SOMERVILLE, NJ – Less than one week remains for residents to sign up for the 26th annual Family Fun Ride which allows cyclists to complete two laps on the official Tour of Somerville race course.
The Somerville Recreation Commission sponsors the event, which precedes the Memorial Day classic, the oldest bicycle race in America.
Racers from around the globe will compete in the 73rd Annual Tour of Somerville. Over two days, 600 competitors will race through Somerville and Bound Brook, in front of more than 15,000 spectators. On May 30, the tour will culminate with the Mildred Kugler 25-mile women’s race and the signature the 50-mile Kugler-Anderson Memorial, the nation’s oldest major bicycle race.
The race course circles through Main Street, Grove Street, High Street and Mountain Avenue. The start and finish line is on East Main Street adjacent to the historic Somerset County Courthouse.
Registration deadline for the 10 a.m. Family Fun Ride is Monday, May 16 to be guaranteed a t-shirt. Riders can register individually for $15 – the fee includes one t-shirt - or as a family for $30 - unlimited number of riders and two shirts.
All participants are required to wear a helmet and be able to ride a bicycle unassisted. Riders should check in May 30 at 9:30 a.m. on the Courthouse Lawn near the corner of Grove and Main Streets.
Registration can be completed online at https://register.communitypass.net/somerville or by calling the Somerville Recreation Office, 908-704-6985.
The free Tour of Somerville, described by Sports Illustrated as “the greatest bargain in sport,” is much more than just the action of a fast-paced, multi-lap race. Wrapped around it are a street fair, music festival and neighborhood lawn party, all in the historic streets of downtown Somerville.
The two-day series is promoted by Arts on Division, a Somerset County resource that promotes all aspects of culture and the arts, for the benefit of Jack’s Kids -www.jackskids.org. Jack’s Kids is a Somerville Elks initiative that eases the financial burden to families dealing with a serious childhood illness and/or serious disabilities.
For the first time in its 73-year history, America’s oldest major bicycle race will offer the same amount of prize money for top finishers in both the men’s and women’s featured events.
This year’s 25-mile women’s race and 50-mile men’s event will both have $10,000 purses.
Tour promoter Lisa Werner said that equalizing the monies for the Memorial Day cycling classic was long overdue. The change reflects the growing international movement for gender quality in both amateur and professional sports.
Businesses and organizations sponsoring the event include: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Bridgewater Nissan, Efinger’s, Duke Farms, Flemington GMC, United Rent All, and The Downtown Somerville Alliance.
Numerous sponsorship opportunities are still available for local corporations, businesses, and non-profit organizations to promote their brands and have a presence at the race.
Anyone interested in the Tour’s “Preserve the Past, Invest in the Future’’ campaign can discuss sponsorship opportunities with Werner at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, potential sponsors and the general public are welcome to go to the Tour of Somerville's website which includes a brief video capturing the pulse and excitement and last year's race. (tourofsomerville.org).