On June 10, riders will take to the streets of West County as part of St. Luke’s Hospital’s 6th Annual Tour de Wellness, an event for cyclists of all ages. Putting a fresh spin on the event are three newly designed routes and a new starting and ending location.
According to Kimberly Moore, St. Luke’s manager of annual giving, the event was created to promote healthy lifestyle choices, raise awareness of the risks associated with an inactive lifestyle and raise funds for community outreach. Completely inclusive, it features three route possibilities with different levels of challenge from novice to advanced.
“The proceeds do go toward community outreach … into all of our health and wellness programs to help [combat] increasing rates of sedentary lifestyles, obesity, high blood pressure and cancer, which are the big risk factors in our community right now,” Moore said. “Those programs will reach over 40,000 people just in the St. Louis area.”
According to the event website, chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer and diabetes are leading causes of death in the United States and “… impact one out of every 10 Americans and account for 81 percent of hospital admissions, 91 percent of prescriptions and 76 percent of physician office visits.”
In 2017, the event’s net proceeds totaled nearly $25,000. About 400 riders and 100 volunteers participated in the event. According to Moore, the event’s 2018 goals are to exceed last year – both in participants and proceeds.
In previous years, the event was held at the Chesterfield Amphitheater. This year, all races will start and finish at the Desloge Outpatient Center, 121 St. Luke’s Center Drive on St. Luke’s Hospital’s West Campus. Races will run from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.“We are happy about the change because it feels like ‘home’ for us,” Moore said.
There are three different challenge levels for the event: the Enthusiast [17 miles], the Pro [38 miles] and the Champion [54 miles.] Also new to 2018, the routes were completely redesigned with input from Big Shark Bicycle Company and approval from the city of Chesterfield.
According to Moore, the terrain on all routes is somewhat similar, with the main distinguishing factor being each route’s length.
“The smaller two routes will kind of go along the larger route and the largest route will encompass more terrain out toward Babler State Park. There’s usually more hills out that way, but it’s mostly the length between the 17-, 38- and 54-mile courses [that define them],” Moore said.
No road closures are expected on race day, and spectators are welcome to view the event from areas like the Desloge Outpatient Center.
Although the paths may vary in difficulty, all three will be staffed with bike techs, police, medics and other volunteers to help ensure participant safety. Multiple rest-stops stocked with drinks and snacks, a post-ride celebration with refreshments and interactive booths, complimentary wellness screenings, support and gear assistance, an official Tour de Wellness T-shirt, a complimentary lunch and a post-ride massage also are available to registered participants.
The event is family-friendly with children and riders of all ages permitted to take part no matter the route.
“We definitely have a range of people,” Moore said. “Some bring a bike carrier with their kids and will ride the shorter routes. It’s also a big family activity. Besides the regular and the corporate teams, we also have many families that ride.”
Registration will continue through race day; however, prices will increase as the race nears and T-shirts may not be available. Registration will be $10 off until June 1 and all prices [each route is separately priced] can be viewed on the event webpage. To register and learn more, visit stlukestourdewellness.com.