Scenic bike ride benefits mental health

As the dawn breaks on Sunday, Sept. 15, hundreds of cyclists and walkers will begin the trek to Fowler Field in Milford for what has become a community tradition, the 22nd annual Folks on Spokes ride and walk to benefit Bridges…A Community Support System, Inc.

Last year some 500 riders and walkers and dozens of volunteers enjoyed an autumn day along the shore for the cause.

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. There is also a 5k walk or run with a route from Fowler Field to Fort Trumbull Beach and back. There is one rest stop. Napoli Deli & Caterers is donating lunch for registered riders, walkers and volunteers. Lunch and entertainment are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

“We look forward to a great day with an excellent ride and lots of camaraderie and fun for everyone; riders, walkers, volunteers and families who come out to support the cause,” said Bridges’ President and CEO Barry Kasdan. “Over the past twenty-two years Folks on Spokes has become our signature fundraiser and is increasingly important, as community based mental health providers like Bridges deal with budget cuts that hamper our ability to provide needed services,” continued Kasdan. The event raises money to help close the funding gap from state contracts for Bridges to provide metal health, addiction and primary care services in Milford, Orange and West Haven and surrounding communities.

Major sponsors to date are The Milford Bank, Barrett Outdoor Communications, Star 99 Radio, Tony’s Bikes and Sports and Napoli Deli & Caterers. The Fairfield Inn by Marriott in Milford is offering a discounted room rate plus a donation to Bridges for each room booked by a participant who may want to cut their morning travel time by staying overnight close to the ride.

Commemorative t-shirts are guaranteed for the first 200 riders and 100 walkers who pre- register, and then available on a limited basis. Prizes will be given to riders and walkers who raise additional funds from sponsors of their ride or walk.

Registration fees are $30 for adult cyclists and $20 for walkers. Children under 12 accompanied by an adult are $10 for both events. Day of event registration fees are $40 and $25 for adults. Online registration is found at

For more details or information or to sponsor call Marcy Hotchkiss, 203-878-6365, ext. 359 or email