Tour de Manure Celebrates Exciting Comeback, June 4th

By Rick Maddalena, Sierra County Fire Protection District

Mike Blide preparing for the 2022 Tour de Manure

SIERRAVILLE – Under the new leadership of Sierraville resident Mike Blide, after a two-year hiatus in response to Covid-19, the Sierra County Fire Protection District and Sierraville/Sattely Fire and Rescue Association teamed with the Sierraville Recreation Association to host the 12th Tour de Manure bicycle ride on June 4.

The Tour was brought back from the Covid 19 abyss as a fundraising event for the three organizations. Modeled after the first 11 events, run solely by the Sierraville/Sattley Fire and Rescue Association with Tami McCollum being the head organizer, the Tour presented three route options — a 30-mile out-and-back route to Loyalton, a 42-mile loop through the valley and a “metric century,” which circled the valley and included a leg up Smithneck Road to make up a 62-mile option.

The course experience was highlighted by the spring grandeur of Sierra Valley and a series of “Burma Shave-style” signs linking the ride to both the agricultural heritage of the valley and the humor built into the Tour de Manure theme — named for the evidence that in springtime, cattle trucks populate the Sierra Valley roads as they bring the cows into valley from their wintering grounds at lower elevations. A three-sign set reading: “Sierra Valley, Where Spandex, Meets Rawhide” seems to represent the core nature of this event.

Event sponsors were Clif bar, 5050 Brewing, Pacos, Alibi Ale Works, The Brewing Lair, Plumas-Sierra Bicycle Club, Los Dos Hermanos, East Sierra Valley Chamber of Commerce, Sierraville Country Store, Elemental Back & Body, Plumas Sanitation, Michael Hogan and the Simpletones, When Pigs Fly BBQ, Kickback Farm and Jay Huebert Illustrations. Students at the Truckee Waldorf School made signs counting down the Tour’s final miles from Loyalton to Sierraville.

All riders ended up at the Sierraville Fire Station for a barbeque provided by Sierraville caterer When Pigs Fly BBQ, and live country tunes by Michael Hogan and the Simpletones. Riders were treated to snacks and drinks at aid stations located at the Marble Hot Springs Road and A23 intersection (staffed by volunteers from the Plumas-Sierra Bike Club), at the Lost Marbles Ranch (hosted by the Spencer family), downtown Loyalton (staffed by the Eastern Sierra Chamber of Commerce) and at Newman Point (staffed by volunteers from Sierraville). Overall, 64 volunteers pitched in, including members of the Sierra County Fire Protection District — who provided SAG, medical aid and staffing for a reserve contingency in case of an emergency.

Competition for registration was high, with 521 riders signing up well before the registration cut-off-date of June 1. A hundred or so riders didn’t show up on race day — although they paid for their tickets. A predicted risk of rain and wind may have been the main reason for this larger than expected “no-show.” Leftover food went to the Sierra Community House, a nonprofit food distribution group in Truckee.

Net proceeds from the event will be split between the Sierraville Recreation Association and the Sierra County Fire Protection District needs with emphasis on the facilities located in Sierraville and Sattley.

Each of three collaborating organizations extend appreciation to the sponsors, the army of volunteers, the participants, and the folks who shared their towns, valley and roadways for this event — but mostly to the event director Mike Blide, who spent untold hours organizing and coordinating the Tour.

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