The Ride was hugely successful, raising more than $90,000 to support the Coalition’s work to restore clean water, conserve land, and engage the community in efforts to protect the Bay. You can still support a rider or make a general donation to the Ride through Monday, Oct. 19.
“The ride was terrific!” said first-time rider Chris Porter of New Bedford. “It was challenging, but the feeling of accomplishment when you cross the finish line is well worth it. I’ll be back next year!”
Strong breezes and blue skies greeting riders in the morning at Horseneck Beach in Westport, where 80 riders began the 75-mile course. The first half of the route wound through Westport’s picturesque coastal farmland, Padanaram village, New Bedford’s working waterfront, the leafy Fairhaven bike path, and Mattapoisett’s rural roads before stopping for lunch at Eastover Farm in Rochester.
“I can’t think of a better way to see the Bay and the surrounding watershed than from a bike…even with 20 knots of breeze in your face!” said Kelly Wilbur, a two-time rider from South Dartmouth. “The more I ride, the more people I can connect with the mission of the Coalition.”
At the farm, 40 additional riders joined the Watershed Ride for the final 35 miles through Wareham’s cranberry bogs, over the Bourne Bridge and down Falmouth’s Shining Sea Bikeway to end at Quissett Harbor in Falmouth.
Everybody was in great spirits at the finish line, where riders and their guests were welcomed with warm food, drinks, prizes, complimentary massages, and live music from local singer-songwriter Rebecca Correia.
The Watershed Ride drew cyclists from nearly 70 communities in eight states and Washington, D.C. Three riders – Tom Gidwitz of Dartmouth, Leslie Knowles of Dartmouth and Ken Lipman of Fairhaven – have participated in every single ride since the event began in 2007.
The top fundraiser was John Mendelsohn of Falmouth, who raised $3,622. In second place was Andy Van Dam of Barrington, R.I., who raised $3,600, and in third place was Jeffrey Gonsalves of South Dartmouth, who raised $3,448. The top fundraising teams, The Buzzards and The Patch Pedalers, raised $6,000 and $3,400 respectively. In total, 13 riders raised more than $1,000 each.