Nearly 100 Cyclists Ride into Walnut Cove for Tour de Trees

WALNUT COVE -- Almost 100 cyclists rolled into Walnut Cove for a lunch stop Monday during the week-long Stihl Tour des Trees.

"It's 600 hundred miles around the Carolinas," said Paul Wood, the Stihl Tour des Trees director.

The tour started Sunday in Charlotte and it will continue throughout North Carolina and into South Carolina. Cyclists are scheduled to finish Saturday in the Queen City.

"We did 119 miles up hill from Charlotte to Mount Airy into the hurricane clearing winds. So, it was one of the toughest days we've had," said Phil Graham, a Stihl Tour des Trees cyclist.

Despite running into the leftovers from Hurricane Matthew the cyclists have picked a good route.

"The network of state and county roads that we have that are low traffic and have good surface are unparallel to me. They're just fabulous roads and safe roads which is what we look for," said Wood.

Most of the cyclists are arborists and ride to support the TREE Fund organization.

"It's the primary organization for funding education specifically for tree research. So, you look around at the trees in the cities that need to be taken care of, we're constantly researching better ways to take care of our trees," said Graham.

Some cyclists feel everybody wins when they participate in this specific tour.

"It's just fellowship and sharing their passion for trees, their passion for cycling, their passion for an active lifestyle and it's spreading it through the communities because we stop and engage ourselves in these communities," said Wood.

Engage and plant a tree where they stop.

"We plant whatever is good, the right tree in the right place is what we plant," said Graham.

Singing, cycling and planting for a good cause.

The tour will end Monday in Greensboro then pick back up Tuesday as they head to Raleigh.

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