Dartmouth cyclists ride for clean water

Oct 4, 2017

With a mission to raise awareness for clean water, 276 cyclists rode through areas of Rhode Island and Massachusetts on October 1 for the Buzzards Bay Coalition Watershed Ride.

The ride included routes from Little Compton, through farm coast of Westport, Dartmouth, New Bedford, and Rochester, and ended in Woods Hole with a celebration featuring dinner, beer and wine, live music, awards and free massages. Cyclists were able to choose between a 35, 75, or a 100 mile bike route to participate in with varying starting points.

Each rider raised a minimum of $300, and all the funds go directly to the Coalition’s work to protect land and clean water around Buzzards Bay. Many of the cyclists strived to raise more than the minimum. Last year, cyclists and their supporters raised more than $120,000 to support the Coalition.

Riders included several Dartmouth residents, including Nick Sullivan. He rode as part of Team Sullivan, which also included his two brothers, two sisters, and two family members from Boston, New York, Rhode Island, and Colorado.

Sullivan said they are a family of bikers and conservationists, so the ride was a great match for them. Sullivan said the reason they did the ride was to call attention to Buzzard's Bay, which he said so many take for granted, but which needs constant vigilance to protect and preserve.

Vin Sylvia and Heather Heffernan rode for the North Dartmouth Sylvia Group team "Sylvia Group Spinners." Sylvia said they raised $1,115 for the Buzzards Bay Coalition, and another cause close to their hearts.

"Recognizing that many prospective donors would be focused on disaster relief and wanting to do something for hurricane survivors ourselves, Heather and I both decided to match donations to our rides with contributions to Americares," Sylvia said.

This was Sylvia's third time participating in the ride and his second year as a cyclist. Last year Sylvia did the 75 mile route, but this year he did the 35 mile route with his friend and colleague at the Sylvia Group Heather Heffernan

David and Lynne Lapalme of Dartmouth also participated in the ride. David normally participates in the Buzzard's Bay Swim, but due to the swim being cancelled back in June, David decided to participate in the Watershed Ride instead.

Lynne did the 35 mile cycle, while David did the full 100 mile ride.

All the cyclists participated at different levels, but everyone had the same goal of raising money to promote clean water and the environment.