PNC Tour de Lou



The Kentucky Derby Festival is once again partnering with the Louisville Bicycle Club to produce the PNC Tour de Lou on Sunday, April 18, 2021.

Participants will have the opportunity to bike in-person and socially-distanced, as well as the option to participate virtually. As always, the Festival’s annual bike event is for riders of all levels of experience, with three separate distances:

  • 62.1 Mile Metric Century / Advanced Ride (Open course)
  • 35 Mile Experienced Ride / Intermediate Ride (Open course)
  • 20 Mile Ride / New to cycling (Open course)

While the 2021 In-Person rides will look a little different, the ride will still tour all areas of the city, from Downtown to the South End and Highlands.


The Ride will look a little different this year…

The modified ride will have some changes as part of the health & safety precautions we’re taking to provide a secure biking experience. 

These changes include: 

  • Staggered start times, with increased time intervals in-between, to allow riders to socially distance
  • Capped number of participants during each start interval 
  • Increased amount of Refuel Stops to decrease number of participants at each
  • Single serve nutrition and hydration
  • Sanitation stations at Refuel Stops
  • All staff and volunteers, including those at the Refuel Stations, will be required to wear a mask
  • All participants required to wear a mask the Start Line until take-off

Please know, the safety of our riders is our top priority. We will keep you updated regarding COVID-19 guidelines and how they will impact the 2021 events. More details are available below and in the FAQs.


Did you Defer your Ride in 2020?

If you chose to defer to 2021, you get to choose how you would like to participate in 2021!

We are offering two Ride options for you in 2021:

  • Ride the 2021 PNC Tour de Lou Virtutally from April 18 – May 18, 2021. This option allows you to ride on your own time, and choose your own route, wherever you prefer while still receiving 2021 PNC Tour de Lou Merchandise and other perks.
  • Ride “in person” with a socially distanced start, nutrition and water stops, along with other modifications to comply with COVID-19 guidelines. 

Our capacity is limited due to COVID-19 guidelines, so we do ask that you make your decision by January 15, 2021in order for us to open the field for other interested participants.

TO REDEEM YOUR DEFERRED ENTRY: Check for an email from us on 12/17/20 for a unique deferral link, and more information about this year’s race options.

Can’t find it? Don’t worry! Make sure to check the email address you used when you registered in RideSignUp. Account information can be found by going to your Runner Profile in the top right-hand corner.





Register for the FREE Training Program 


The PNC Kentucky Derby Festival Tour de Lou Training Program is a FREE 6-week program designed for bicyclists of all experience levels. The training program will feature weekly group bike rides led by the Louisville Bicycle Club. 

Training tips and bike safety will also be provided. Be one of the first 100 to register for both the Training Program & PNC Tour de Lou and receive a FREE tech shirt. 

The Socially-Distanced training rides will take place at noon on weekends starting February 27nd through April 3rd. The first ride will be 5 miles and will increase by 5 miles each week. All rides will meet in the Yellow Lot on River Road. 



Training Schedule: (All Rides start at Noon) 

  • Week #1: 5 Mile Training Ride & Rider 101 – Saturday, February 27th 
  • Week #2: 10 Mile Training Ride – Saturday, March 6th 
  • Week #3: 15 Mile Training Ride – Sunday, March 14th 
  • Week #4: 20 Mile Training Ride – Saturday, March 20th 
  • Week #5: 25 Mile Training Ride – Sunday, March 28th 
  • Week #6: 30 Mile Training Ride – Saturday, April 3rd 


What is Tour de Lou?
The PNC Kentucky Derby Festival Tour de Lou is a bicycle tour throughout our city, Louisville, KY! It’s a non-competitive, un-timed, 20, 35 or 62.1 (Metric Century) mile ride, for riders of all experience levels.  

This year, we’ll be offering an In-Person (socially distanced) and Virtual Ride Option for all distances. 


What time does the Tour de Lou start?
This year’s In-Person Routes will be at staggered Start Times, to comply with  COVID-19 safety guidelines: 

  • 62.1 Mile (Metric Century): 7:30 AM 
  • 35 Mile: 8:10 AM 
  • 20 Mile: 8:50 AM 


How will the 2021 In-Person Tour de Lou differ from previous years? 

  • We are implementing a staggered startThis will increase the time between each ride distance to allow for increased social distancing on the course. We have increased the times from the traditional 5 minutes to 40 minutes between each distance start. This will decrease the number of participants at the start line in each wave.  
  • We will be creating corrals with 6 ft markers at the start to ensure proper distance before the ride takes off as well.  
  • You will not see a traditional party at the finish line as you did in the past. Riders will finish the course, have a photo opportunity, and be encouraged to celebrate with their family and friends on their own.  
  • Packet Pick-Up details will be released at a later time. We are finalizing details to make this a safe and easy experience for all participants.  
  •  All ride distances will be the same as in years past. 
  • You will still see SAG and nutrition stops, as well as bike captains throughout your ride for safety and ease. 


What Safety Precautions will you be taking in 2021? 

The modified in-person ride will have some changes as part of the health & safety precautions we’re taking to provide a secure biking experience.  

These changes include:  

  • Staggered start times, with increased time intervals in-between, to allow riders to socially distance 
  • Capped number of participants during each start interval  
  • Increased amount of Refuel Stops to decrease number of participants at each 
  • Single serve nutrition and hydration 
  • Sanitation stations at Refuel Stops 
  • All staff and volunteers, including those at the Refuel Stations, will be required to wear a mask and gloves 
  • All participants will be required to wear a mask at the Start Line until take-off 

Please know, the safety of our riders is our top priority. We will keep you updated regarding COVID-19 guidelines and how they will impact the 2021 event. 


If something happens this year, how will my registration be handled? 

Similar to 2020, in the event of being unable to hold the in–person PNC Tour de Lou, all registered riders will be given the option to defer or ride virtually.  


Where is the Start and Finish Line?
The 2021 PNC Tour de Lou will be a looped course, through the parks and neighborhoods of Louisville. The complete routes will be released soon, along with GPS Files for each Route. 


What time does the Finish Line close?
The Finish Line will close at 1:30 PM. Riders must maintain a 8-13 mph pace or faster pace to complete the ride. 


Where can I pick up my ride packet and swag? 

Packet pickup details will be released in January.  


What do I get as part of my Registration in the Tour de Lou? 

Riders will receive: 

  • The Official PNC Tour de Lou cotton shirt (20& 25 mile) Tech Shirt (Metric Century) 
  • An  Official PNC Tour de Lou Swag Bag 
  • Course support including Rest Stops with water, snacks, bathrooms, and Scheller’s Support & Gear (SAG) Vehicles. 
  • Access to GPS Route files for each distance, so riders can follow along on their Garmin, Phones & GPS Devices 


Will there be places to get water, nutrition and take bathroom breaks along the In-Person course? 

Yes! We will have Rest Stops throughout each of the three routes, where riders will be able to refuel with single-serve water and single-serve snacks. Some Rest Stops will also include Porta-Johns for bathroom breaks. Details about where they are located will be included in the final map of the Ride Routes.

Am I required to wear a helmet to participate in the Tour de Lou?
To keep everyone safe, we require that every participant wear a helmet that conforms to CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) standards. Failure to adhere to this requirement may result in removal from the course. 


How do I purchase a Tour de Lou ride jersey?
Jerseys can be purchased during online registration and will be picked up during Rider Packet Pick-Up.  


We’ll be sharing more information about the Jersey Design Unveiling soon – stay tuned!  

How do I sign-up? 

You can register for FREE right HERE.


How much does the Training Program Cost? 

The PNC Tour de Lou Training Program is offered for FREE and organized by the Louisville Bike Club. The Louisville Bike Club will also offer their expertise – sharing safety tips, rules of the road and Biking 101 for new riders! 


Do I need to have prior experience to join the Training Program? 

Not at all! The Louisville Bike Club has ‘geared’ the Training Program for New Riders, all the way up to experienced cyclists.  


When does the Training Program Take Place? 

The Training Program will take place over 6 weekends. Starting February 27, riders will meet at the Yellow Lot on River Road at noon for a short Biking Instruction, then a group ride.

The first ride level will start at 5 miles, then increase by 5 miles each week.  


Where do the Training Program Rides happen? 

Riders will leave from the Yellow Lot on River Road. 

You can download GPS Files and Turn-By-Turn instructions for free using Ride With GPS!


How To Download & Use GPS Routes:

  1. Open the Ketucky Derby Festival Route Library page by Clicking HERE.
  2. Click on the Route Name (highlighted in orange) for the GPS route you need.
  3. Click the orange Send To Device button in the lefthand side menu to your phone or other device.
  4. Once you’ve selected your device choice, the pop-up menu will prompt you to create a FREE account and download the Free app to your device.
  5. The set of pop-up menus will guide you through the process, including texting you a direct link to download the app.

Ride With GPS is compatible with iOS, Android, Garmen, Wahoo and more.

Looking for someone to ride with, or want to train before you complete your full ride? CLICK HERE to check out our partners at Louisville Bike Club, or take a look at their ride calendar.