Cyclists pedaled from one historic Delaware town to another Saturday in the first River Towns Ride and Festival.
The event was a collaborative effort between New Castle, founded in 1651, and its younger neighbor, Delaware City, founded in 1826. It was the first such collaboration of the towns, which are approximately 10 miles apart.
The time trials drew 126 riders, including five teams of two riders each. The “fun” rides drew 205 cyclists, said Julie Miro Wenger, event organizer.
One of them was Gov. Jack Markell, a longtime cycling enthusiast who wore blue and gold and had a motorcycle escort.
“It’s a great opportunity to connect two Delaware towns and ride with other Delawareans,” Markell said before taking off on his 29-minute ride.
Each town had food, music, games for the kids. Bill Mannia of Delaware City took his 3-year-old granddaughter, Hailey, to both towns and they decorated a pumpkin together in New Castle.
“We’re having a ball,” he said.
Harry and Joan Skilton were enjoying the New Castle festival when he suggested an expansion for next year.
New ideas are indeed in the works, said Jerry DuPhily, one of the event organizers, and may one day include Port Penn, Odessa, and trips across the Delaware River to fetch festival-goers from Salem, N.J.
All in all, a very successful and fun event for both New Castle and Delaware City.