That's because a new Robert Dafford mural near the Second Street bridge will feature the history of TOSRV.
“It's going to show the bicyclists from different time periods,” Portsmouth Murals Inc. President Bob Morton said. “TOSRV has been going on for some 40 years.”
He said Dafford is using photos of various riders throughout the years in painting the $5,000 mural.
“The mural should be completed this summer, so the riders can see it when they come into town next year,” Morton said.
TOSRV is an annual bicycle roundtrip from Columbus to Portsmouth. Riders primarily travel south on Ohio 104 and enter the city on Second Street in Boneyfiddle.
They then head to Tracy Park before cycling back to Columbus the next morning.
There is not a lot of room left for murals on Front Street, but Morton promised more murals at other city locations.
For example, there are some floodwall extensions around Second Street that can be painted.
Morton was instrumental in starting the floodwall mural project in the early 1990s. He and several others went to visit a similar project in Steubenville.
Did Morton envision the eventual success of the murals back then?
“Not even the slightest,” he said. “When we did the first fundraiser at the Ramada Inn, it went over like a big thud. The newspaper letters all said what a dumb idea it was.”
That changed shortly after Dafford completed the first mural, a panoramic view of the city as it looked in 1902.
The popularity of that mural created the momentum that has driven the project ever since.
Painting the murals is not cheap, Morton said. Therefore, Portsmouth Murals Inc. has a variety of fundraising events throughout the year.
The biggest is the annual baseball banquet, which features numerous players, managers and other baseball notables in attendance.
Next year's banquet will be on Jan. 16 at the Scioto County Welcome Center.