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The Tour de Blount was started by three cyclists back in 1991. They loved cycling and knew that the Blount County area was one of the best areas to ride. This was well before the day of organized bike rides, triathlons and road races. The TdB was to be the first bike ride in the area. Ironically, the cyclists approached the Foothill Striders and asked for $300 in support of the ride and they were turned down! Well, the ride generated $3000 the first year and the Foothill Striders soon added their support to the ride. The Tour de Blount quickly caught on and it became a popular event among cyclists, in part because Blount County and its rural back roads, ever-changing terrain and beautiful scenery is considered one of the best places to ride in the country.
The Foothill Striders Club is now responsible for hosting the TdB each year. The Striders are a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting community service and healthy lifestyles through hiking, biking and running. The proceeds from the Tour de Blount go to support two scholarships for area high school students and to promote health and wellness in Blount County.
The Striders also offer group runs, rides, and hikes each week that are open to anyone in the community. The Tour de Blount has traditionally offered four routes for riders to choose from ranging in mileage from about 18 miles to 78 miles. For most of its 28 year history the ride’s start/finish location was at Heritage High School. For a four year period it was moved to downtown Maryville, but returned to Heritage High School in 2016 and in 2017 we moved to the Townsend Visitors Center where the ride will again be the starting location for the 2019 Tour de Blount.
Once again, four routes with similar mileages will be offered. A post-ride meal will be provided, and at the request of many cyclists, beer will be offered at the finish. Riders will be able to rehash the highs and lows of their rides while enjoying a cold brew.
New for 2019 we are offering a team challenge!! Come do the TdB with all your coolest cycling friends! The team who brings the largest amount of cyclists will be recognized with awesome bragging rights, a discount for the 2020 event and a donation made to Bike Elf in their name! Who can you bring with you to explore East Tennessee? In order to qualify as a team, every member must indicate team affiliation when registering!
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