Cyclists Power Through High Winds in 16th Watershed Ride

Wind gusts exceeding 40 mph did not stop the 166 cyclists from pedaling across our region on Sunday to show their support for clean water during the Buzzards Bay Coalition’s Watershed Ride, a scenic bicycling tour stretching from Little Compton, RI to Rochester, MA.  After consulting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers which manages the Bourne Bridge across which all riders were slated to cross, the decision was made to shorten the day’s route to avoid participants having to navigate the canal crossing in such high winds. Originally planned with three route options, including a 100 mile century ride from Sakonnet Point to Woods Hole, Sunday’s outing was truncated to include two route options: the longest at 65 miles, with both ending at East Over Farm in Rochester.

Cyclist at Fort Taber in New Bedford 

Cyclists recorded impressive fundraising and participation totals at the 16th annual Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride. The 400 registered cyclists, supported by 100 volunteers, raised $317,000 and counting for clean water. This annual event supports the Coalition’s work to ensure clean water in all Bay communities, restore and protect watershed lands, and get people of all ages outside and engaged with their local environment. Supporters can still donate to the Watershed Ride by going to

“The Watershed Ride is always a highlight – a chance to see familiar faces who have been with us since its inception 16 years ago alongside riders who are just getting to know the Coalition and its work.  With the forecast that we had, I wasn’t sure how many – if any – folks would turn up in Little Compton for our 9 a.m. start.  I was thrilled to see more than 80 riders there, with at least as many joining them at our Horseneck start an hour later.  While we have been lucky to have had mostly beautiful weather for each of our past Watershed Rides, this one might actually be one of my favorites, because it showed the commitment that so many have to the health and vibrancy of Buzzards Bay and its watershed.  It also highlighted the mightiness of the Bay and its weather!”  said Coalition President Mark Rasmussen.

On Sunday morning at Sakonnet Point in Little Compton, riders departed on the Watershed Ride’s 65 mile ride. The route wound through Little Compton and Westport’s rich coastal farmland to the wave-washed coast along Horseneck Beach State Reservation, where even more riders began their 40-mile route. Along the way from Sakonnet Point to the finish line in Rochester, riders pedaled past thousands of acres of permanently protected woodlands, wetlands, salt marsh and beach habitat managed by the Coalition, local land trusts and state and local municipalities.

The oldest rider was 80 years old, and the youngest was 21. More than 60% of the riders participated as a member of one of 37 teams, made up of groups of friends and family who train, fundraise, and ride the course together.

The top fundraiser was Dan Cooney of Marion who raised $12,500. The top fundraising team this year was Sippican Sailors.

The event was made possible through the support of incredible sponsors, including Shaw’s Star Market Foundation, Blount Clam Shack, Buzzards Bay Brewing, Cape Cod 5, Hutker Architects, and Janney Sound Financial Advisors. The Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride is one of two signature outdoor fundraising events hosted by the Coalition. The other is the Buzzards Bay Swim, a 1.2-mile open-water swim across outer New Bedford Harbor.

Working to Save Buzzards Bay

The Buzzards Bay Coalition is a membership-supported organization dedicated to improving the health of the Buzzards Bay ecosystem for all through education, conservation, research, and advocacy.

We work to protect clean water on the Bay and on the land: