The race’s 1.4-kilometer route transformed downtown Reno into a makeshift track, complete with volunteer guards, haystacks for accidents and a swarm of sweaty racers. There were competitions for handcyclists, kids and professional men and women throughout the event’s two-day stay near Wingfield Park.
Rick Campbell, board president for the Tour de Nez outreach team, watched the race from the left side of the finish line.
“I’ve always enjoyed bike racing,” Campbell said. “I’m a bike rider. I’ve helped sponsor (the event) for years and ended up on the board.”
Campbell, a partner with the Armstrong Teasdale law firm, said The Silver Legacy Resort Casino, Buckbean Brewery and other local businesses help make the race a reality.
Katy Yetter, volunteer coordinator for the event, said the Nez is a way to bring cyclists in the area together.
“I started volunteering four years ago,” said Yetter, garbed in a red-and-white striped biking jersey. “I fell in love with the event and the people were incredible, so I started volunteering.”
When she’s not practicing law for a local nonprofit in Reno, Yetter spends this time of year recruiting volunteers for the event.
According to the event’s website, the event started as a party in 1986 to commemorate the then-one-year anniversary of Deux Gros Nez, one of Reno’s first coffee shops. It wasn’t until 1992 that a bike race, dubbed the Tour de Nez, was added to the shop’s annual festivities.
One onlooker leaning on a barricade near the event’s starting line praised the race for its attention to the city’s bike scene.
“I know a lot of the racers here,” said Scot Ferguson, a 30-year-old Reno resident. “It’s a really good local event.”
Ferguson, a self-described biking enthusiast, said he would’ve considered participating in the event had he not spent the last few months working in China. He was one of about 200 spectators in attendance.
For results, go to the Tour de Nez website at www.tourdenez.com.