folk Bicycle Club are gearing up for the second Tour de Lavender slated for Aug. 2-3.

Dan Abbott of Washington Lavender and Tom Coonelly of Sequim Spoke Folk Bicycle Club are gearing up for the second Tour de Lavender slated for Aug. 2-3.

 

The fun with lavender didn’t end last weekend — not by a long shot.

The second Tour de Lavender is blooming in early August, with a pair of rides — one challenging, the other more family friendly — set for Aug. 2-3 in Sequim.

Tour de Lavender is a new cycling program of the Sequim Lavender Farmers Association. The event, organizers say, is designed to do three things: to increase the growing cycling tourism on the Olympic Peninsula, to give cyclists a chance to see lavender farms up close at the peak of the lavender season and to allow more people to experience the Sequim-Dungeness Valley.

“The farms took it on because it’s all about agritourism … to show off the Sequim valley,” Dan Abbott of Washington Lavender said.

Abbott praised Sequim’s cycling groups in putting the event together.

“These guys take it and run with it,” he said.

Entry fee is $35 per person; riders younger than 12 are only $10. Any proceeds remaining after the event will benefit nonprofits, namely the Peninsula Trails Coalition and the Sequim Lavender Farmers Association. The Peninsula Trails Coalition is the group helping maintain and extend the Olympic Discovery Trail, which makes up most of the two Tour de Lavender courses.

Tom Coonelly, one of the event’s organizers of the Sequim Spoke Folk Bicycle Club, said last year’s inaugural event was a popular draw, with 150 participants hitting Sequim trails and roads.

This year, he said, organizers already have seen 50 cyclists sign up for the Metric Century Plus Ride and overall sign-ups are up 30 percent from this time last year.

“The biggest criticism last year was route marking; the purple arrows don’t stick on wet pavement,” Coonelly said. “We fixed that this year.”

The rides

The Tour includes the Metric Century Plus Ride, set for Saturday, Aug. 2. This classic long distance ride features a route traveling on back roads and the Olympic Discovery Trail out to the Elwha River — much of it on the Olympic Discovery Trail. Riders will be arriving throughout the day and many will stay overnight to participate in the Ride the Hurricane event, set for Aug. 3 in Port Angeles. Entry fee is $45 per person. This part of the Tour is co-sponsored by the Sequim Spoke Folk and several other cycling groups from Sequim.

The Family Fun Ride to Sequim’s Lavender Farms is designed for families and children of all ages and abilities and will be available for cyclists and family members Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 2-3. Event organizers say this is a relaxed trip for spouses/partners, children and even babies in “carriers,” visiting welcoming lavender farms on the backroads of the valley in what they say is a “mostly level and easy route.”

Riders also will be encouraged to visit and utilize the Olympic Discovery Trail as part of their ride and will have options to extend the program throughout the trail system. Each of the lavender farms on the ride will have special attractions for families.

An added bonus, Coonelly said, is a raffle for a Specialized Sirrus bike, courtesy of All Around Bikes. Participants who make it to all five farms and get stamps are entered.

Abbott said they set up a separate registration in Port Angeles for Canadian participants coming across the water from Victoria, B.C.; they and other riders can start and finish in Port Angeles if they like.

For more information, call 681-7532, e-mail info@tourdelavender.org or see tourdelavender.com.

 

 

Reach Michael Dashiell at editor@sequimgazette.com.

 

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