Tour de Manure scheduled for June 20
June 12, 2015
The Sierraville Fire Department's Tour de Manure is celebrating its seventh year on Saturday, June 20.
The registration fee is $60 until June 12. On June 13, the fee goes up to $70 through the morning of the tour.
The tour has become a sort of cult event across Northern California and Nevada, with regular riders who return every year with a goal to beat last year's time or distance, or just to have fun.
Registration is capped informally at 450 people.
"I would like to encourage riders to start early to beat the wind to the firehouse for lunch and music starting at 11:30," said Tour Boss Tami McCollum.
Riders can choose from routes of 62, 42 and 30 miles. The routes begin in Sierraville and go up A-23 to Beckwourth, across to Loyalton on A-24, up to Sierra Brooks and back, and back to Sierraville on Highway 49.
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"Since it's a pretty easy-going ride, the tour is really popular with families and with people doing their first long organized ride," said tour co-coordinator Doug Read. "There aren't too many uphill sections, just a lot of flat, fun riding with great views."
Volunteers from all over the valley help out at the finish-line party and lunch, and they man food stations and road intersections, where there's signage to direct riders to the prescribed route.
The East Sierra Valley Chamber of Commerce and Plumas Sierra Bicycling Club are sponsors, providing food and drink stations at Marble Hot Springs Road and in Loyalton, McCollum said. Support vans and trucks patrol the route to help cyclists in need.
The Fire Department coordinates with local businesses to showcase the Sierra Valley and its businesses, involving groups like the Sierraville's When Pigs Fly BBQ, which cooks up tri-tip, chicken and beans for the hungry riders and their friends after the ride (lunch is $15 for non-riders) and Los Dos Hermanos, which serves up a layout of chips and salsa.
Volunteers will make white vegetarian chili and the Sierraville Recreation Association will serve draft beer from The Brewing Lair in Blairsden. Beckwourth's Michael Hogan and the Simpletones band will play live music all afternoon.
Last year's spotted cycling jersey sold out, so this year the group ordered more to sell at the firehouse during and after the Tour. The lightweight zippered shirt features legendary roaring bull art by Sattley's Jay Heubert, and is also for sale through the tour's website, http://www.tourdemanure.org.
The Tour de Manure benefits the Sierraville Fire and Rescue Department, which has about 15 active volunteers and is headed by Jeff McCollum and Dan Wentling. Proceeds fund new equipment and much-needed training.