Tour d’Eau Claire

bicycle community event centers on messenger-style race

Emily Diehl, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Tour d’Eau Claire organizers, just prior to hitting some sweet jumps.

Tour d’Eau Claire is more than a race; it’s a bicycle awareness event. While the messenger-style race will appeal to the competitive bikers, recreational cyclists will take part in an exercise in awareness and safety. “The more bikers we can get to come together to form a strong bike community at an event like this, the less animosity amongst racers, commuters, and motorists there will be,” said OJ Hornung, who organized the event with Dave Smuhl, Shawn Brunner, and Eric Zacher. “That, ultimately, is our goal. Through education and acceptance we hope to form a larger, more robust bike community.” Racers will meet in Carson Park, where they receive a list of local places that they must visit, in whatever order they like. Brunner said the race is focused on utilizing the city’s many bike trails and the key is completing the race, not winning it (though there is a prize for winning, all that complete the race are entered in a prize raffle). Prizes range from high-end cycling apparel and goodies from local bike shops to gift certificates to local eateries, gyms, and entertainment venues. Folks from Greasy Fixins and Anybody’s Bike Shop will be there to provide bike advice and maintenance clinics, while Luther Midelfort offers deals on bike helmets. More fun for non-racers include a free youth race, a trick competition, and bike sprint mini-races (for which there are prizes, as well). So come out, increase bike awareness, soak in the beautiful bike trails and fall colors, and become part of Eau Claire’s biking community.

Tour d’Eau Claire • October 10 • Carson Park, 101 Carson Park Dr. • 11am to 6pm • FREE • all ages • 828-5288