Dust off your helmet and shine up your bike, it’s time for the Seventh Annual Tour of Farmington. On Saturday morning, September 10th, enthusiasts of all ages will meet at the Farmington Community Center to enjoy one of America’s fastest growing pastimes — cycling.
From families with children to hobbyists to serious cyclists, the Tour of Farmington has a route for everyone. Cyclists can register at www.active.com for $35 each. The first 150 registered participants will receive a free t-shirt. Onsite registration will open at 7 am the day of the event.
All ages and abilities welcome
So far, around 80 riders have registered for the charity event, which features bike rides of various lengths — 63, 43, 23, and 13 miles — that weave through the picturesque Farmington area.
New this year is a kids cycling event, hosted by the Davie Recreation and Parks Department,
which will run from 10:30 am to noon.
Cyclists completing the 63 mile ride can push themselves a little harder this year by participating in the Farmington Challenge. The Challenge costs an extra $20 entrance fee, but the first person to cross the finish line will receive half of that money as well as a yellow jersey to keep until next year.
The event runs from 8 am – 2 pm and begins with a light breakfast, coffee, and juice, and ends with a hearty lunch. Caroline Freeman, owner of the nearby Feed Bag restaurant, has provided breakfast for the Tour ever since it began.
Farmington Community Nature Park – 63 Acres of hiking, biking and more!
The Tour of Farmington has become a true community event. Local law enforcement provides parking assistance and community volunteers provide food and beverages along the route. SAG (support and gear) teams will patrol the routes to offer assistance to anyone who needs it.
Additional volunteers are still needed.
Last year’s event raised $11,000 through the $35 entry fee paid by each of the 193 cyclists as well as sponsorships from local businesses. All proceeds benefit the Farmington Community Nature Park. Major sponsors this year include Wal-Mart, the United Way of Davie County, Smith Excavating and the Farmington Ruritan Club.
Garry Steele founded the Tour of Farmington seven years ago to raise funds for the Farmington Nature Park, which was created from a 63-acre tract of land donated to the Farmington Community Center in 2007 by Louis C. and Martha Smith.
The park currently features a hiking and mountain biking trail in addition to areas for fishing. Future plans include a cyclocross area, disc golf course and outdoor amphitheater. There are also plans to pave another area for parking.
An avid cyclist, Steele had no doubt that the event would become a great success. “I enjoy mountain trails as well as riding along the road,” he said. “Cycling is such great exercise and has grown so much in our area in the past few years.”
He noted that the first ride began with 19 riders and has continued to grow, with 37 the second year, 57 who braved the rain during the third, 115 the 4th, 155 the 5th, and finally 193 last year. He would love to see 250 cyclists this year.
Allyson Sawtelle, event co-chair as well as the president of the Farmington Community Association, started road biking in 2012. She began volunteering with the Tour of Farmington because she loves cycling and believes in the mission of the community center.
“The Farmington Community Center offers a family-friendly atmosphere with low or no cost activities for all ages and all interests,” she said. She looks forward to those activities continuing to grow, thanks in part to the money raised by the Tour of Farmington.
For more information about the Tour of Farmington, or to volunteer, call Allyson Sawtelle 336.655.2700 or Gary Steele 336.244.1080
The Farmington Community Center is located at 1723 Farmington Road, Mocksville, NC 27028.