A fine place to visit

Published 10:12 pm Wednesday, May 23, 2012

There never really was any question whether the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure would be successful in its first year in Suffolk.

First of all, residents of the city have become widely known for their support of charitable events like the massive Hampton Roads bike ride that raises money to provide support for people with diabetes and to help fund the research into a cure. The American Cancer Society’s Suffolk Rockin’ Relay for Life has a long history of benefiting from the largesse of donors, volunteers and participants here in Suffolk. Suffolk residents turned that generous spirit toward the Tour de Cure in April, helping the Diabetes Association raise nearly $400,000 — and more importantly, making the event’s participants, organizers and volunteer helpers feel right at home. Churches, community organizations and even some homeowners opened their doors for riders to use their facilities during rest stops. And many individuals took the time to volunteer as course workers or event helpers. All those generous acts have translated into great feedback about the folks in Suffolk.

Tour de Cure organizers also have received compliments on the routes that were set up for riders. Participants in the event rode 10-, 30-, 64- or 100-mile routes in, through and in the vicinity of Suffolk to work off the pledged donations they had received. Folks from this fine city are surely not surprised to learn that those riders — most of whom were visiting from Greater Hampton Roads and many of whom know Suffolk only by Route 58 or I-664, at best — were impressed with the beauty of the countryside that was their constant companion on those rides.

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Suffolk has some of the prettiest country roads in Tidewater. And though we might like to keep some of the city’s bucolic charm a secret, thereby avoiding traffic, litter and the other problems that come with an influx of people, sometimes it’s just nice to be able to show visitors just how nice your home really is.

So it’s probably not really a surprise to most folks here that the Tour de Cure was such a success in its first year in Suffolk. Still, it’s nice to have what we all know in our hearts confirmed by folks from outside of our city — Suffolk is a great place to live and a fine place to visit.