Tour de Whidbey rolls next week

The eighth annual Tour de Whidbey, a bicycle ride benefiting the Whidbey General Hospital Foundation will be held Saturday, Sept. 26.

This ride, which has grown in size each year, is expected to have over 500 riders, and will be supported by close to 100 volunteers.

Riders have their choice of 28, 40, 50, 60, and 100-mile routes which run north and south out of the Greenbank Farm, or a 10-mile beginner and family-friendly ride out of the Coupeville Middle/High School.

The routes have been selected to showcase the beauty and varied terrain of Whidbey Island, with routes passing through all of the communities on the island from Oak Harbor to Langley.

Signs will be placed along the roads advising motorists that bicyclists will be out in unusually high numbers and asking that motorists pay particular attention to bicyclists this day.

“The Tour de Whidbey has become well known in cycling circles as being one of the more challenging rides in the state,” said Trish Rose, hospital spokesperson. “Cyclists love not just the beauty of the island but the friendliness of the volunteers staffing their rest stops and the local inhabitants.”

Registration fees cover ride directions and maps, rider bibs, pancake breakfast, well-supported rest stops every 15 to 20 miles, and an after-ride chili feed. The Island County Amateur Radio Club and the local Gold Wing Association will again provide roving route support and radio communication at key locations.

Through registration fees and sponsor support, the Whidbey General Hospital Foundation is raising funds this year to purchase a state-of-the-art obstetrics ultrasound for the Whidbey Family Birthplace at the hospital.

Registration forms can be downloaded from the Whidbey General Hospital website or register on-line at Registration forms are also available in the hospital lobby at the kiosk, Bicycles Northwest in Oak Harbor, or Half Link Bicycles in Bayview, as well as the lobbies at all Whidbey Island Bank locations.

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