HARRISON COUNTY — Didn’t get your entry in for the Tour de France this year? It’s OK. You can still sign up for Saturday’s Le Tour de Pork bike event.
The fundraiser for the Ohio River Greenway kicks off at Turtle Run Winery near Corydon, taking riders on either a 26.6 or 50-mile course through the scenic hills and back roads of Harrison County.
After the ride, bikers can dine on Smoke and Fire BBQ, enjoy live music and participate in wine tastings at the winery at 940 St. Peters Church Road, NE.
Early registration — with guaranteed BBQ lunch and T-shirt — ended July 20, but online registration continues through Friday for $40 per rider. Registration at the event begins at 7 a.m. on Saturday and day-of entries will be $45. Food and shirts will be in limited supply for late registrants.
“I think we’ll be OK on the food, but they may not get a T-shirt,” said Nick Creevy, president of Friends of the Ohio River Greenway, which runs the event. “We’ve had about 200 people pre-register so it looks like a good event again this year.”
The Ohio River Greenway is nearing completion. The multi-use trail will ultimately run for 7-and-a-half miles along the banks of the Ohio River from Jeffersonville, through Clarksville, to New Albany.
Planning for the Greenway began in 1993, with sections of the path finished as funding became available.
Two of the final projects have been under construction over the last two years, according to Philip Hendershot, chairman of the Ohio River Greenway Commission. “New trail and a rebuilt roadway between Eighth and 18th streets in New Albany is done and open,” he said.
The last piece “we sometimes call the Holy Grail Trail,” Hendershot said with a laugh. He’s referring to the one and a half mile Lewis and Clark trail segment. It runs from the Clark Cabin in Clarksville to New Albany, crossing Silver Creek.
“The last connecting piece is the Silver Creek crossing,” said Creevy. “But we’re still looking at adding on. It’s always a work in progress.”
The Tour de Pork was started in 2007 by “Fat Boy Bicycle Club” and recently turned over to Friends of the Ohio River Greenway.
“It’s a major undertaking,” said Hendershot. “We’re really happy that (the Friends group) has stepped up to do it. It’s a well-attended event.”
“For the first 10 year the Fat Boys put it on,” said Creevy. “I think we were a little nervous to take it on. The event itself will be largely the same. It’s a really great ride. The Fat Boy Bikers put together a really great course. You get to go through historic Corydon. It’s not too hard, not too easy
While successful, the event raises awareness more than dollars. “We’re able to turn over a few thousand each year,” said Creevy. “I think they’ve raised around $50,000 or so over the course of the event.”
Last year, $7,500 was donated to the Greenway.
For those wishing to donate to the Greenway’s cause in a more sedentary fashion, Friends of the Ohio River Greenway has partnered with Flat 12 Bierwerks in Jeffersonville, launching a bi-monthly “Ales for the Trail” event on the first Wednesday of every second month.
A portion of the proceeds from each beer purchased goes to the organization. The next event is scheduled for Oct. 3 from 4 to 6 p.m.