The ninth annual Tour De Bluff bicycle event will begin and finish Saturday at The Pines mall parking lot.
This event is to remind everyone that staying in shape and having fun is a possibility while also enjoying a refreshing bicycle ride. There is a $35 entry fee which includes registration, T-shirt, tote bags, and a lunch upon return. The event is for all ages and includes competitive and leisurely riding throughout.
The main race beginning at 8 a.m. is a 21 1/2-mile stretch that enters Altheimer and circles back to The Pines at the finish line. There are also three other paths that are used for leisurely riding. The leisure riders will begin 15 minutes after the competitive riders have started.
Event planner Sandra Fisher and her husband Kenneth Scott Fisher are the main organizers of this event as well as the owners of Novel T’s. Fisher said her husband is the reason this event was created and they are amazed at how the event has grown throughout the years.
“When we began we featured a 22-mile race and ride,” Fisher said. “Since then, we’ve added a 50-mile route, a 62-mile route, and a 100-mile route so we’re all over the place.”
All bikers must wear a helmet at all times and make sure their bicycle is in excellent riding condition. All of the courses have been mapped out to help the cyclists along the way and will even be followed by the sheriff’s department. If a rider feels he or she is unable to go any further, there is an emergency contact number that riders can call to have a truck come pick them up or to fix any repairs on their bicycles.
Along with the safety precautions, there will also be rest stops around every 10 miles that include water, Gatorade and energy bars. While the cyclists are out riding around, there will also be activities going on for the kids behind the Sears building at The Pines parking lot. These activities include bicycle safety instructions along with a demonstration, an obstacle course, other games, and snacks and refreshments.
Fisher said the kids are also in for a special treat this year as Master Anderson will be there to perform a taekwondo exhibition. Along with Anderson, a jazz musician will perform and the Pine Bluff fire truck will be out there all for the kids’ entertainment. Fisher was also very grateful for all of the volunteers they will have for this year’s event.
“We have a wonderful team of volunteers this year. It takes a lot of folks to keep an eye on the kids and keep them safe on the parking lot while doing activities,” Fisher said. “Each year we are open to volunteers if there are organizations that would like to participate. They just need to contact us in advance.”
The Tour De Bluff has averaged around 30 riders in the past, but this year they are expecting around 60-80 riders. Everybody is encouraged to come out and join the event.
For more information or to register, visit www.tourdebluff.com.