Tour de Lavender offers two rides Saturday, Sunday in Sequim
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Peninsula Daily News
Tom Coonelly, left, and Dan Abbott are planners of the second Tour de Lavender, a multiple-route bicycle trek through the Dungeness Valley this weekend.

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM — The second annual Tour de Lavender, two different rides presented by the Sequim Lavender Farmers Association, will offer cyclists an exploration of the Olympic Discovery Trail.

About 90 had pre-registered as of Thursday for the 34.5-mile Family Fun Ride for family or beginning cyclists, which begins Saturday and Sunday mornings.

About 100 had registered for the more challenging 71.3-mile Metric Century Plus Ride for intermediate and advanced cyclists Saturday.

Both will accept new riders.

The rides include stunning views of snow-capped mountains, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Dungeness Valley farmlands and lavender farms in various stages of harvest, said Dan Abbott, event manager for the Tour de Lavender.

“It's the peak of the season right now,” he said.

Starting point

Both rides will begin at the Sequim unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula at 400 W. Fir St.

Registration for the Metric Century ride will be between 7 a.m. and noon Saturday.

Registration is 10 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday for the Family Fun Ride.

Metric Century riders who arrive in Port Angeles via the MV Coho ferry Saturday morning can register and start at The Gateway transit center, across from the Black Ball Ferry Terminal.

Online pre-registration is closed for both rides.

Late registration for the Metric Century Plus Ride is $55 per rider. It is $45 per adult rider or $20 for riders 12 or younger for both days of the Family Fun Ride.

Both routes will travel on back roads in the Dungeness Valley and will offer visits to five lavender farms, including Purple Haze Organic Lavender Farm on Bell Bottom Road, Jardin Du Soleil Lavender on Sequim-Dungeness Way, Washington Lavender on Finn Hall Road, Olympic Lavender Heritage Farm on Marine Drive and Lost Mountain Lavender on Taylor Cutoff Road.

Riders registered for either ride and who visit all five lavender farms will be entered in a drawing for a new Specialized Sirrus bicycle, sponsored in part by All Around Bikes, 150 W. Sequim Bay Road in Sequim.

The National Weather Service forecast for the weekend rides couldn't be better, Abbott said.

“It's supposed to be in the low 70s, with a zero percent chance of rain. There's no better bicycling conditions anywhere,” he said.

Metric Century Plus

The 73.1-mile Metric Century Plus Ride will take cyclists through the lavender fields of Sequim and the Dungeness Valley and continue along the Olympic Discovery Trail to the Port Angeles waterfront and west to the Elwha River Bridge and back.

The ride is an easy one for experienced riders and can serve as a warm-up for Sunday's Ride the Hurricane — an advanced climb ride — Abbott said.

Maps of the ride will be provided at the starting points, and the event is fully supported by about 50 volunteers along the route, he said.

Family Fun Ride

The Family Fun Ride to Sequim's lavender farms explores farm country north of Sequim.

The family cycling tour is designed for an easy and relaxed ride on a mostly level and easy route in the Dungeness Valley — ideal for weekend cyclists with children and even toddlers in bike trailers or toddler seats, Abbott said.

Family Fun riders can complete the entire ride in a single day or split the ride between both days, he said.

Each of the lavender farms on the ride will have portable toilets and food available and kid-orientated activities for families to keep the younger ones entertained, Abbott said.

“Lavender farmers are always looking for ways to bring people here and promote the area,” ride director Tom Coonelly said.

“Dan Abbott of George Washington Inn and Washington Lavender had the idea for the ride and went to the three cycling clubs in Sequim — the Sequim Spoke Folk, Women on Wheels and the Easy Riders” — to create the event.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: August 02. 2014 7:21PM
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