History & Mission



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It started off with two friends and cyclists, Scott and Gerry, who rode in the 2016 El Tour de Tucson—the fundraising cycling event Tour de Gem is modeled after. They rode 100 miles together and felt the energy of 9,000 riders raising money for causes they believe in. The year they rode El Tour de Tucson, the ride raised over $12 million and had a $20 million economic impact on the city. The energy they felt was electric and on the flight home, they said “I think we can bring this to Dayton.”

Scott Backer and Gerry Chadwick knew Dayton was the perfect place to make an event like this happen, so they got to work. They had a vision and the passion to make this dream a reality. They invited Steve Naas to join their planning team and started planning the 2018 Tour de Gem Dayton Cycling Classic.

Scott, Gerry, and Steve are still active in the planning and execution of Tour de Gem, but they have grown the planning team to over 40 members. Their goal is to continue to grow the ride to be the premier cycling event of the region.



Bringing Cycling, Charities, and Communities Together



“This “Ride with a Purpose” is produced by United Way of the Greater Dayton Area to increase awareness and raise funds to invest into valuable services throughout the area and provide a platform for other non-profits to raise funds to support their specific missions. United Way has been serving the Miami Valley for over 100 years to bring people and organizations together. Through Tour de Gem, we can accomplish this by raising awareness, providing outreach, bringing a lot of people together, raising funds and so much more. Tour de Gem will be one of the preeminent cycling and fundraising events in the Dayton Region and beyond by hosting a fun, family-friendly cycling event that: provides a fundraising mechanism for local CHARITIES; delivers a fun, safe, and memorable experience for RIDERS; creates a public relations value and encourages community outreach for COMMUNITY PARTNERS; and increases the awareness of the Dayton Region as a true GEM.