Sports

The "Voice" of the Tour of Somerville & Racing Legend Joe Saling Inducted into Track Hall of Fame

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Joe Saling, who has raced competitively for 60 years, also known as the "Voice" of the Tour of Somerville, holds the award presented by the Valley Preferred Cycling Center. Credits: Lew Saling
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TREXLERTOWN, Pa. – Bridgewater resident and longtime competitive cyclist Joe Saling was recently inducted to the Valley Preferred Cycling Center’s track cycling Hall of Fame in Trexlertown, Pa.

Saling is known locally as the “Voice of the Tour of Somerville,” having announced this classic Memorial Day event for more than 35 years. The 1986 World Cycling Championships held in Colorado, the 1989 Pan American Games in Indianapolis, and numerous National Championships and Olympic Trials are also among his many announcing credits.

Saling, 75, has been competing in various types of bicycle racing for 60 years and has won 20 National Championships, eight Pan American Championships, six Masters World Cup titles and more than 50 NJ State Championships.

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Many of his victories have occurred on the Valley Preferred Velodrome, the steeply banked oval arena that has become a mecca for track cyclists, attracting competitors from throughout the world and thousands of spectators to its Friday nights summer race calendar.

Saling joins an elite group of track cycling hall of famers that includes Hillsborough’s two-time Olympian Allen Bell, Olympic gold medalist and World Champion Marty Nothstein, and many outstanding cyclists that have called Trexlertown, also known as “T-Town,” their home track over the years.

Joining Saling at the induction ceremony before 6,000 spectators was Bobby Phillips, fondly known as the “Baltimore Bullet.” Phillips is a multiple-time national champion and has competed in more than 60 Tour of Somerville events. The two are long-time friends and, for several seasons, team mates on the Bridgewater-based Somerset Wheelmen cycling club.  This local cycling team celebrated its 80th anniversary at this year’s Tour of Somerville and is the only club Saling has ridden with for his entire career

Cycling has become the focal point of the Saling family. Joe and his wife, Dottie, operated Salings’ Schwinn Cyclery in Somerville and Branchburg from 1967 to 1981.  Dottie and both of the Saling daughters have competed and their four grandsons all were or are still racing bicycles.  Both sons-in-law, Joe’s father-in-law, brother-in-law and three siblings were (or still are) competitive cyclists.

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