Sports

Tour de Kitsap rides into town Sunday

From the sleepy beach roads of Dyes Inlet to the huff-and-puff hills of Seabeck Highway, the area’s largest cycling event features a shoulder for all riders.

The 16th annual Tour de Kitsap is Sunday.

“We encourage families to come join us,” said Tour chairman Jim Llewellyn. “This is for people to come cycle together and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Kitsap County.”

With four scenic courses to choose, there is a ride for competitive and casual cyclists alike.

The 15-mile family course, the shortest of the four, includes stretches around Erlands Point and NAD Park. After pedaling south on Chico Way, riders will pass along the shores of Dyes Inlet and loop around Erlands before heading to Highway 3. From there, the route goes to Kitsap Way and Northlake Way and back to Chico Way and into Silverdale.

There is a 30-mile course for more adventurous riders. The 30-miler begins in Silverdale before veering north on Clear Creek Road to Sherman Hill Road. It wraps east to Scandia with a rest stop in Keyport, then heads south on the Brownsville Highway to Brownsville, Illahee and Bremerton. The ride concludes with a trek back north along the Port Washington Narrows to Tracyton and Silverdale.

For the experienced — or adventurous cyclist — there is a 65-mile course as well as a 100-mile route. The 65-mile jaunt heads through Scandia and Lofall to Port Gamble, Lemolo and Poulsbo, as does the 100-miler. But the 100-mile track includes the hilly Seabeck Highway as well as Union. It touches down on Holly Road, going past Wildcat Lake.

“You will get to see a lot of the water and a lot of the rolling farmland,” Llewellyn said, adding each route offers a different vantage point of the county’s scenery. “Everybody can challenge themselves at their own pace.”

Llewellyn said there will be refreshment stations with complimentary water, fruit and food along each of the four courses. Course maps will be provided and routes will be clearly marked with “Dan Henrys.”

The Tour is put on by the West Sound Cycling club, which Llewellyn said advocates bicycling for recreation, transportation and racing. The club meets monthly in Silverdale, striving to educate members and the public about bicycle safety while working with other clubs to promote cycling.

“We advocate for cycling locally and among the population in general,” Llewellyn said.

Tour de Kitsap is part of the annual Whaling Days festival, which begins Friday and culminates Sunday. One dollar of each entry fee is donated to the Bike Alliance of Washington.

Advanced registration can be completed at www.active.com and at the West Sound Cycling Club Web site.

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