A Johns Creek couple are among the cyclists traveling along the east coast on the 2012 Community Tour, a 57-day ride from Florida to Maine.
Myron and Cathy Skott, of Johns Creek and Bob Spiegelman of Londonderry, New Hampshire, set out on a 2,300 mile tour of the East Coast Greenway as part of the ride on May 12 from Miami. The first-ever community tour will come to an end in Portland, Maine, on July 7.
The tour, sponsored by the Cabot Creamery Cooperative and a host of other sponsors and individual supporters was coordinated in conjunction with the United Nations International Year of Cooperatives.
"Cabot was going to hold a series of festivals along the east coast and they wanted to know how they could connect those festivals," Cathy Skott said. "Someone at one of the meetings mentioned that there was a bicycle route along the east coast."
Myron Skott, a member of the East Coast Greenway organization, participated in a similar ride in 2004 and jumped at the opportunity to do it a second time.
Spiegelman, also an East Coast Greenway member, decided to join the tour over taking a trip to France for a vacation with his wife.
"Riding the Maine to Florida corridor was something I've always wanted to do," Spiegelman said. "People think that she got the better end of the deal."
Spiegelman has been working to raise money for the East Coast Greenway organization by gathering individual pledges as he makes his way up the coast.
"The original goal was $5,700 because it was 57 days and I think I'm somewhere north of $7,500," Spiegelman said.
The trio stopped for a pizza lunch provided by the Flatbread Company at the Mitchell Dodge dealership before continuing on their way to Manchester where they stopped for the day. The cyclists have been averaging 55-60 miles each day spending their nights at different Mariott hotels, one of the tour's sponsors.
Along the way, the group said they have enjoyed not only the ride but also the interest that people have shown as they pass through town after town.
"I just love meeting people in all the communities along the routes," Cathy said. The Skoffs are doing the 57 day ride on their recumbent bicycles which has drawn added attention.
The group was met early on Wednesday by Simsbury Free Bike volunteer Larry Linonis who joined them on the ride as their guide to Simsbury. Spiegelman said the group has been joined by several "chaperones" along the way to help them navigate some of the more difficult areas where the greenway has not been completed.
"The best part of the trip is of course the people and the conversations and biking is just the way to get between spots," Myron said.
The group's schedule is posted on the 2012 Community Tour website along with information about the ride and a list of events that are taking place along the way. The ride concludes on the International Day of Cooperatives on July 7 at Payson Park in Portland, Maine.