Tour de Lebanon Valley, originally scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 13, has been moved to Saturday, July 18, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The change in date for Tour de Lebanon will provide event managers with additional time to build ridership as well as amend several aspects of the race to fit local health guidelines. "We want to ensure the cyclists have an enjoyable experience in a safe environment," stated Nikki Maurer, executive director of the Community Health Council of Lebanon County and chair of the event. "We proposed a few changes last month and as the situation continues to evolve, so may the changes."
Tour de Lebanon Valley is presented by The Lebanon Valley Bicycle Coalition, The Lebanon Valley Conservancy and the Community Health Council of Lebanon County, with support from Visit Lebanon Valley. Proceeds from this year’s event will go towards the bicycle playground project currently underway at Coleman Memorial Park in Lebanon County. "The project will bring the joy of cycling to our local youth, while also providing education on proper bike etiquette and safety," shared Maurer.
Event participants will tour the scenic landscapes of the Lebanon Valley, cycling along a 62, 30 or 6-mile route, highlighting local farmlands, streams and various historic sites. "The planning committee is committed to creating the best and safest ride this year," noted Laurie Crawford, executive director of the Lebanon Valley Conservancy and member of the Tour de Lebanon Valley planning committee. "We are hoping to hold a socially distanced, in-person ride, but understand we may need to modify it to an on-your-own bike Lebanon adventure. Either way, riders will have an opportunity to ride, enjoy the beauty of Lebanon and support the future bike park," added Crawford.
Courses will be marked in early July, allowing registrants to ride on their own, in advance of the tour day, if desired. "We’ll ask all riders to enjoy the course on their own if we are not able to hold the event on the 18th... we want riders to enjoy the cycling adventure of Lebanon Valley no matter what!" Maurer stated. "The bike park will be part of the Lebanon landscape for many years to come. We hope riders are encouraged to sign up for the Tour and support the great work of Susquehanna Area Mountain Bike Association (SAMBA) and City of Lebanon." SAMBA and the City of Lebanon executed a memorandum of understanding for the development and maintenance of the playground at the beginning of the year.
A final decision on the logistics of the Tour de Lebanon Valley will be made on July 5. If the event is held on July 18, what might look different? • Hand-washing stations will be provided at each water station • Water stations will be staffed by volunteers with masks and gloves • The rolling start times of the event will be stretched out to allow riders to spread out more • Riders will be provided with guidelines and encouraged to exercise physical distancing while riding.
Registration for Tour de Lebanon Valley is $40 for the metric century and mid-distance route (after July 5, registration rises to $55 until the day of the ride) and $5 per rider for the family ride. Pre-registered riders will receive a Tour de Lebanon Valley 2020 gift. Online registration ends July 17, although ride-day registrations will be accepted. The event will take place, rain or shine.
Event updates, information, registration, and sponsorship opportunities can be found at www.tourdelebanonvalley.com. Route maps and merchandise are also available online and an event page has been created on Facebook at www.facebook.com/events/769493373513719/.