Cyclists can chose between scenic trip and extreme ride in upcoming local event

Published 12:36 am Tuesday, October 4, 2022

GROVES — When Tour de Groves began nearly a decade ago, the purpose was to showcase more than just the industrial lights of Southeast Texas.

“We started it because there’s not a lot of events in this area, and we have a lot to offer,” said Director Barbara Edington. “We have refineries, but we also have beautiful roads and Pleasure Island.”

Saturday/Oct. 29 will be the eighth year for the event that’s more than tripled in size.

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“The first year we had 47 riders, and it was storming except for the three hours of the event,” Edington recalled.

Now, they average approximately 245 participants, which includes riders from all across the state.

“People have been so supportive and they’re yearning for things to do outdoors in this area,” she said. “People email me every year asking for the date. It’s really nice to see people come up from out of the area, which is what I want — to bring people to this area.”

And it’s one worth exploring, said realtor Pat Holmes who also serves on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

“It’s a very unique community and a great school district,” Holmes said. “Lincoln Avenue is the commercial district and all the merchants on that street are as nice as they can be. Me and my agents just love being a part.”

Lincoln Avenue will be one of the many streets for those wanting to participate in the Groves-centric ride, which focuses on showing off the bright spots of the Mid County town. But for those looking for something more extreme, the 42-mile ride goes over the Martin Luther King Bridge into Pleasure Island.

“That gives these elite riders the challenge they’re looking for,” Edington said.

And regardless of which option riders pick, they’ll have cheerleaders.

“We have great local sponsors,” said the director. “All of our sponsors are local businesses.”

The rest stops are manned by volunteers from Debbie’s Dance Etc. and Armentor’s United Martial Arts.

“They come out and support the riders every year without fail,” Edington said. “They cheer them on. This is truly a family event. The support from local businesses is the only reason we’re able to do this every year.”

The ride begins at 8 a.m. from Jefferson Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue, and all routes will be complete by 11:30 a.m.

Registration begins at $30 and is available at www.Active.com.

Helmets are mandatory for every rider.