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Tour de Fleur goes virtual in May

Posted at 7:46 PM, May 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-03 21:46:23-04

Billings Trailnet's 5th annual Tour de Fleur ride scheduled for Sunday had to be altered to a virtual month-long event.

But that didn't stop some kickoff festivities.

Arterial Drive played "Along the Trail" for the Tour on Facebook, Saturday.

The song debuted last year and was written specifically for Trailnet.

On Sunday, Executive Director Kristi Drake arrived in the Trailnet Cargo Bike at the Shiloh Crossing Shopping Center.

The new virtual event encourages people to register and get on trails throughout the month of May.

And so far, they've still drawn nearly 180 participants.

"It wasn't going to be as good, but it's better than ever," said Lynn Harper, Billings Trailnet program coordinator. "Unfortunately we can't gather together. But it just keeps growing and growing and it just helps us with our trail system here. It was very important for us because this is one of our biggest fundraisers for us at Billings Trailnet to continue promoting those trails and help building them."

Trailnet is asking those in the tour to post pictures on social media throughout the month of May with the hashtag #BillingsTDF2020.

Drake said numbers are double compared trails compared to last year.

The city measured movement on the Kiwanis Trail near Two Moon Park and Mary Street.

March saw about 6,227 people this year compared with 5,150 last year.

With a full month of Stay At Home orders in April, the senor shows 10,357 in 2020 compared to 5,826 in 2019.

Drake said she expected more trail use, but was surprised.

"I'm out on the trails every single day and so i see people all the time," Drake said. "They're friendly. And they looked like they're relieved to see another human, especially early on in this social distancing. But just seeing that it's doubled like that by the thousands is really amazing and really gratifying as well."