“Ride with the Camels” Cycling Tour Raises $18k

GOSHEN – Conditions were perfect on the last Sunday of summer for the annual Country Roads Charity Bicycle Tour. Hundreds of riders turned out to Warwick Town Park for one of the Hudson Valley’s favorite cycling events. Co-hosted by the Orange County Bicycle Club and Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster, the popular charity bike tour raised $18,000 for the event beneficiaries Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, Catholic Charities, and The Sanctuary for Animals, home to the beloved camels that give the Tour its nickname – the Ride with the Camels.

“The Orange County Bicycle Club is happy to host the Country Roads Tour in partnership with Catholic Charities each year,” said Peggy Cullen, President of the Orange County Bicycle Club (OCBC). “It takes an incredible team effort on the part of our OCBC members, volunteers, sponsors, community partners, and riders to make the Tour a success. Together we raised much-needed funds to support the important work of Big Brothers Big Sisters, Catholic Charities, and the Sanctuary for Animals,” added Cullen.

The Bike Tour started with a light breakfast and finished with lunch at Warwick Town Park. Riders chose from 10-, 25-, 45-, and 65-mile routes and could ride at their own pace or with groups lead by an experienced Bike Club member. Along the routes through Orange County’s scenic countryside, riders had access to rest stops staffed by Bike Club volunteers and stocked with beverages, home-baked goodies and other refreshments, and restroom facilities. Many riders also stopped to pose for photos with the Tour’s most popular highlight – the camels.

Cyclist Bonnie Orr waved from the start line as she awaited the launch of the morning’s first ride, the 65-mile route.
Cyclist Bonnie Orr waved from the start line as she awaited the launch of the morning’s first ride, the 65-mile route.

“The Orange County Bicycle Club’s generous commitment to the Country Roads Tour is a boon to Catholic Charities and our fellow beneficiaries,” said Kristin Jensen, Chief Advancement Officer, Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster. “For Catholic Charities, the Tour proceeds support our programs in the community, including emergency food and shelter assistance. We are grateful to the OCBC members who give of their time and talent to coordinate the Tour each year,” added Jensen.

Finishing up at Warwick Town Park, riders enjoyed live music by the duo of John Ebert and Piet Koster, lunch catered by ShopRite Supermarkets, and cold drinks provided by Pepsi Cola of the Hudson Valley. Orange Regional Medical Center supported the Tour as a premier sponsor. Chef’s Cut Real Jerky was also a lead sponsor. Other sponsors included Dr. & Mrs. John Carey, Ball Corp., Gerard Associates, Gold’s Gym, Steven P. Lieberman, Esq., McNeilly Wood Products, and Middletown Medical. Donations of services and supplies were made by Abbey Ice & Spring Water, Chef’s Cut Real Jerky, Gina Babbage, Bikeway Bicycle Shop, Devine Design, Joe Fix Its, Pepsi Cola of the Hudson Valley, ShopRite Supermarkets, Central Deli, Rockland Bakery, and WB Mason. The Goshen Independent and Warwick Valley Dispatch provided media support.

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