Sunday’s Tour de Newton is being rescheduled. We’ve been watching the weather forecasts all week and they’ve just grown worse and worse and worse. At this point the predictions are for rain all Sunday morning from start to finish.
Much as it pains us, we’ve decided to cancel Sunday’s event and shoot for rescheduling for Labor Day weekend. We initially hoped to have next Sunday be the rain date. We’ve just lost roughly 1/3 of the needed 100 or so volunteers, who aren’t available for next Sunday and it would take more than a week to recruit and train their replacements.
In the next few days, we’ll nail down the exact date once we hear back from the City and then send out email with details to all the riders and volunteers. Tomorrow’s ride was filled to capacity (750), with the rescheduling we will be re-opening new registrations later in the summer who missed it this time around. In the meantime, both the 20 mile Tour de Newton route and the 5 mile Petit Tour route now have fresh road markings on the street. So whenever the weather is good, you can ride your own self-guided tour by following these markings.
The whole Tour de Newton crew is a bit depressed about this unfortunate turn in the weather. While picking up the pieces and starting on the organizing for the rescheduled event, it’s worth taking a step back and looking at the whole event.
One of the things I like most about the Tour de Newton is that it’s a large scale community event. The way its organized inherently requires a large pool of volunteers. A bunch of neighbors, coming together to create a special event. It’s what I love about Feast of the Falls (Upper Falls), Newton Serves, the Nomad Story Slam, the Falls Ball (Lower Falls), and all the Village Days. For me, it’s those kind of events that make this a special place to live.
Each year as the number of Tour de Newton riders have grown from 350 to 500 to 750, the number of volunteers needed as leaders and sweeps grows proportionally. It’s been great to see that some of last year’s riders turned into this years leaders and sweeps. Likewise, the Village Greeters crew of about 50 folks in all 13 villages have been an essential part of the appeal of the ride. We’ve had crews of Village Greeters who’ve returned every year from the first Tour de Newton (Nonantum, Newton Corner, Auburndale, and Upper Falls), and every year we rope in more local people from each village. We love that many of our elected officials (Brian Yates, Ted-Hess-Mahan, Jim Cote, Emily Norton, John Rice, Steve Siegel) are back year after year and it’s great to see all of our new candidates (Jake Auchincloss, Jess Barton, Lynn LeBlanc) pitching in this year.
With our rescheduled date we’re definitely going to need to rope in some additional leaders, sweeps, and Village Greeters. If you haven’t yet taken part in the Tour de Newton, please think about volunteering or riding in our rescheduled event on Labor Day wekend (tentatively). If you’re an experiences bicyclist contact Tom Gloria ([email protected]) about being a leader or sweep. If you’d rather not ride and instead be an ambassador for your village contact Jerry Reilly ([email protected]) about being a Village Greeter.
There are a crew of about ten people who put this event together every year but there are two people who deserve the lions’s share of credit this year. This year, as in every year since it started, Alicia Bowman is the powerhouse behind the whole event. She’s in the middle of everything from fund raising, to overall organizing, and every detail from hanging signs to sorting T shirts. She’s the bomb!. This year Tom Gloria took on a big job – doing all of those road marking for the whole 20 mile route and the new 5 mile Petite Route too. Then Lois Levin landed in the hospital, so Tom took on her huge job too – recruiting, organizing and training all the leaders and sweeps. Doing either job is a huge commitment, doing both is insane, and he’s been insanely great at it. Thanks to Alicia and Tom from the entire TdN crew and we’re all hoping for a full and fast recovery for Lois Levin, so we can put her right back to work for the next Tour de Newton 😉
Our apologies from the Tour de Newton crew for the delayed rain date, but don’t worry, it may be later, but with all your help, it will be bigger and better than ever.