Cycling

Tour of Somerville adds warmup event geared to recreational cyclists

For 80 years, the Tour of Somerville has been known as one of the most elite bike races in the United States. Professional cyclists from around the world travel to this central New Jersey borough with the goal of winning the prestigious event.

For the first time since the tour began in 1940, a recreational ride for area residents with take place on Sun., Aug. 29 as an introduction to the races scheduled for the following weekend. Recreational cyclists are invited to join the The Tour of Somerset County, which will travel relatively flat country roads, stopping to rest at various Somerset County parks.

The ride will begin at 8 a.m. in downtown Somerville at the Division Street Pedestrian Mall, adjacent to the post office. Riders can register online at tourofsomerville.org or in person the morning of the ride.

With two distances from which to choose — 25 and 50 miles — the ride is perfect for the weekend cyclist. Entry fee for the Tour of Somerset County 25-mile ride is $20 for youth ages 13-18 and $30 for adults; the fee for the 50-mile ride is $35 for youth and $50 for adults.

Managed by the Tour of Somerville team, the ride will feature fully staffed rest stops, mechanical support and plenty of snacks along the way. All riders will receive an event T-shirt and can enjoy the many restaurants that Somerville has to offer at the completion of the ride.

“We wanted to promote cycling in central New Jersey, and what better way to kick off the Tour of Somerville bike race series than hosting a recreational ride,” said Mike Malekoff, the tour director.

Making this ride possible is longtime Tour of Somerville sponsor, Atlantic Health System. With its new facility, Bridgewater Pavilion, located on Route 22 just minutes from downtown Somerville, it was the perfect opportunity to promote a healthy outdoor activity as people emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additional support for the ride is provided by area bike clubs, including Western Jersey Wheelman, Princeton Free Wheelers, Central Jersey Wheelman and Andiamo Cycling Club.

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