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Alfred Related Articles

Century Bike Ride

Transcribed by Crist Middaugh

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Allegany Getaway

Spring/Summer 1995

Century bike ride will highlight celebrationCentury Bike Ride Photo 1 of 1

A century ago this September ten cyclists from the small college town of Alfred’s cycling club completed a century ride. On September 24, 1995, it will be done again.

Billed as the “Century Century”, antique and modern bikes are invited to participate in all or part of the 100 mile out and back run. While cyclist are en route, Alfred will be bustling with other activities centered on the history of the bicycle and the local area. These include a display on the history of the bicycle, an antique pike parade, local history exhibits, museum tours, a chicken barbecue, and activities reflecting life in Alfred a century ago.

It all started when Don “Bart” Bartalo, Century Century originator and co-organizer, was researching a history project on growing up in the Alfred area in 1895. He came across an 1895 Alfred Sun article that reported a very successful ride held by the Alfred Cycling Club September 22, 1895. Bart came up with the idea of an historical re-enactment, the Century Century. He contacted Peter Stull, owner of The Bicycle Man. Still contacted David Snyder, Editor of The Alfred Sun, and they hope the rest will be History, History.

Bartalo and Stull have since retraced the original course, which starts in front of the Alfred Village Hall (originally the Alfred Fire Hall) and travels through Scio, Belmont, Friendship, and Cuba to Olean and back to Alfred. The route is now paved, has a 400 foot climb in the first three miles, and a 250 foot climb four miles from the finish. The balance of the course follows rivers, streams, railroad tracks and a deserted canal bed. There will be food and water available at 10 to 15 mile intervals.

Following in the tire tracks of their turn-of-the-century predecessors, the Century Century participants on 19th Century bikes will begin as early as 5:15 a.m. (8:15 a.m. for modern cyclists) and end by “civil twilight” at 7:45 p.m.

Co-sponsors of the event are The Alfred Sun, The Bicycle Man, Alfred 21st Century Group, and the Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport. Numerous Alfred area civic and historical groups will assist in offering services to those participating in or observing the historic event. Organizers said the purpose of the Century Century is to generate interest in history of Alfred and Allegany County, to promote healthy activity, to raise funds for various charities and to have fun!

Peter Stull

607-587-8835

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