Tour De Spirit, A New Louisville Traditionby Deb Conrad
There’s a cemetery in Louisville whose beginning in the 1850s was marked by protests, a church brawl, deposed trustees and a radical group of “malcontents.” Funny, huh? You could find that out by calling Julie in the office of Catholic cemeteries.
Better would be to sign up for the Tour de Spirit, a wonderful bike ride of 10, 25 or 40 miles through a couple dozen interesting Louisville neighborhoods.
Ride the Tour de Spirit, and you’ll see that cemetery, the cemetery where actor Victor Mature is buried, and the cemetery that had a problem with disappearing bodies in decades past. You’ll also see the place where filmmaker DW Griffith went to church; the house where Muhammad Ali grew up; a huge water tower shaped like an Old Forrester bourbon bottle at the Brown-Forman distillery; the Cabbage Patch Mrs. Wiggs made famous; a bridge that goes nowhere; a pre-Civil War marine hospital; the house where Thomas Edison may or may not have invented the lightbulb; and the place where 30,000 cyclists gathered in 1896 for races and a convention. If you think Kentucky worships tobacco, you may be interested in the tobacco mogul’s mansion that is now a church. Something for everyone! About 50 sites in 20-plus neighborhoods. What a great day. (We thought of re-enacting the church brawl, but then we’d have to charge more.)
The Second Annual Tour de Spirit is September 30 in Louisville, benefiting the poverty education work of UrbanSpirit, itself something of an oddity — a church with no members. Check it out on the Web: www.urbanspirit.org.
The Tour de Spirit is designed to highlight Louisville’s underappreciated areas, but will also leave you well-fed and entertained. Live music, lots of food, nice people, door prizes and free t-shirts are all included in the entry fee. Showers and dorms are also available, if you’d like to make it a weekend.
Additionally, riders who bring donations for UrbanSpirit will receive additional raffle tickets (one for each 50 dollars) for other great prizes from Quest Outdoors and others. Bring in $500, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a new bicycle!
Our ride captain is Joe Ward, author of Wheeling Around the Bluegrass. In addition to his captain duties, Joe will sign copies of his books and swap “true” stories of ride adventures. Honorary Ride Captains include the mayor of Louisville, the superintendent of Catholic schools, a world-famous jazz musician, and a public radio personality.
It’s a great day and a great deal. Cost is just $20 for now, but will go up later in the summer. Find out more, even register on-line, at Tour de Spirit.
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web posted: 13 July 2006
last updated: 14 July 2006