PORTSMOUTH- In recent years, bicycling has been growing in popularity, both on hillsides and on the streets. Groups like Portsmouth Connex have been striving to make the sport social and mainstream in Portsmouth again, with an entire season of events to draw people out and about. They are emphasizing this one again as partners of the Tour of the Scioto River Valley (TOSRV) bicycling event, which takes place later this month.
The bike ride has six route options, three starting points, and remains the longest-running century ride of the nation.
“Riders can start in Columbus and ride to Portsmouth, and then stay at Portsmouth High School overnight and head back,” Connex’s Wendi Waugh said. “However, there are many options. Connex will be leading a group starting in Portsmouth, going to Chillicothe and back. We are also encouraging riders who don’t believe they are ready for that long of a distance to potentially join Connex in Chillicothe or even Waverly and ride down. That gives people 55-mile or 30-mile options.
Waugh said the point of the event is to meet riders where they are and engage them however they may feel comfortable.
“There are all kinds of rides options,” Waugh said. “We advertise the six options and three starting points, but, honestly, you can start wherever you’re comfortable and go from there—whatever it takes to get that rider to cross the finish line and feel comfortable. If this is your first event, at least you accomplished something by starting somewhere.”
Waugh expects the event to grow in coming years, because of the growth of interest bicycling has had in recent years.
“Bicycling is experiencing a rejuvenation and new generation of people who are interested in riding, not only for their physical health but also for their mental health,” Waugh said. “It is a great way to experience the outdoors. It is good for your mind and soul.”
TOSRV will be September 23 and 24.
TOSRV will have a Party in the Park, Vintage Cruisers and Custom Bike Show, and more the day of the 23 at Three Bridges Park, at the east end of Second Street. Bands will be performing, vendors will be set up, food and drink will be available, and the bike show will be ongoing.
“This is the longest-running bike event in the United States. This is the 62nd year,” Waugh explained. “This is especially important to Portsmouth, because we are on the rise and it is important to showcase what development and growth we’ve accomplished. We are a destination worth visiting. We have Nate Welch, at the Visitor’s Bureau really pushing it, because this ride was a major reason people would visit Portsmouth. We want to show people that, when they need to escape the big city, we have a perfect place for them.”
Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.