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Groves to host its 2nd bike ride

Break out your bicycle shorts and adjust the seat on your 10-speed — there’s some local cycling to be done.

The Second Annual Tour de Groves is being held Saturday morning, Oct. 29, at the corner of Jefferson Street and Lincoln Avenue in front of Celebration Park in Groves. Registration fees are $15 per person and are non-refundable.

One can register online through their website (tourdegroves.com), through signup forms at either the Groves Chamber of Commerce or the Groves Senior Citizen Center or at the site the morning of where registration opens at 7 a.m.

There are four bike routes being offered: 33-mile, 20-mile, 9-mile and 5-mile routes. Some of the routes will run through Groves, Port Neches and Port Arthur.

Start times are 8 a.m. for the 33 and 20-mile routes and 8:15 a.m. for the 9 and 5-mile routes.

There will be rest stops supplied with fruit, drinks and snacks. Helmets are required for all participants. All proceeds from the tour will benefit the Groves Senior Center.

Tour de Groves is an outdoor event hosted by Coastal Caregivers, Inc. on behalf of Coasting Forward, a nonprofit dedicated to helping senior citizens in the community.

“I work for the company that takes care of senior citizens in the area and we wanted to give back,” Barbara Edington, event coordinator, said. “And I’m a bike rider.”

Edington’s reasoning behind the tour was also something intended to give a bit of prestige to the Mid-County area.

“At the same time, I wanted to give attention to the South County area because we don’t have much here,” Edington said.

“So, I thought what better way than a bike ride with some of the great roads around.”

Public interest from last year’s inaugural event seemed to be positive as well.

“The response was fabulous,” Edington said. “It was a great response last year, but then we had severe thunder storms…

“Still, we had 30 to 40 people willing to ride (that day). This year we’re anticipating around 100 people.”

Edington said they donated $1,500 to the Groves Senior Center last year.

When asked if the Tour de Groves was focused more on health and fitness or a fun family outing, Edington responded that it was both.

“We’ve geared it towards family because a lot of people wanted to get outside with their families and neighbors to bike ride,” Edington said.

“But we also have a lot of cyclists in the area who want to go longer.”

Edington said she would be riding the 33-mile route if she were not working.

“I’ll be going place to place and making sure everything is taken care of,” she said.

The Tour de Groves is billed as a “family-friendly neighborhood bike ride,” and as such, there will be no other activities planned before or after it.

“That’s so people can go to football or soccer games, and do other things for the day,” Edington said.

The event coordinator also commented on what sets the Tour de Groves apart from other public events.

“Most definitely getting them outside and enjoying the weather and getting the kids away from video games,” Edington said.

“It’s slowing people down to enjoy time with their family.”

And it was not only family that Edington said would benefit from the slower pace.

“This community has a lot to offer. When you’re in a car, you don’t get to see that. When you’re on a bike, I think it brings the community back home.”