There was no digital stopwatch on display, but Sunday’s Tour de Creme bicycle ride was nonetheless an athletic event if only because even top-echelon performers tackling the longer courses indulged.
“A couple of guys passed me, then they stopped for ice cream,” said Bob Gendron, who pulled into the Munro Preserve as the first finisher in the 40-mile ride.
The event, held on Sunday to benefit the Friends of the Mattapoisett Bike Path and the Mattapoisett Land Trust, included 40, 24 and 9-mile courses with many local ice-cream merchants poised and ready to serve up America’s favorite summer treat in countless shapes, sizes and flavors.
For most riders, Sunday’s event was their first opportunity to experience the new boardwalk section that connects the Mattapoisett Bike Path to the stretch that emanates from Fairhaven village.
The first lady to finish the 24-mile ride, Carol Wilson, 65, of Providence, made two stops for ice cream. “Just a sorbet,” admitted the avid cycling competitor.
Jack Dennerlein, the first overall 24-mile finisher, was bolder. The 58-year-old Dorchester resident whom Mike Huguenin called a “great friend of the Land Trust” stopped twice along the way, once for a “Green Monster” that he proudly captured with his phone camera before digging in.
Dennerlein does his road work at the Blue Hills Reservation. Now he has more to do.
Joe Daly, a Mattapoisett resident recently moved into town from neighboring Marion, will turn 81 in June but looked no worse for the wear after crossing with the fastest finishers of the 9-mile ride.
“Great job!” exclaimed Daly, not so much impressed with himself but with a little girl who stayed in front of him the entire way while riding with her family.
Ride organizers said it was particularly successful to keep the 9-mile family ride entirely on the coastal side of Route 6. Including green-clad volunteer riders who guided participants along their varying courses, there were over 400 bicycles involved.
Gendron, a 57-year-old Westport resident, was surprised anyone on the 40-mile course could indulge during the ride, but he indicated ice cream was in his future. “Oh, absolutely,” he said.
Tour de Creme Bike Ride
By Mick Colageo