KALAMAZOO – On Saturday, June 29 the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club will hold the annual KalTour, formally named Kalamazoo Scenic Bicycle Tour. KalTour offers the opportunity for cyclists of all experience levels to enjoy scenic back roads in and around Kalamazoo County.
This year KalTour has added two gravel routes to the list of options. In addition to paved routes of 15, 31, 62, and a 100 miles, gravel routes of 30 and 60 miles are available this year. All routes start and end at Schoolcraft High School. While most of the routes are fairly flat to rolling terrain, the century (100 mile) route and the gravel routes all offer some challenging climbs and are appropriate for more experienced riders. All of the routes are marked and electronic maps will be available through Ride with GPS; printed maps will also be provided at the start.
KalTour is a supported ride; there are several scheduled stops providing restrooms, water and snacks. Registration includes lunch on each of the routes provided by Erbelli’s. Area bike shops provide mechanical support along the routes as well.
Club President Doug Kirk said that adding gravel routes was a natural next step in growing the appeal of KalTour. “Last year we moved the start to Schoolcraft which provides easy access to low-traffic and flat, country roads. Starting in that area also provides quick access to some great gravel routes that stretch to the to southeast into St. Joseph and Cass counties,” said Kirk. “Gravel riding is really big in cycling right now, and we are excited to offer the gravel routes as an option on KalTour this year.”
Early registration is $30 for individuals and $55 for families and is available through June 25 online at www.kalamazoobicycleclub.org with no additional processing charges. Online registration closes June 25; day-of-ride registration fees are $35 for individuals and $65 for families.
The ride opens at 7:00 a.m., registration is open until 11:00 a.m., and course support ends at 4:00 p.m. Riders doing the 100 mile route must depart by 8:30 a.m.; 62 mile riders must leave by 10:00 a.m. Group rides at specific paces for the paved routes will be organized through Kalamazoo Bicycle Club and will be posted on the KalTour page of the club’s website. An optional mass start for the gravel routes will be at 8:00 a.m. and all gravel riders must leave by 9:00 a.m. Helmets are required at all KBC events. Headphones are prohibited. Riders under 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
A portion of the proceeds from KalTour go to support the Kalamazoo Valley AMBUCS project to purchase adaptive tricycles and bicycles for children and adults with disabilities.
The non-profit Kalamazoo Bicycle Club was formed in 1971 to promote bicycling in the region. The club’s activities include bike safety advocacy, club rides, racing, touring, and development of a bicycle-friendly infrastructure. For more information about the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club, visit them online at www.kalamazoobicycleclub.org.