As the dawn breaks on Sunday, Sept. 16, hundreds of cyclists and walkers will begin the trek to Fowler Field for what has become an annual community tradition, the Folks on Spokes – Folks on Foot ride and walk to benefit Bridges…A Community Support System, Inc.
Bridges has adopted a new slogan this year as it marks the 21st anniversary of Folks on Spokes: “I Ride for Mental Health” was created to further efforts to raise awareness of mental health issues and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and substance abuse.
The event raises funds to close the funding gap for Bridges to provide programs and services in Milford, Orange and West Haven and surrounding communities.
The non-competitive bicycle tour along the scenic coast of south central Connecticut allows riders to choose route distances of 5, 10, 20, 40, 50 or 66 (Metric Century) miles. The routes are marked with the familiar blue and white FOS road signs and include several rest stops with water, fruit and energy bars.
Tony’s Bike & Sports Shop of Milford helps cyclists with repairs and will be also be on hand at their second shop on Ocean Avenue in West Haven.
Folks on Foot is a 5k (3.1 miles) walk or run from Fowler Field to Fort Trumbull Beach and back. There is one rest stop.
“We have some great activities planned this year when our riders and walkers return to Fowler Field,” said Bridges’ President and CEO, Barry Kasdan. “We are once again providing all participants with a free lunch, thanks to a new sponsor, DiBella’s Old Fashioned Subs. There will be live music and a DJ, plus cycling, health and wellness exhibitors. Our committee is working hard to make this a great event with lots of camaraderie and fun for everyone who comes out to support the cause,”
Kasdan said organizers hope to make Folks on Spokes the premier cycling event in the area in support of mental health.
“One in five families in the United States is impacted by mental illness,” he said. “It is critical that we bring more attention to the need for good treatment and recovery from these disorders as other fundraising events do for cancer.”
Major sponsors are The Milford Bank, Barrett Outdoor Communications, Montano Candy & Coffee, and Tony’s Bikes and Sports, along with DiBella’s.
New commemorative cycling shirts will be given to the first 300 riders and 100 walkers who pre- register. They will also be available for sale the day of the event. Other prizes are available for riders and walkers who get sponsors for their participation.
Registration fees are $30 for adult cyclists and $20 for walkers and include lunch and t-shirt and entertainment. Children under 12 accompanied by an adult are $10 for both events. Day of event registration fees are $40 and $30 for adults. People may register online at bridgesmilford.org.
For more details or information on sponsorships call Marcy Hotchkiss, 203-878-6365, ext. 359.