The Tour de Newton is back for the 4th year on Fathers Day June 19. This annual 20 mile bike ride starts simultaneously in all 13 villages. Your ride with your own neighbors and tour through the other 12 villages on a relaxed leisurely ride with stops at each village for snacks, a TdN village badge, and a bit of local info from the village greeters.
It’s a great event and fills the entire city with bicycles for a few hours. It’s a great family event and a perfect ride for the casual biker and for kids. For the younger kids there’s also the Petite Tour – a three village, 5 mile ride. For the more serious riders there’s the Contra Tour, the same route as the regular tour but in the opposite direction at higher speed and fewer stops.
This year we’ve tweaked the route a bit, most significantly to include a bit of the brand new Upper Falls Greenway on the route.
Now what’s that graphic about? Every year, the entire 20 mile route is marked with a Tour de Newton symbol on the pavement at each turn to help guide the route and riders. Starting last year, when the Contra-Tour was added, the reverse route also had to be marked. Aside from the event, the markings allow riders to follow the 20 mile-13 village loop route on their own, long after the event is over.
How and who does all that you might ask. Well that’s the handiwork of the Tour de Newton elves. In the weeks before the event volunteers ride bikes with stencils (photo above), and two color of spray paint and mark the entire route. Last year Tom Gloria in a Herculean effort marked the entire route himself (I believe). This year we want to make sure that doesn’t happen again so we recruiting more paint elves to help with the effort.
In fact, to put on an event of this scale requires A LOT OF HELP. If you might be interested in volunteering we would love to have you. We need help in all four of these categories.
Village Greeters – You don’t ride. You spend the morning at your village’s official stop and welcome the endless groups of arriving riders. You hand out snacks and badges and give them a little spiel about your village (we can help with that part if you like). It’s a great, fun social gig and we encourage you to do it with a few friends and have more fun with it.
Leaders – Each villages’ bicyclists are broken into groups of 25-30 riders who are led by a trained leader who knows the route and is responsible for leading the group on the ride. Leaders are required to take one of the scheduled training rides sometime before the event.
Sweeps – Each group of riders has a “sweep” in the back to make sure the group stays together, and to encourage stragglers and deal with any issues that come up, and assist the leader in keeping the group together.
Stencil Elves – In the weeks before the event you’ll ride a portion of the route and mark the route with the TdN stencils and spray paint. If you have a vandalistic streak in you and you want to use your powers for good, this is the job for you.
To volunteer for any of these jobs send an email to [email protected]