Rain date rainy for Tour of Farmington

Published 10:17 am Thursday, November 8, 2018

Fifty-six cyclists took to Davie roads on Oct. 20 for the 9th Annual Tour of Farmington.

There were several first-year participants in the smaller field of cyclists, rescheduled event as Hurricane Florence hit the initial weekend of the event. And it was a rainy morning on the rain date.

“It was exciting to see new cyclists who were on their first group ride,” said Allyson Sawtelle, tour co-chair.

The tour was started nine years ago as the inspiration of Garry Steele, a Farmington resident who has been involved with the Farmington Community Center for more than 17 years. He had a vision to promote cycling and raise funds for the newly-created Farmington Nature Park on the site.

The nature park is a work-in-progress on 60 acres given to the Farmington Community Center by Louis C. and Martha Smith in 2007. The park includes a hiking and mountain biking trail, with fishing along Cedar Creek, which borders the property.

Future plans include a disc golf course, expanded hiking/cycling trails, new picnic shelters, and more. Visit www.FarmingtonNaturePark.org to learn more.

Along with the nature park, the community center also provides family friendly recreation and programs. The repurposed Farmington High School is busy each month with New Beginnings Church, Young Life Ministries, Farmington Friends Special Needs, Monday Night Bluegrass Jam, and Thursday Night Country Jam. FCC is home to the Davie County Coon Hunters Club, Farmington Ruritan Club, Homeschool 4-H, and several Scout troops. The center also hosts line dancing classes and weekly cycling events. The Farmington ball field and tennis courts stay busy and have served thousands over the years.

The center’s facilities are also available to rent for special occasions. Visit www.FarmingtonCC.org to learn more about the community center’s mission of “Preserving the Past to Promote the Future”.

The Tour of Farmington on Saturday, Oct. 20 was a fully supported cycling event with routes of 13, 23, 52, and 63 miles through rural roads in Davie, Yadkin, and Iredell counties. New Beginnings Church prepared a full breakfast for the cyclists before they took off and cast-iron chili provided by volunteers was served to the riders upon their return to Farmington.

The Davie County Sherriff’s Department handled parking, SAG (support and gear), and general oversight. Other volunteers manned rest stops, cooked and assembled meals, helped with registration and promotion.

The bike shops which participated by promoting included Skinny Wheels, Clemmons Bicycle, Mock Orange Bike, Paul’s Cycle and Fitness, and Ken’s Bike Shop. Eric Phillips from Skinny Wheels in Salisbury and Travis and Tyler Beane from Clemmons Bicycle provided SAG and mechanical support. :We couldn’t do this without the bike shops’ support and appreciate their willingness to promote cycling and our Tour of Farmington each year,” Sawetelle said.

Another group that promoted this ride is the “Clip In and Ride Cycling Group” which is part of “meetup.com”. This group always supports Tour of Farmington in a big way.  Anyone interested in getting into cycling should check this group out, as they are a supportive group of more than 800 people who will help you enjoy the fun of cycling again (just like when you were a kid) but also stress the safety aspects of group riding and etiquette. They post rides in the Triad area, many times from Farmington or Mocksville.

“And we send a huge thank you out to all of our sponsors,” Sawtelle said. “We couldn’t put on this event without your generous contributions and community partnership.

“Lastly, we appreciate the cyclists who made this Tour such a success. Whether you rode that day or opted out due to the rain, we appreciate your support. We look forward to seeing you next year at our big 10th anniversary.”