On May 20th, the City of Elizabeth in New Jersey becomes the first location to hold Peace Road 2018 in partnership with Groundworks Elizabeth (www.groundworkelizabeth.org) and the City of Elizabeth. The bike tour attracted more than 500 bicyclists around Union County and even neighboring towns and counties. The bike route was divided into two. The first route covers the western part of the town commencing from the City Hall while the second route was directed towards the Elizabethport and the Elizabeth River Trail on the eastern part of the town arriving at the very same spot where everyone started.
Registration started around 7:30 AM and the tour officially begun at 9 AM. Bikers as young as seven and as old as seventy from different level of experience came together to celebrate Bike Month and to promote peace and tourism in the city. Elizabeth City Mayor Chris Bollwage, the main organizer, greeted everyone with so much enthusiasm despite the gloomy weather as this year marks the 15th year of Tour de Elizabeth. Bicycles in various shapes and sizes flooded the streets of Elizabeth even a young mono cyclist participated in the tour. Ten Peace Road bikers made it to the first phase (around 7 miles) in an hour because of several inclined roads. After a short break, the team trekked the second route (around 8 miles) completing the whole 15-mile bike tour.
Jonathan Phillips, the executive director of Groundworks Elizabeth along with bike marshals and local police guided riders along the path and made sure that everyone was safe and arrived with so much pride and sense of accomplishment. Some groups greeted finishers with big cheers and congratulations.
After the tour, a raffle drawing was done with a grand prize of a brand-new bicycle with helmet. More prizes were raffled off courtesy of different sponsors and booth exhibitors. Each participant was also provided with a t-shirt, hat and goody bag full of gifts and info materials including Peace Road postcard.
Emiljun Rapada, the Peace Road USA 2018 National Coordinator thanked all the participants and encouraged them to join other scheduled locations in Jersey City NJ and Manhattan NY in June and July respectively. For more information and latest updates, check the Peace Road website www.peaceroadusa.org. You can also sign up to join or donate to the cause.