Opinion: This year's Higley 100 Bike Tour a special event, says Colton woman
To the Editor:
The morning of the 16th annual Friends of Higley Flow State Park Higley 100 Bike Tour dawned cool, clear and quiet. Those earliest arrivals at the Park, shortly after dawn, witnessed a special sight as they passed the Park toll booth flag pole. In the early morning light, on his day off, stood Park Supervisor Henry Sieg, wearing his Coast Guard ball cap, solemnly raising the American flag draped safely in his outstretched arms to half-mast to honor the day, September 11th.While those old enough to remember know exactly where they were that day, many of the younger college students participating were too young to have any personal knowledge of the significance of the day. Those old enough were very aware how fragile the freedom to have events like the bike tour could be.
The event featured two rides, the longer ride is 62 miles in length, a metric century; the shorter is 31 miles, a metric half-century. While the rides are shorter than a full 100 mile century, they still offer plenty of challenges. The Park is located in the foothills of the Adirondacks so there is plenty of altitude variation. This year there had been fresh blacktop laid down over a substantial portion of the course, further enhancing the ride. When riders returned to the Park they were treated to a delicious buffet meal catered by “Big Spoon” of Potsdam. Rose Rivezzi takes care of the food while husband David Trithart designs and marks the course. Additional volunteers provide clerical, sag wagon and water stop support. Several area businesses and organizations helped defray the cost of tee shirts: Barstow Motors, Cycles Endurance and Sports, Hideaway Café, Higley Hooch, Mahogany Ridge, Merriman’s, Northeastern Sign, Red Pine Cone Restaurant, and The Canton Bicycle Club.
Attendance at the event was down by about 1/3 this year in part due to the Canadian border closure and Covid concerns. Great care was taken by the Friends of Higley to offer a safe event. Ventilation was provided at the lodge where riders registered spread out over a period of time, attendants were masked, sanitizer provided and those returning from their rides enjoyed their meal at several outdoor picnic tables.
The Friends and riders alike are already looking forward to next year.