Fort Worth has a few well-known monikers: ‘Queen City of the Prairies’ and ‘Cowtown’ come to mind especially. But Mayor Betsy Price and her Tour de Fort Worth may help give the town a new reputation: a biking town. She has citizens joining her from all over the city for 21 days of cycling, rolling parallel to the more famous Tour de France in Europe.
Prices says she’s been a cycler for more than two decades. “I just love it. There’s nothing like getting on your bike, and five minutes after you’re on you’re bike you’ve forgotten about everything else,” she says.
Although its French inspiration is a competitive, grueling and sometimes dangerous feat of strength and endurance, Price says the Tour de Fort Worth is more about getting to know the city and the people in it.
“It’s about engaging our community; getting them out talking,” she says. “ We have a healthy city initiative going on called ‘Fit Worth’ and a ‘Blue Zone’ initiative also which is another piece of our healthy city.”
The rides take place on the weekends and throughout the week, Price says. A group meets up and then rides through different neighborhoods of the city — often times parts of the city the riders have yet to explore. The goal is 20 miles a day for 21 days. The kickoff day on July 5 had 200 to 300 people in attendance, but during the week that number averages around 50 to 60 riders of all ability. Not everyone rides every day, but riders can download and app and log their miles.
“At the end we want to see how many miles we can get logged,” Price says. “We’ll have a big party…. [Central Market will] furnish us with mimosas and watch the finale of the Tour de France and have a big celebration on behalf of Fort Worth.”
Price says she started doing this ride challenge a few years ago with a group of friends and wanted to expand it after she got elected.
“It’s a great way to get people engaged, to get them out. I don’t believe you can govern behind a desk,” she says. “I think you’ve got to get out in the community and talk to people and see where they live and hear what they’re interested in. It’s a great way to connect with people that you don’t normally hear from.”