SOMERS, N.Y. – From a rider in her 80s to a 4-year-old propped on the back of his mom’s bike, to restless teenagers out for a final jaunt before school starts, riders of all ages and skill levels converged Sunday in Somers for the 31st annual Golden Apple Bicycle Tour.
More than 700 cyclists registered for the ride, which started at Best Plumbing, Tile and Stone and passed through the towns of Cortlandt, Lewisboro, North Salem, Yorktown, Carmel and Bedford. Participants were given a choice of 25, 45, 70 or 100 miles, known as a “century,” and had the option to participate in a hill time trial 10 miles in.
But, according to some words of wisdom from Burt Morris, a three-year cycling veteran from Fairfield, Conn., “It’s not how far you go, it’s that you get on” the bike in the first place.
Morris, his son Drew from Eerie, Pa., co-worker Sandra Galwin and friend Nick Laverick were checking their gear and doing some last-minute hydration at registration before taking on the 70-mile course.
“My dad and I recently rode from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C.,” Drew Morris said, a trip that totaled 330 miles and took five days. He said he began biking two years ago in Boston as a fun and convenient way to commute. Riding buddy Galwin said she enjoys riding the Central Park Loop in Manhattan.
Being a cyclist in the city can be a little challenging, she said, so “you have to get used to it.”
Cyclists from New York City were a common sight Sunday. Along with people from the tri-state area and beyond, many participants bring their bikes on the train from New York City and get off at Goldens Bridge, which lends its name to the title of the event.
Another city biker, Lauren Matison, was there with her husband, Vincent Crossley, with whom she co-founded green travel site offMetro.com. The two were there wearing matching jerseys advertising offMetro, which she said is a resource for “New Yorkers who want to get away without the car,” and provides travel guides for specialized biking trips, hikes and romantic getaways.
New to the event this year was a 65-mile course called the “Dirty Apple,” a special ride limited to unmarked dirt roads. Organizer Kate Marshall of the Westchester Cycle Club said the ride is very hilly but fun for experienced riders to navigate.
“It’s hard enough to ride hills,” said Marshall, who recently won a bronze medal at the Masters World Cycling Championships in South Africa. Dirt hills, she said, require a high level of fitness.