Montclair, New Jersey held its annual Tour de Montclair bike ride event this Sunday, Oct. 6. Hosted by Bike&Walk Montclair, the route began at Crane Park and took riders through the four wards of Montclair, New Jersey.
Members of the community gathered to support changes regarding safety for cyclists in Montclair, New Jersey. Volunteers and members of the board gave participants the opportunity to sign a petition advocating for more precautions on the road.
Debra Kagan, the president of Bike&Walk Montclair, shared what her experience has been like since becoming president in 2016
“It’s very exciting. I love the active environment,” Kagan said. “We have a board full of actual people who want to be involved in changes in the town.”
Accommodating the cyclists, the Bike&Walk volunteers offered tea, coffee, lemonade and snacks such as apples and bananas prior to the race. Volunteers also set up small concession stands and sold products that would help benefit the cyclists as well as the organization.
Group levels were established to ensure participants comfort. Participants were grouped in levels such as “chill,” which was for six mile riders, the “cool” group which was 12 miles and explored all wards, and the “hot” group which consisted of 15 miles and was at a faster pace.
Jody Suden, who has been an active participant for nine years and rode the 15 mile route, shared her favorite aspect about the communal bike ride.
“I’ve been biking for a very long time,” Suden said. “Riding with the community in streets that are blocked off is definitely a plus. We also see parts of Montclair we would never usually see.”
The band “The Deep Dig” also played a number of original and cover songs before the race began and when the participants returned. Gelato was served to participants and supporters when they returned from their ride.
Communications and events organizer Jean Lyons got involved with Bike&Walk Montclair in 2014 when she assisted with the bike education program. Lyons, who usually participates in the 15 mile route and spends her free time teaching yoga, spent her time navigating participants and setting up tents.
“I love the party atmosphere. Seeing the community come together is a really nice feeling,” Lyons said.