Tour de Dirt to challenge cyclists, feed the hungry

Participants in the 2019 Tour de Dirt in Floyd are pictured as they climb Cannady’s Gap Road. (Photos contributed by Roger Spivey)

Scores of hardy bicyclists are expected to test their skills and endurance at the Tour de Dirt in Floyd County on Sunday, October 25 when the 14th annual running of the event gets underway at 8 a.m.

Participants travail Floyd’s hilly backroads, along four courses consisting mostly of lightly traveled dirt and gravel. The challenging, fun event is not a race, with participants on about 60 percent of unpaved surfaces.

The tour is held as a fundraiser for the Plenty! Farm and Food Pantry, where a staff of three and scores of volunteers feed hundreds of families year-round. A good portion of the fresh food distributed is grown right at Plenty!, in neatly-tended fields and a hoop house near a branch of the Little River.

Campers’ tents against a moonlit sky.

This year’s COVID-19 pandemic brought new challenges to the 501(c)(3) charity, with numerous workers in the community, especially part-timers, were furloughed or laid off.

The cycling event starts and ends at Chantilly Farm, an exhibition and camping venue a few miles outside Floyd, the town better known for its Friday night jamboree, art galleries and nearby studios, and eclectic locally owned restaurants. Chantilly has hiking trails, hot showers, and overnight camping.

To register, visit .






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