One of the cool new fixtures of a Fort Worth summer is the Tour de Fort Worth, a daily series of bicycle rides led by the city’s bike-riding mayor, Betsy Price, to coincide with the Tour de France.
On Sunday, as Briton Chris Froome was heading for Paris and a victory lap on the Champs Elysees as the winner of the 100th edition of the Tour de France, about 150 cyclists were tooling through Fort Worth’s west side neighborhoods and along the Trinity Trails in the finale of the third annual Tour de Fort Worth.
In 2011, as mayor-elect, Price invited local cyclists to ride along with her and the event was dubbed the Tour de Fort Worth.
“The Tour de Fort Worth is Mayor Betsy Price’s celebration of the Tour de France that gives seasoned cyclists a chance to experience different parts of the city from the best seat around — a bicycle seat,” said the city’s website.
The finale of this year’s Tour de Fort Worth began and ended at Central Market, where all participants got a free mimosa and fruit crepe.
I rode on several days during all three Tours de Fort Worth, including four times this year.
The highlight for me was a fast-paced ride at the 1,805-acre Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base on the city’s west side.
Most of that ride was along the flight line, past lines of military aircraft, and along the 1,200-foot runway, which is long enough to handle the largest military lanes and a Boeing 747 with a Space Shuttle piggy-backed to its fuselage.
The Space Shuttle Endeavor stopped at the base Dec. 11, 2008, as it was being ferried atop a 747 from Edwards Air Force Base in California back to the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in Florida.
Nearly 200 riders registered for this year’s Tour de Fort Worth and logged a total of 11,000 miles. Many other cyclists, slackers like me, rode in the rides without registering or logging miles. So the total collective mileage was probably considerably higher.