Join cyclists again this year in Clifton for the unforgettable ride, scheduled to take place on May 18, 2019. You’ll embark on a ride celebrating the town’s local Norse culture and history that you won’t soon forget.
This event has grown each year thanks to the route’s challenging climbs and breathtaking vistas, the warm local hospitality, and the area’s unique cultural offerings. The Tour de Norway is the second leg of the European Tour of Texas Challenge, a four-city trek that highlights the diverse and expansive European influence on North Central Texas. The other rallies include Italy’s Tour d’Italia, Muenster’s Germanfest, and Paris’s Tour de Paris.
Clifton’s rally has been held on the third Saturday of May since 2012—perfect timing for warm temperatures and blooming wildflowers on a course known for its gorgeous panoramas. The Bosque Tour de Norway offers course options of 20, 40, 60, and 80 miles that each traverse the countryside around Clifton, ensuring the ideal ride for cyclists of all ages and experience levels. Aid stations are situated every 10 miles and are each staffed with knowledgeable local volunteers. Aid stations also offer food and beverage, shady rest, and bathroom facilities. The course will also be patrolled by gear and support vehicles.
Executive Vice President of the Clifton Chamber of Commerce, Paige Key, reports that with over 400 participants expected they will be utilizing about 65 volunteers to staff the event.
Each course begins at the Clifton High School, then travels along Avenue Q to FM 219 and moves toward the Norse Historic District, originally established in 1854 by Norwegian immigrants. Today, it’s full of inviting cultural sites.
Participants wind through the Norse community of North Texas, passing highlights such as St. Olaf’s Kirke—“The Old Rock Church”—a popular rest stop for curious cyclists. The longer courses continue through the tiny hamlet of Cranfills Gap to Meridian, where riders on the 60-mile journey will travel Hwy 22 across the northern reaches of the tour, later returning to Clifton across the prairie that originally attracted 19th-century German immigrants to the fertile farmland of the Womack community.
Cyclists participating in the 40 and 80-mile tours depart Meridian on Hwy 6, pedaling south on their way back toward Clifton. Those who have chosen the 80-mile circuit will turn west on FM 2136, returning to Cranfills Gap and then back to Clifton via FM 219 for the finish line.
After the ride, cyclists and their families are encouraged to linger in town and discover local gems like the Bosque Art Center, Art Alley, the Edward Olsen Railroad Museum, antique malls, historical buildings, boutiques, and a variety of unique restaurants—all of which look forward to the arrival of cyclists each year come the Tour de Norway event!
Paige Key sums it up nicely: “Clifton is that rare small-town gem which seems to offer a little bit of everything for those wishing to leave the stress of city life for a relaxing, fun-filled time in a nostalgic country setting. Clifton is one of 40 Cultural Arts Districts in Texas and home to more than twenty nationally and regionally acclaimed artists…and the Norwegian Capital of Texas.”
Get out and ride this May on your choice of 20, 40, 60, or 80 miles of beautiful country roads around Clifton while you discover the local Norse culture!
Date and Time: May 18, 2019, starting at 8:00 am with the course closing at 3:00 pm
Location: Clifton High School, 1101 N Avenue Q, Clifton, TX 76634
Registration: online at Active.com or day-of starting at 6:30 am in the Clifton High Scool gym
Marin Campbell is a contributing writer for WheelBrothers, an avid cyclist, and a former competitive mountain biker and triathlete. She resides in Denver where she also works as a physical therapist.