The 31st-annual Golden Apple bicycle tour started at 7 a.m. Sunday morning when cyclists parked their cars at the Golden's Bridge Metro-North Railroad station and rode to the check-in point at Best Plumbing, Tile & Stone on Route 138 in Somers.
By 7:30 a.m. approximately 300 riders registered with Golden Apple volunteers and were preparing to hit the road. Signs marked different courses, including the 100-mile Golden Apple Century ride that runs primarily through Westchester County.
The Golden Apple is organized by Westchester Cycle Club with club member Kate Marshall heading the event. Marshall, who is a White Plains resident, just returned from the UCI World Cycling Tour Final in South Africa with a bronze medal in the timed trial. She expected about 1,000 riders from the area and as far away as Albany, Massachusetts, and Florida.
Among the cyclists was Somers resident and Tazza Cafe owner with friend and teammate Marshall. Novak was riding in the Golden Apple on her tandem bike with husband Ed Novak.
Conditions looked good for the riders. "I ordered the slightly overcast weather," Marshall said.
Cyclists can choose from different routes and finish at their own pace before the 5 p.m. end-time. The Candy Apple runs mostly on the North County Trailway and is a shorter ride; 45-mile and 75-mile routes split off the Century ride; and a the Dirty Apple offers a 65 mile roubaix style route. Those looking for competition can participate in the Hill Climb Time Trial. All of the routes are supported rides, meaning cyclists can expect rest stops, snacks, and support vehicles along the paths.
The ride concludes at Best Plumbing, Tile & Stone where music, lunch, homemade gelato, and massages will be offered to riders. Vendors including Yorktown Cycles and Bicycle World in Mt. Kisco were on hand for bike repairs and to sell their goods.