DOVER — Planning for the 35th annual Amish Country Bike Tour is underway.
Bike Delaware volunteers have been busy working behind the scenes to obtain sponsors, work with vendors and map routes, as plans for this year’s tour continue.
Set for Sept. 18, the tour will begin at 7:30 a.m. with a rolling start on Dover’s Legislative Mall. Bike support will be available prior to the start on the mall.
Routes of 15, 25, 50, 62 and 100 miles are planned for cyclists of all ages and abilities, with rest stops spread throughout. All routes include the famous Amish School House and locally made, fresh-baked pies.
Bike Delaware volunteers will provide support for riders until 5 p.m.
In addition to the Amish School House in Dover, longer routes take riders past Harvest Ridge Winery on the state line in Marydel and feature a stop at Painted Stave Distilling in Smyrna. Riders can enjoy healthy snacks and beverages at all stops.
When cyclists return to Legislative Mall for the conclusion of their rides, it will be time to celebrate being in the great outdoors with friends and family. Throughout the day, there will be food truck lunches included with the rides, music, a variety of vendors, beer and wine.
“We are still being asked how to hold a successful cycling event during a pandemic,” Bike Delaware Executive Director James Wilson said in a statement. “Our 2020 tour drew almost 2,000 cyclists to Dover for a beautiful, socially distanced ride through the countryside. Between the guidance provided by USA Cycling and our own physician-guided COVID safety protocol plan, we had a great day. We are prepared to continue to implement and improve on those protocols and registration for 2021 is going very well.”
New this year is a virtual challenge available through Sept. 17. Sponsored by AARP, it allows riders to follow their choice of any of the routes at their own pace and track progress.
Registration is ongoing. Those registered for the in-person event will receive email updates as the date approaches.
There is currently $45 early pricing until June 15, with prices increasing to $55 per rider through July 31 and $65 through Sept. 12. Youth ages 5 to 16 are $20 and those under 5 can participate for free.
Advance registration is highly encouraged. Due to ongoing coronavirus concerns, limited “day of” registration ($75 for adults, $20 for children) is currently under consideration for the hours during packet pickup, 5-8 p.m. Sept. 17, and on the morning of the tour from 7-10.
For more information, including about becoming a vendor, sponsoring the race, volunteering or registering, visit here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.