‘Tour’ returns to Suffolk

Published 8:59 pm Friday, January 29, 2016

For the fifth consecutive year, Suffolk will be the host city for the Tour de Cure, the American Diabetes Association’s annual fundraising bike ride, which is set for April 30, beginning and ending at King’s Fork High School.

Riders and organizers alike have found a great home in Suffolk, where they say the roads are safer for cycling than previous Hampton Roads locations and city officials and volunteers roll out the red carpet to make all the cyclists feel special and appreciated.

This will be the Hampton Roads Tour de Cure’s 25th anniversary, and organizers are working to make it special, right from the official fundraising kickoff, which will be held Friday at Town Point Club in Norfolk.

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The Friday event will feature awards for top teams and fundraisers from last year’s ride, along with refreshments, door prizes, giveaways, a photo booth and more. Those who are interested in participating also will be able to talk to organizers and other participants to ask questions. The kickoff event historically has been a good place for teams to challenge one another. The ride is not a race, but teams compete to see which ones can raise the most money.

Even before the official kickoff, teams have been getting geared up for the ride. Already this year, 464 riders on 57 teams have registered, raising about $38,000 so far. Last year, about 920 riders took advantage of a perfect spring day to help raise nearly $430,000 for the American Diabetes Association. That represented an increase of nearly 50 riders and about $40,000 more in funds raised. Organizers hope for an even better turnout this year.

The ride features route options of 10, 25, 65 and 100 miles, all of which wind through the back roads of Suffolk. Volunteers are stationed along the routes to provide water and spots for a break, police officers provide a safety watch and organizers are on hand with a van to transport those who might have equipment or other problems that keep them from completing the ride.

Fundraising takes place before the event. There is a $25 registration fee and a $200 fundraising minimum.

The kickoff event is set for Feb. 4 at the Town Point Club, 101 W. Main St., Norfolk, from 6 to 8 p.m. RSVPs are required by Monday by emailing Holman at aholman@diabetes.org or calling 424-6662, extension 3276.

For more information about the Tour de Cure, visit www.diabetes.org/hamptonroadsvatour.