A new annual road and trail cycling event will be introduced in southeastern Connecticut in May when The Lyme Land Conservation Trust launches its first “Tour de Lyme” fundraiser.
Scheduled for Sat. May 11, the Tour de Lyme organizers say the event will offer participants six different “ride” selections – four road routes and two trail biking sections.
The ride selections range from a “challenging” 55-mile route to a relatively easy 10-mile “family ride”.
The organizers are planning to draw both cycling enthusiasts and casual riders from around the Northeast and report that early registrations have included riders from across southeastern New England and New York.
President John Pritchard said the land trust decided to hold a cycling event to raise funds for its preservation efforts because Lyme’s bucolic back roads and forest trails are popular with many cyclists.
“Because Lyme’s roads are already favorites for many cyclists, we believe the cycling community will participate in Tour de Lyme to help support the land trust’s programs that preserve the beauty and environmental diversity in the town,” he said.
“Lyme is known for its scenic landscape and healthy environment, a complement to the health benefits of cycling – a fact area cyclists have long understood,” he said. “Cyclists have a history and proud tradition of participating in charity events that support grass-roots community improvement initiatives, so we believe Tour de Lyme will be a popular annual event for cyclists in the Northeast.”
The various rides will have staggered start times so riders all return at about the same time for a picnic lunch at the starting point, which is the Lyme Consolidated School next to Town Hall and the Lyme Library on Route 156 in Lyme.
Proceeds from the fund-raising event will be used to support the Land Trust’s operations, said Pritchard. The Lyme Land Trust, a non-profit 501 (C) 3 charity, was founded in 1966. It now manages more than 3,000 acres of preserved open space with 40 miles of trails, including Hartman Park, and two fish ladders on the Eightmile River.
Cyclist and team registration is open at www.TourdeLyme.org/register.