FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ – For the second consecutive year, Franklin High School will be the site of the annual Tour de Franklin Charity Bike Ride in April.

The bicycle ride, one of the first organized rides of the season, is a fundraiser for the Franklin Food Bank. This year’s ride will be the 28th and “it has grown into a community tradition,” said Doreen Clark of PMINJ, one of the event’s sponsors.

Scheduled to take place April 30, the Tour de Franklin “signals spring for the Franklin community and provides an opportunity for everyone to help neighbors and fight local hunger,” Clark said.  

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There will be seven different rides: The 62-mile ride, the 40-mile ride, the 25-mile ride, the 10-mile ride, a 1- to 5-mile walk or ride and 5-mile or 10-mile rides along Somerset’s canal, “offering something for everyone,” Clark said.

Start times are staggered and participants end up at the high school for a community lunch at the end. All riders who register by April 7 get a T-shirt, “and special T-shirts will be awarded to Silver Riders who raise over $150 and Gold Riders who raise over $300,” Clark said.

“The Tour de Franklin is the Franklin Food Bank’s largest fundraiser and a critical part of the Food Bank’s financial support,” she noted. “2016 was a record year, with 775 riders coming together in one day to raise over $78,000 for the Food Bank. This is a substantial increase from the Tour’s humble beginnings in 1989 when 30 riders banded together to raise $1,500.”

Clark pointed out, however, that the Food Bank’s needs “are also far greater than in 1989, with almost 10,000 food packages provided to the community in 2016.” She said that, while the $78,000 raised by the Tour de Franklin sounds like a lot, “it is a small part of the Food Bank’s annual budget.”      

Again this year:  bike adjustments, minor repairs and maintenance, and a tire inflation station will be available at the High School courtesy of the New Brunswick Bike Exchange (NBBX). 

Services will be free; there may be a reasonable charge for parts. 
The NBBX collects and refurbishes donated bikes and recycles them back into the community.  The NBBX is a service of PRAB, a comprehensive Human Services Organization. 

If you have already registered, thank you. If you are still "on the fence", you really need to get off of it now.  For details and to register, go to Tour de Franklin.  Pre-registrants can avoid event-day lines.  Like us on Facebook for up-to-the-minute Tour news. 

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