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Tour De Kitsap, riding for safety again

The 19th Annual Tour De Kitsap is around the corner and  organizers say the cycling event centered on safety has something for everyone.

The Tour is hosted by the West Sound Cycling Club  and is an extension of the group’s ongoing goals to educate members and the public about bicycle safety, promote cycling and support the local cycling businesses in the area.

Multiple cycling routes with varying riding distances are available for the July 29 event such as the family 5-mile loop, a family 12-mile loop, as well as moderately steep 32 and 48 mile rides and more challenging 72 and 102 mile loops.

The group also will host an off-road cycling event on July 28 which will include one mile, ten mile and 14 mile loops ranging from easy to challenging in difficulty.

“We like to get everybody out and make it fun for everyone,” Janet Rickey, club coordinator for the event said. “Everybody becomes equal in shorts and T-shirts and it becomes a social thing and a way to enjoy this amazing area we live in.”

All routes more than 12 miles have support stops with water and Gatorade. Rickey said the longer loops would have rest stops every 15 to 20 miles.

“My rest stop in Kingston will have a mexican theme with beans, rice and tortillas,” she said.

Other stops will be hosted by other cycling groups such as the Kitsap Tri Babes who host the station at Wildcat Lake.

Post-ride showers will be available at the Silverdale Beach Hotel for those who bring their own towels and sandals.

David Brumsickle, a sponsor for the event and owner of Silverdale Cyclery said the event will be fun but also help the group raise awareness of its efforts to educate the public about safe cycling.

“It’s important that cyclists be trained to know how to ride safely in traffic,” he said. “A lot of people are just not aware of current laws.”

In 2011, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office reported there had been 46 collisions between bicycles and vehicles in the prior five years. Although current road construction within the county requires four-foot shoulders on the side of 11-foot wide lanes, there are still many dangerous spots for cyclists in the area.

Rickey and Brumsickle both said that Kitsap County can be an unsafe place for cyclists and awareness of traffic laws and proper cycling safety can make a big difference in safety for riders and make cycling more fun.

Prices for the Tour De Kitsap are $25 for riders more than 18 years of age, $15 for riders less than 18 years of age and $45 for a same household family. Rickey said preregistration by July 18 is available at a discount.

 

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