They gathered in the predawn
Florida cold (60 degrees Fahrenheit) darkness at the Historic Venice Train
Depot. Vehicles guided by volunteers to
designated parking areas. Bicycles
dismounted from their carrier. Final ABC
safety check: “A” for Air in tires, OK; “B” for Brakes, OK. “C” for Cranks and
Chains, OK. A quick healthy bit of fuel
consisting of yogurt, muffins, fruit, OJ and coffee graciously provided by
sponsor First Watch restaurant. A final
Event Director Bud Gaunce called
out “Ride safely, ride courteously, and enjoy the ride.”
And as the sun peaked over the
horizon, bringing the light and warmth of day, the first wave of 62 milers on
the 2019 Tour de Parks launched north on the Legacy Trail. The 35 and 21 milers followed later in the
950 riders signed up for the
event, shattering last’s year’s record of 750!
It all went very smoothly, thanks to detailed planning efforts and
dedicated volunteers before, during, and cleanup after the ride.
True to its name, riders traversed
parks along the Legacy Trail, venturing to Urfer, Rothenbach Parks. Rowers could be seen honing their skills as
riders circled Benderson Park, site of international rowing competitions. Ocean
vistas and dream homes line the newly paved route along Casey Key.
The Tour de Parks is a key fund
raising event by both the Friends of the Legacy Trail and the Sarasota-Manatee
Bicycle Club. About 100 volunteers help
support the ride, along with area bicycle shops providing SAG support for
mechanical issues. This year’s ride,
like most previous year’s, was graced with light winds, low humidity, mostly
blue sky, near perfect low 80s temperature.
Perfect for hesitant riders trying their first cycling event, to
seasoned cyclist using this as a first of the season’s long distance
rides. A hearty lunch provided by
Mattison’s greeted those at the finish line.
Thanks to all who participated. And a special thanks to all the FLT and SMBC volunteers who make this event possible. See more FLT and SMBC volunteer opportunities.
62, 35, and 20-mile scenic, fun rides! Start and finish at the historic Venice Train Depot
303 E Venice Ave., Venice, Florida
$35 before 2/20/16
$40 before 3/18/16
$45 3/18/16 and after
Your entry includes breakfast, lunch, rest-stops, SAG support, and a technical Tee shirt for the first 500 participants. We are excited to be sponsoring this year’s ride with the Sarasota Manatee Bicycle Club, along with past sponsors Friends of Sarasota County Parks and Sarasota County Recreation and Natural Resources.
You may register for the Tour de Parks with one of the following three methods:
7:30 AM – 62 miles
8:30 AM – 35 miles
9:30 AM – 20 miles
Friday, March 18th
4:00 to 6:00 PM
Bicycles International (1744 Tamiami Trail S, Venice, FL 34293
Saturday, March 19th
1:00 to 4:00 PM
Real Bikes (581 US Highway 41 Bypass N, Venice, FL 34285
Sunday, March 20th
From 6:30 AM
Venice Train Depot
Need a Hotel Room the Night Before the Ride? Bentley’s Hotel is offering Tour de Parks riders a special room rate of $125 for March 19th. To get the special rate just tell the front desk that you are with Tour de Parks when you make your reservation.
Custom 2016 Tour de Parks jerseys are available from Bespoke Kits. Click here for more details.