Tour de Pierce to attract hundreds of cyclists

jeff.mayor@thenewstribune.comJune 23, 2013 

Mark and Cindy Soulier of Puyallup help their son, Gabe, on his bike at the 2012 Tour de Pierce.

LUI KIT WONG/STAFF FILE, 2012

The 23rd annual Tour de Pierce is expected to attract hundreds of riders when it hits the roads and trails of central Pierce County on June 30.

As in the early days, the ride is meant to promote fitness, outdoor fun and bicycle safety, said Cara Cross, recreation supervisor for Pierce County.

“We started it as a way to get people out and biking,” Cross said. “Part of it was safety, getting people to wear helmets and obey the rules of the road.”

Ride attendance has ranged from a high of 900 to a rain-soaked low of 400.

“I’m hoping for 500 to 600 people this year,” Cross said.

Routes: Each of the ride’s three routes begins at the Gold parking lot of the Washington State Fair in Puyallup.

The 12-mile route, a flat, easy ride that is good for families and novice riders, is mainly in Puyallup and Sumner. The 30-mile loop takes riders past farms and flower fields in Edgewood, Sumner, Orting and Puyallup. The 50-mile course includes a loop to South Prairie.

Cross said organizers adjusted the routes a little bit for this year’s ride.

“People were getting confused, so we streamlined the routes a bit. It’s more noticeable in the north Sumner area,” she said.

Riders will be given a course map the day of the ride, or they can download them from the website.

Rest stops: There is a rest stop for each route, at McAlder Elementary School, where refreshments and restrooms will be available. Cross said the Taco Time Traveler will be parked at the rest stop giving out samples.

Young riders: Because portions of the routes are on local roads, Cross said no tricycles or training wheels are allowed. She said it is up to parents to decide if a child is capable of participating.

Helmets: Riders must wear CPSC-approved helmets. Good Samaritan Hospital’s Celebrate Seniority will be on hand, selling a limited number of bike and multi-sport helmets from 8-11 a.m. Helmets will be $7-$10. Custom fitting will be available, but the person wearing the helmet must be on hand.

When: Riders can start between 7:30-11:30 a.m. Registration will be open until 11:30 a.m. The staging area closes at 2:30 p.m. A support wagon will drive the course at the end of the day to assist stragglers and those needing bike repairs.

Registration: To register the day of the event is $18 per person, $54 per family of four, $14 for each additional family rider. Event T-shirts are $20. Registration will be open from 7:15-11:30 a.m. on ride day.

Information: Contact Cross at 253- 841-8515 or ccross@co.pierce.wa.us, or go to co.pierce.wa.us/index.aspx?NID=1277.

Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640 jeff.mayor@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/adventure

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