Tour de Kitsap entrants will receive all the fuel they need

Fueling up won’t be the issue for riders in this weekend’s annual Tour de Kitsap.

Not with spreads of red beans and rice, submarine sandwiches, Swedish meatballs and other palate-pleasers waiting at the five rest areas throughout the county.

“They aren’t your run-of-the-mill rest stops,” said Lee Derror, president of the West Sound Cycling Club, which is hosting the 17th annual event. “We encourage riders to socialize because it’s supposed to be fun.”

With pit stops in Manette, Keyport, Kingston, Poulsbo and Wildcat Lake, the Tour offers cyclists a little taste of everything.

In Manette, there will be a Hawaiian-themed menu. Keyport, in the spirit of the Navy, will feature sub sandwiches. Poulsbo will have Swedish meatballs. Red beans and rice will be served at the Mexican-themed Kingston stop. And Wildcat Lake, well ...

“We’re not serving kitties,” organizer Bill Abbey said Tuesday of the yet-to-be-determined theme at Wildcat. “It’s the least frequented stop.”

About 300 people are expected to participate in the Tour, which is Saturday and Sunday and for the most ambitious riders spans 100 miles of rolling hills and waterfront roads, from Bremerton to Silverdale to Poulsbo to Port Gamble.

There are 71-, 46- and 32-mile routes for riders of all abilities, as well as a 15-mile family course, taking the youngest entrants around Erlands Point near Chico to NAD Soroptimist Park.

And for the first time, the Tour will feature a mountain biking trail: Single Track Saturday in Port Gamble.

Single track will feature two courses — a beginners trail and a more technically challenging route — which roll through the hills and trees of Port Gamble and along Hood Canal.

Abbey said the Tour committee launched single track for riders who prefer terrain to pavement.

“For people looking to brush up on their mountain-biking skills, this is the one to do,” Abbey said. “It’s pretty cool.”

The Tour attracts riders from Seattle, Tacoma and the surrounding area, some disembarking at the Bremerton ferry terminal and riding from there. The hub for this year’s event is the Silverdale Beach Hotel, where there will be a registration booth and free showers for tired riders.

All riders are required to wear helmets.

“Come ride. Bring your friends,” Derror said. “Come early and stay late.”

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