Port Williams Lavender

Seven lavender farms on the route this year

The following lavender farms will be on the  2015 Tour de Lavender route this year and host the cyclists who ride out to their farms:

“Nestled on the tip of the Olympic Peninsula lies the rolling Sequim-Dungeness valley and the Olympic Discovery Trail. Scenic coastal roads skirt acres of farmland all devoted to one singular crop — lavender. Designated as the top cycling trail in Washington State by Cascade Bicycle Club, the Olympic Discovery Trail spans over 130 miles across the Olympic Peninsula. The path is ensconced in between the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountain Range and its wide, paved surface make riding accessible for all levels of cyclists as well as other non-motorized users.”  ~ from “Olympic Peninsula Riding — From the Lavender to the Ridge” by Emilie Schnabel (Bicycle Paper – June 2015)

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Ride the Olympic Discovery Trail!

Have you discovered the beautiful lavender farms of the Sequim Valley that are scattered along the Olympic Discovery Trail? If you haven’t, ride the Tour de Lavender in mid summer at the peak of the lavender harvest.

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Named as one of the top rides in Washington State by the Cascade Bicycle Club, the Olympic Discovery Trail allows you to slow down and see “not only our spectacular mountains, lakes and rivers, but also the small things along the side of the road like spring wildflowers, birds and waterfalls.” (Seattle Times: Cascade Bicycle Club leader names top 10 Washington bike rides)

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Come and ride with us. You can make an amazing Pedal Power Weekend out of it with Ride the Hurricane which also takes you up into the Olympic National Park!

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The planning begins

Here’s our new ad that can be found in the Northwest Tour Guide, coming to newsstands and bicycle shops in WA, OR, ID and BC by March 1, 2015! You can’t miss it as the Tour de Lavender ad will be on the first full-page inside the front cover.

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Check back for updates and additional details on this year’s exciting ride.

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Summing up the ride

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The second annual Tour de Lavender was held on August 2-3, 2014 for 232 cyclists and hosted by 65 volunteers along with the 5 member farms of the Sequim Lavender Farmers Association. It coincided with Ride the Hurricane to make a very successful Pedal Power Weekend for the Olympic Peninsula. This recreational ride was comprised of two parts which consisted of a long ride, the Metric Century Plus, and a shorter ride, the Family Fun Ride. Both rides started in Sequim at the Boys and Girls Club, making good use of the Olympic Discovery Trail and the hosting lavender farms. In addition to the farms, the long ride took the cyclists through Port Angeles and out to the Elwha River Bridge and back. The Family Fun ride covered both days complementing with friends and family who were participating in the more challenging Ride the Hurricane up into the Olympic National Park.

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The riders’ feedback was very positive with comments praising the volunteers and the lavender farms for their cheerful support and wonderful hospitality. The ride was adjusted this year to begin in Sequim, instead of Kingston, and avoided the highway traffic. The riders enthusiastically embraced this change. Better marking along the trail was also a major improvement. The cyclists love the slower pace of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley and the scenic Olympic Discovery Trail. The riders appreciated packets that included cycling swag and lavender gifts.

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Riders were encouraged to visit all of the lavender farms using a Passport and  collecting stamps at each farm. All riders who successfully collected all of their stamps were then entered into a drawing for a beautiful bike. The oldest cyclist was asked to draw the winning Passport, and the winner was a rider from Oregon – a nice ending to a great weekend.

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There is little doubt that Tour de Lavender brought a lot of business and goodwill to the Olympic Peninsula and will go a long ways in bringing tourists back to this unique bike-friendly community that has grown a reputation for its beautiful lavender farms and scenic byways.

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Many of the riders from the inaugural event returned this year and brought friends and family with them. A sizable donation will also be given to the Olympic Trails Coalition to be used for the Olympic Discovery Trail’s maintenance and development. Tour de Lavender has gained a good reputation among cyclists and will continue to grow in the years ahead. We look forward to an even better ride next year!

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More photos of the 2014 ride

Photo credits: Ron Stecker