With visions of creating a bike week in Door County, the Peninsula Pacers have organized a new tour on the scenic roads a week after the venerable Door County Century Ride.
Centered on the waterfront in Sister Bay, the inaugural Peninsula Century Ride will offer 25, 50, 62 and 100-mile options looping along the roads on the northern portion of the vacation destination surrounded by Lake Michigan. The date is Sept. 14, six days after the Door County Century, which will celebrate its 35th anniversary on Sept. 8.
Ride director Brian Fitzgerald expects there will be some competition for participants between the two tours, but said that the overall goal will be to have the events complement each other and keep visitors in the area for a week of cycling.
“They’re two different rides,” said Fitzgerald, who also organizes the Door County Half Marathon and the Ride for Nature. “This is one of the great destinations for cycling in the Midwest and we want a great showcase.”
Fitzgerald, who owns a pottery business in Sister Bay, said the finish area in Waterfront Park will feature food from local restaurants and beer from local breweries. Close to 500 hotel rooms are available within walking distance of the start-finish area.
“Ever since Sister Bay made the tremendous investment in its waterfront six years ago, I’ve wanted to create an event to showcase it,” Fitzgerald said.
The ride will be capped at 1,200, but organizers expect about 300 for the initial outing. Fees range from $35 for the 25-mile route to $50 for the 100-mile loop, including support and rest stops. Click here for registration information.
The Peninsula Century Ride has partnered with the Go Bo Foundation to help raise money to fight childhood cancer.
Cycling on the rural roads connecting the small towns in Door County has become increasingly popular, as the Chicago Tribune noted in an article published last week. Writer Phil Marty encountered a group from the Joliet Bicycle Club, a group of about 35 that stayed at various villages on the peninsula and divided up each day that week for rides tailored to different ability levels.
It seems that vision of a Door County Bike Week book-ended by the two century rides has a good start.