The inaugural Bike Tour (Tour du Land) of the WLT took place Sunday, May 22, 2011. The goal of the tour was to showcase land trust holdings and publicize WLT activities and missions. The Tour’s originally scheduled date was 5/15/2011 but postponed because of rain. Despite threatening early morning skies, the event was held under favorable bicycling conditions: cloudy but dry.
Registration/riders: a total of 30 people registered—1/3 on-line in advance and
2/3 on the day of the ride. Half of the registrants were from Bloomfield, the rest (in decreasing order) from West Hartford, S. Windsor, Hartford, Glastonbury, Terryville and Winsted. In addition to the riders, there were several staff/support members: tour guides (Dale @ Shaffer, Chip@ Stout’s, Tami @ Van Otterloo, and Vikki @ Capewell), registration (Steve), bike support/raffle/etc (Cary) and catering (Bob/Chris). The event followed the anticipated timeline with registration from 9:30-10, riding from 10-12 and refreshments from 12-1. About ½ of the riders stopped at some or all of the land trust sites. A few riders took the options to the Thrall and Speer properties.
The feedback on the day was positive. The distance and grade made the ride attractive to the recreational/occasional biker. More “hard-core” riders might have preferred a greater challenge. This could be a more highlighted focus in subsequent years.
Special thanks to Cary for facilitating the great support from REI—tables/chairs/water bottles/air pump/raffle prize and Bob and Chris (Avon Country Deli) for the great food. I’d also like to thank the other members of the Bike Tour Committee: Val, Dale, and Patrick.
For its first year, the event was a modest success. Publicity for the ride included flyers and posters placed at local venues (e.g.: Wade’s, Bloomfield Bike, Town Hall, JCC, fitness centers) and mentions in WH Patch, Hartford Courant) electronic town events) and Bloomfield electronic bulletin Boards. The major goal next year will be to attract more riders. Among other options, we should consider printing up larger signs to post along Duncaster Rd (and perhaps other popular biking roads).
Vic Herson Event Coordinator