COOLING THEIR HEELS AND WHEELS in ROME — Bicyclists relax outside rows of tents and chairs set up on the lawn of the Fort Stanwix National Monument after a long day of riding in this file photo. More than 700 cyclists are expected to pedal into town on Thursday as they participate in the annual 400-mile Cycle the Erie Canal Bike Tour. The group will camp overnight at the fort and visit some local attractions and businesses before eating a quick breakfast and then resuming their ride across the state. (Sentinel file photo)

Over 700 cyclists ready to roll into Rome Thursday

Published Jul 11, 2018 at 4:01pm

Participants in this year’s Cycling the Erie Canal Bike Tour will arrive in Rome Thursday, camping on the lawn at Fort Stanwix National Monument and taking in the city before departing east to continue the tour, according to an announcement by event organizers.

The annual event organized by the statewide non-profit group Parks & Trails New York attracts more than 700 riders to the city to unwind, rest up and continue on to Day Six of the 400-mile tour, the organization said.

The trail ends at the Rome Sports Hall of Fame & Museum, which will be open for riders to visit. They will then ride into the city to the fort.

Rome Area Chamber of Commerce and fort representatives will be at the welcome tent at the fort with community information.

Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo will visit the site during the day to welcome riders as well.

That evening, shuttle buses will pick up and drop off riders at the intersection of West Liberty and North James streets, visible from the welcome tent. The shuttles will take riders to and from restaurants and shopping areas, officials added. Cyclists will be able to attend the Rome Capitol Theatre Summerstage presentation of “Mary Poppins” at 7:30 p.m. or learn more about Rome and the history of Fort Stanwix at the Visitor Center and the Rome Historical Society.

Guided tours of the fort leave the Visitor Center at 6, 6:30, 7, 7:30 and 8 p.m. The Historical Society, located behind the information tent, at 200 Church St., is open until 5.

At 6, a kick-off party is set to begin for the World Series of Bocce at the Toccolana Club. Cyclists can take the shuttle bus to enjoy those festivities.

The Colonial Laundromat, open 24 hours a day, is located across the fort’s east lawn on Black River Boulevard will also be available.

On Friday, riders can eat a buffet breakfast at the YMCA between 5:30 and 8.

Riders will depart Rome between 7 and 8:30, and will end the day in Canajoharie.