SEQUIM — Cyclists returned to pre-pandemic numbers for the Tour de Lavender on Saturday after a participant cap last year put in place because of COVID-19 concerns.
Nearly 800 participants registered for rides, organizers said, with proceeds helping to maintain and expand the Olympic Discovery Trail.
“The weather couldn’t be better,” said John Dolansky, Peninsula Trails Coalition board treasurer.
The coalition, which oversees the event, anticipates bringing in about $20,000 after expenses, he said.
Starting from the Boys & Girls Club in Sequim, riders could either go on a 30-plus-mile Fun Ride or a 100-kilometer Metric Ride that included eight lavender farms: B&B Family Farm, Fleurish Lavender of Lost Mountain, In Bloom Lavender Farm, Jardin du Soleil Lavender Farm, Martha Lane Lavender, Purple Haze Lavender Farm, Victor’s Lavender Farm and Washington Lavender Farm.
Mother-daughter Gaye and Sarah Hickey of Woodinville opted for the Fun Ride. They said they’d wanted to participate for a few years now but the pandemic prevented them from participating.
Organizers said entrants rose every year prior to the pandemic when the event was halted in 2020 and limited last year. For this year, organizers saw a lot of returners from previous years, they said.
With being limited to 500 registrants in 2021, Dolansky said, “it feels much better (to be back at larger numbers).”
The Tour de Lavender partly promotes the Olympic Peninsula and its lavender farms in “America’s Provence,” organizers said.
It’s also the largest fundraiser of the year for the Olympic Discovery Trail.