Lakeshore Weekly News
May 17, 2016
In 2006, 819 riders participated in Tour de Tonka. Last year, over 3,500 riders from more than 200 different Minnesota communities and 20 states participated in the event. On Saturday, Aug. 6, the event will celebrate supporting healthy lifestyles, friendship, family and community through biking, and will raise money for Minnetonka education and ICA Food Shelf.
“Bicycle riders participate because Tour de Tonka is pure fun,” said Tim Litfin, Tour de Tonka director, in a statement on the event’s website. “All ages and all abilities – from families and recreational bicyclists to cycling teams and serious athletes –enjoy what Tour de Tonka offers them.”
Riders can choose from routes of seven distances: 15, 28, 40, 48, 57, 67 or 100 miles. Tour de Tonka begins with a mass start and there are 12 rest stops along the way, with food and music.
“It is all about the rider,” Litfin said. “Tour de Tonka is unlike other bike rides in the state and in the Upper Midwest. One major reason is our excellent volunteers who engage and assist the riders. Every year our riders tell us through a post-event survey that the level of commitment, the volunteers, the routes, the music, the rest stops, the mass start, the door prizes, the energy, the vendor fair, the food, the free wicking shirt and more make Tour de Tonka a one-of-a-kind event.”
Tour de Tonka’s routes move through 23 different west metro communities including Chanhassen, Chaska, Deephaven, Delano, Eden Prairie, Excelsior, Greenwood, Independence, Mayer, Minnetonka, Minnetrista, Mound, Navarre, Norwood Young America, Orono, Plymouth, Shorewood, Spring Park, Tonka Bay, Victoria, Waconia, Watertown and Wayzata – all of which showcase the roads, trails, and scenic views of areas including Lake Minnetonka, Lake Waconia, Riley Lake, and the Crow River.
The 67 and 100-mile rides will begin at 7 a.m. at Clear Springs Elementary. The 15, 28, 40, 48 and 57-mile rides will begin Minnetonka High School at 7:30 a.m. Pre-race day registration and packet pick-up will be available at MHS on Friday, Aug. 5, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. On race day, parking at each location opens at 5:30 a.m., as does registration and packet pick up.
Tour de Tonka also partners with the ICA Food Shelf. A portion of each rider’s registration fee is donated to the ICA, and riders can also donate money or non-perishable food items on or before the day of the ride. Since 2006, Tour de Tonka has raised more than $40,000 to support the ICA. Learn more about ICA at www.icafoodshelf.org.Remaining proceeds support Minnetonka Community Youth Education and Early Childhood Programs.
For answers to frequently asked questions, routes, and registration information, visit www.minnetonka.k12.mn.us/tourdetonka.