For 60 years, TOSRV has brought bicyclists to the area on a trek that starts in Columbus, Ohio and ends here, all over the course of one day. Of course, those same riders are only here for a night’s rest in the Portsmouth High School Gymnasium before packing up to travel back.
According to TouringOhio.com, The tour starts at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus and heads south. It used to follow SR 104 on the west side of the Scioto River, but in recent years because of increased traffic along the route, they switched the route so it travels on the east side of the river on a less traveled road into Circleville. At Circleville, the route crosses the river and then follows the original tour route the rest of the way to Tracy Park in Portsmouth.
Since then, the event has changed to shorten the distance from Tracy Park to Three Bridges, which is the southern section of Second Street where the bridge to West Portsmouth lands. Three Bridges is a recently adopted name for the lot where Final Friday takes place, thanks to the Boneyfiddle Project and Rob and Julia Black.
Also, since then, to further the excitement of the launch, the start has been moved to Brew Dog in Canal Winchester.
In recent years, local group CONNEX has been assisting in changing the atmosphere of the Portsmouth stop and now more players are coming together to make it a special event. One of those people happens to be Rob Black of the Boneyfiddle Project.
“Historically TOSRV has been a great event for Portsmouth and the cycling Community. Due to a change in the date of the event, and the attrition of many riders due to age, the event has suffered from low attendance and dwindling community support,” Black said. CONNEX is working diligently to restore the Tour of the Scioto River Valley to its popularity of the past. If the Boneyfiddle Project can assist by providing great music and a great stage, then we are happy to partner up. If we can get the community involved again then it’s a win/win for everyone.”
CONNEX’s Wendi Waugh commented that the hiring of Black to bring in bands was a good move in re-energizing the concert side of things, which makes for a big celebration for everyone.
“We’ve moved the finish line to Three Bridges and have amped up the party in the park, not only with music, but with food trucks, a louder finish line with noise makers made from bike wheels and cow bells, invited out many community groups to welcome the riders, and more,” Waugh said. “It is so cool to see the infusion of locals with music and visitors to see how we can put the two of them together.”
Waugh said the new efforts are all working hand-in-hand to improve the landing of the ride for riders and even locals.
“We want the community to come down and listen to the music as if it were a Final Friday, mixed in with the energy of welcoming in the visitors. We want Portsmouth to be seen as this vibrant, happening place,” Waugh said. “I’m excited about the two bands Robert found and it should be a great show for everyone, whether they’re interested in bikes or not. Having it all together just makes it even more attractive.”
Another aspect of the additions made this year is an antique and unique bicycle show that will be on display, which has been organized by CONNEX.
The bands playing will be Of the Dell and Mikey Mike and the Big Unit. The Unit will also play the upcoming Final Friday, which is Blues themed, so Black says this will act as a sort of preview of what is to come. They will be performing between 1 and 5 p.m.
Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved