Drivers, be advised: Hundreds of cyclists will be on Whatcom County roads Saturday, July 23, for the annual Tour de Whatcom bike ride.
The family-friendly bike ride begins at Boundary Bay Brewery, 1107 Railroad Ave., in Bellingham and goes out on rural roads through valleys, farmland and along the water in Whatcom County. There is no minimum age for riders, but for safety reasons, bike trailers and tag-along systems for pulling children are not allowed. Tandem bikes are allowed.
Parking is free but could be difficult with people also attending the Bellingham Farmers Market, so tour organizers will have a designated lot on Cornwall Avenue south of Maple Street, near the entrance gates to the former Georgia-Pacific site.
Course markers every 3 miles will designate the route, and bright yellow “Tour de Whatcom” signs will be posted at major turns.
Routes vary depending on how ambitious cyclists are feeling. All of them start and finish at Boundary Bay Brewery:
▪ A 22-mile ride goes from Bellingham to Ferndale and back.
▪ A 44-mile route follows the same roads but continues on to Birch Bay.
▪ The Metric Century ride goes south to Alger, then heads north along Lake Whatcom and out to Mount Baker Highway and Noon Road, then cuts west to Ferndale and back to Bellingham along Mariner Drive.
▪ The Century route also take cyclists south to Alger and thewn north to Noon Road, continuing to Lynden and riding west to Blaine and Birch Bay before heading south to Ferndale and Bellingham.
For detailed route maps, go to tourdewhatcom.com/ride-information/route-maps.
Since 2014, organizers have donated $30,000 to nonprofits. In 2016, the beneficiary will be the Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition.