Bike tour stops at B&B

Lisa Depies
Scott Schnaufer, left, of B&B?Lawn Equipment and Cyclery in Geneseo makes minor adjustments to a bike owned by Tour des Trees rider Joe Lentz, right, of Pennsylvania.

A peloton of nearly 70 orange-clad bicyclists pedaled into Geneseo on July 22. Stihl’s “Tour des Trees” riders made a stop at B&B?Lawn Equipment and Cyclery.

The 2010 Tour des Trees is a 500 mile ride around Northern?Illinois. This year’s tour begins and ends in Chicago.

The purpose of the ride is to raise funds for the Tree Research and Education Endowment (TREE) Fund. Since the Tour des Trees started in 1992, more than $4.4 million has been raised for tree-related projects, ranging from research on the impact of hurricane flooding on mature trees to developing improved safety techniques for tree care professionals.

“The Tour des Trees started in 1992 in California. None of the people who ride are professional bicyclists. They’re all just people who care about trees,” said Mary DiCarlo, a fund development specialist with the TREE fund. “Each rider is required to raise $3,500 to participate in the tour.”

Stihl, the company best known for manufacturing chainsaws, is the title sponsor of the event.

B&B?Lawn Equipment and Cyclery in Geneseo sells Stihl products. “When we found out B&B sells both bicycles and chainsaws, I knew it was a place we had to stop,” said DiCarlo.

The staff at B&B provided minor bike repairs for riders and offered breakfast, catered by the Victorian Manor.

Riders in the Tour des Trees are from across the United States and from several foreign countries, said rider Jim Skiera of Champaign.

“This is like Cycling 101. The other riders are very willing to help you out and teach you things you need to know about biking,” he said.

“The trip has been great. We’re having a blast,” said rider Frazer Pehmoeller from New York. “We’re loving all the flat terrain.”

Pehmoeller said he and the other riders enjoyed their visit to Geneseo. “It’s a cute town. I wish we were able to stop and spend more time here.”

Riders in Stihl’s ‘Tour des Trees’ arrive at B&B?Lawn Equipment and Cyclery on?July 22 for a breakfast stop.