The annual Tour of the Scioto River Valley (TOSRV) has been a part of Mother’s Day weekend for a long time. Recently officials with the organization surveyed participants that preferred to change the date of the event, in an effort to attract more riders.
The date for the 56th Annual TOSRV will take place May 20-21.
According to the TOSRV Facebook page, “The traditional date of Mother’s Day Weekend has been switched to May 20-21. One week later. One more week to wait for the maddest ride in the nation.”
Kim Bauer has organized efforts in Portsmouth for a number of years and said 2017 will be the last year she will have the job of local coordinator.
“The TOSRV director was Bill Gordan for the last three years and in June he unexpectedly passed away. The committee is finalizing details on a full-time director, and a lot of people have requested the date change over the years,” Bauer said.
She said the requests help to convince officials with TOSRV to push it back a week on the calendar. Typically the event was held over Mother’s Day weekend, officials are hoping the later date will mean increased participation.
“Through the years a lot of schools like The Ohio State University and Shawnee State University were always graduating that weekend. Because we’ve had so many months with five weekends, graduations are being held the first weekend of May, so Mother’s Day is freed up to spend it with you mom,” Bauer said.
Bauer said TOSRV is a unique event that typically draws thousands of riders every year.
On morning of May 20, cyclists will begin leaving Columbus at dawn from the Ohio Statehouse on High Street. They will head down South High Street and turn east at Dering Avenue, and follow a route on the east side of the Scioto River to the traditional food stop at Ted Lewis Park in Circleville. From Circleville, the tour will follow the traditional route down State Route 104 to Yoctangee Park in Chillicothe, where entertainment is also provided, to Lake White State Park in Waverly, and Tracy Park in Portsmouth. Until they reach Portsmouth. Round trip the path covers 210 miles.
Traditionally riders and others gather in Tracy Park for music and food.
Bauer said at Tracy Park there will be various vendors that repair bikes and provide a number of other services.
Bauer said in addition to the estimated cyclists participating in the event, there are family and friends that meet the riders in Portsmouth and stay the night locally resulting in full hotels anywhere from Shawnee Lodge to hotels in Wheelersburg.
“You may have 1,500 riders and for a lot of them, their family will be down here waiting. This is where the hotels come into play and a number of them eat at the hotel or at local eateries,” Bauer said. “For those that drive down they may have to get gas or stop at a local drugstore.”
Bauer estimates the annual event will bring roughly 2,500 people to town for a 13- to 18-hour period. She also estimates the event puts nearly $200,000 into the local economy.
According to www.tosrv.org, “The Tour of the Scioto River Valley began as a father-and-son outing in 1962 and quickly grew into the nation’s largest bicycle touring weekend. TOSRV raised the profile of the bicycle tour in American life and has been the inspiration for many of the other mass=participation cycling events across the country. Many TOSRV riders have ridden the Tour for more than a decade and range in age from two to 96.”
For more information about TOSRV visit them on Facebook.
For more information about the Tour of the Scioto River Valley visit www.tosrv.org.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101 ext. 1933 or @WayneAllenPDT on Twitter