Tour de Fleur seeks nominations for Participant of Honor- Winner will receive a new bicycle!

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Do you know a woman who is interested in bicycling and could discover more happiness, experience improvements in her health or could overcome serious challenges by taking up the sport?

If so, Billings TrailNet would like to hear from you. Billings TrailNet, a 1,000-member nonprofit dedicated to improving Billings trails and encouraging active transportation, is now seeking nominations for a Billings woman who is in the process of overcoming a physical or emotional setback and would benefit from the encouragement of  a new bicycle and the camaraderie of other women at the Tour de Fleur, nominate her to be recognized as a Participant of Honor in the third annual Tour de Fleur, a women-oriented bicycle celebration that will take place at Shiloh Crossing May 6, 2018.

Tour de Fleur, an easy bicycle ride and bike decorating event, encourages women to salute spring and embrace bicycling. All women and children are invited to join the ride for a small participation fee. Loved ones and supporters of the riders are encouraged to join in the festivities by showering participants with flower petals, which will be provided.

Billings TrailNet is asking the public to nominate women who are in the process of overcoming a physical or emotional setback, are interested in riding and could benefit from the encouragement and celebration the Tour de Fleur provides. To submit nominations, provide the nominee’s name, contact information and a reason why she should be chosen as this year’s Participant of Honor. The committee will accept submissions from March 1-March 31. Nominations should be sent to membership@billingstrailnet.org. This year, the Participant of Honor will receive complimentary participation in the event and will be presented with a new bicycle donated by Terry Bicycles.

Sandy VanCleeve, the honorary participant in the 2017 Tour de Fleur, was injured in a bicycle accident more than 10 years ago and had been afraid to ride a bike ever since.

Kristi Drake, Billings TrailNet’s executive director, met VanCleeve several years ago while making a presentation on bicycle commuting to the Montana Association of Female Executives. VanCleeve approached Drake after the presentation, sharing her story and her trepidation about again taking up cycling.

“Many women have a curiosity for riding but can be nervous about it for different reasons. They’re more likely to take up the sport with a friend who can help make riding a more feasible activity,” Drake said.

Ultimately, it was the memory of her encounter with VanCleeve, which propelled Billings TrailNet to produce the Tour de Fleur. VanCleeve was inspired to overcome her fear and rode in the 2017 The Tour de Fleur, where she was empowered to ride with confidence.

Tour de Fleur is part of Billings TrailNet’s community efforts and is designed to encourage mothers, sisters, daughters and friends to enjoy biking in Billings.

Riders will cruise through Shiloh Crossing and tour the Shiloh Conservation area in a 1.5-mile to 5-mile loop. Many of the Shops at Shiloh are sponsoring this year’s event.

For more information about the Tour de Fleur contact Billings TrailNet’s program coordinator, Lynn Harper, at membership@billingstrailnet.org or call 406-281-1244.