I am always on the lookout for events in the area that I can ride my bike to attend. Naturally there were plenty of parades and services around the area, but those types of things are not something that interests me.
The Rochester Memorial Day Boat Race is a quintessential town event that has deep roots in the community.
The event, which began in 1934 with 14 teams, has morphed into a much-anticipated annual race where about 90 teams jockey to paddle down 12 miles of the Mattapoisett River with the fastest speed. With Memorial Day weekend around the corner, Boat Race Chairman Arthur Benner delighted members of the Rochester Historical Society with a special talk on May 18 that focused on the history of the event that is a dear tradition to many in Rochester and beyond. more
It was a pleasant surprise to see so many people on bikes at this event. Anyone could pedal to different crossing to get a good feel for the race. I rode to Wolf Island road to watch a few of the racers cross under the road. The place was mobbed and the road was bottle necked with motor vehicles. Those of us on bikes simply road on to the next viewing spot while the cars began jockeying to get out of the area.
After a few boats crossed under, a few of us saddled up for the four mile ride to the finish line. The place was festive and had the feel of the beginning of summer.
Crossing the finish line