VENTNOR – It spritzed a bit but no raindrops fell on dedicated bicycle enthusiasts who turned out for the 10th annual Le Tour de Downbeach family fun ride Saturday, Oct. 6. About 150 riders, some in Halloween costumes, started their 14-mile Spooktacular ride through Absecon Island on the boardwalk at Newport Avenue.
The crowd was smaller than usual, Margate Business Association Executive Director Anna Maria Blescia said.
“Normally, we get about 300 riders, but I think the weather hurt us this year,” she said.
Despite the moisture in the air, first time riders Beryl Krinsky and Scott Karis said they wouldn’t miss it.
They have owned their Harbor Vista townhouse in Margate for many years, but just became full-time residents this year.
“We wanted to get more involved in the community and love living a healthy lifestyle,” Krinsky said. “Bike riding is our favorite activity.”
Both are physical fitness professionals. Krinsky provides corporate wellness training through B.Komplete and Karis owns seven fitness centers in South Jersey.
Robert and Jini Errichetti of Cherry Hill and Margate said this was the first year they participated in the fun ride.
“We’ve had our house in Margate for 11 years, and every year we say we’re going to do it next year,” Robert Errichetti said. “Looks like it’s going to be a fun ride.”
Jini Errichetti said she often rides the same route to Atlantic City and then back through Ventnor, Margate and Longport.
“It’s not too bad as long as it’s not too windy,” she said.
Pack leader Bill Subin said he thought the weather was perfect for a long ride.
“There’s no sun glaring so I don’t have to wear my sunglasses and it’s nice and cool,” he said.
The tour was first started in 2008 in Ventnor by Diane Birkbeck, who does the 40-mile Longport, Ocean City, Somers Point route as often as she can.
“After that, it became a collaborative effort,” Blescia said.
Today, the collaboration includes Atlantic City and all three Downbeach towns and is produced by the AAAA Bike Shop in Ventnor and the Margate Business Association.
Riders ended the tour in the parking lot at Tomatoe’s on Amherst Avenue in Margate where the restaurant provided hot dogs, hamburgers and soft drinks, and Margate Dairy Bar and Burger provided Italian water ice. All riders received a Sugar Skull bicycle bell and commemorative 10th anniversary T-shirt.
The tour is also sponsored by Congo Falls, 95.1 WAYV and 100.7 WZXL, which provided music at the start and finish lines.