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.
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.
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.
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.
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!