The Tour of Somerville: A Look at America's Oldest Road Cycling Event

The Tour of Somerville is a cycling event that has been around for over 70 years and is considered America's oldest road cycling event. From its humble beginnings in Somerville, New Jersey to its current status as a major cycling event, the Tour of Somerville has a long and storied history. This blog post will take a look at the history of the Tour of Somerville, from its inception to its current state, and explore some of the interesting stories that have gone along with this iconic cycling event.

The Tour of Somerville first began as a small race in Somerville, New Jersey in 1946. It was founded by local cyclists, including Morris County Sheriff and cycling enthusiast Harold S. Burdge. The first race was 15 miles long and attracted just a handful of riders. Over the years, however, the event grew in popularity and crowds grew to hundreds of participants.

The Tour of Somerville has become an important part of American cycling. In addition to its long history, the Tour of Somerville is known for its challenging terrain, which has produced some of the best cyclists in the world. Many of these cyclists, such as Lance Armstrong and Greg LeMond, have gone on to great success in the sport. Additionally, the Tour of Somerville has become a major tourist attraction in New Jersey and has drawn thousands of people to the event each year.

This blog post will explore the history of the Tour of Somerville, from its inception to its current state. It will also look at some of the most memorable moments in the event's history, such as the legendary battles between Armstrong and LeMond, and some of the stories of the lesser-known riders who competed in the Tour of Somerville. Finally, this post will look at the current state of the Tour of Somerville and what the future holds for this iconic cycling event.

The Tour of Somerville: A Look at America's Oldest Road Cycling Event

The Tour of Somerville is America's oldest road cycling event and one of the nation's most popular. The race first began in 1940, making it one of the oldest bicycle races in the world. The event is held every Memorial Day weekend in Somerville, New Jersey and draws thousands of spectators from around the world.

History and Origin

This iconic event has a long and interesting history. It was first raced in 1940 and founded by Fred Kugler and Frank Kurowski, who owned a bicycle shop in Somerville. The original event was a 60-mile race that started and ended at their store. The race was then taken over by the Somerville Police Department in the 1970s and is now run and organized by the Somerville Police Athletic League (PAL).

Unlike most other road cycling events, the Tour of Somerville is a criterium race. It’s held on a closed circuit course that is approximately one mile long, and riders complete multiple laps. This makes it a fast-paced and exciting event for both riders and spectators alike.

The Race Today

The Tour of Somerville continues to be a popular event today. It typically attracts some of the top professional riders, including many Olympians and professional teams from around the world. But the event isn't just for professional cyclists. It also features amateurs and recreational riders, as well as junior and master's categories.

The Tour of Somerville is more than just a race. It features live music, food, a beer garden, and an expo. The race is sponsored by local businesses and organizations, and the proceeds are donated to the Somerville Police Athletic League, which provides local youth with athletic and educational programming.

The Course

The Tour of Somerville course is a challenging one, with tight turns and some steep hills. The course is 1.2 miles long and riders complete multiple laps during the race. Most of the course is on flat terrain, but there are a few hills that provide a challenge for the riders.

The course also features some iconic landmarks, such as the old train station and the iconic Victorian-era homes. This makes the Tour of Somerville an interesting event for spectators to watch and enjoy.


The Tour of Somerville is one of the oldest road cycling events in the world. It's a fast-paced and exciting race that attracts some of the top professional riders. But it's also a fun event for spectators, with live music, food, and an expo. The proceeds from the race are donated to the local Police Athletic League, making it a great way to support a good cause.

The Tour of Somerville is a true testament to the passion and dedication shared by cycling enthusiasts across the country. This event has been running for almost a century and continues to be one of the most well-known and respected bike races in America. With a wide variety of courses, categories, and events designed to challenge and excite cyclists of all skill levels, the Tour of Somerville is a must-attend for anyone interested in the sport of cycling. In its long and storied history, the Tour of Somerville has been home to some of the most talented riders in the world. It is a unique and exciting event that has earned its place in the annals of cycling history. While much has changed over the years, the spirit of the event remains the same - to celebrate the love of cycling and the joys of being outdoors. The Tour of Somerville is one of America’s oldest and most beloved cycling events. It is a celebration of the thrill of competition and the beauty of the outdoors. For those lucky enough to take part, it is an incredible opportunity to make memories and to push their own limits. Whether you are a seasoned rider or a first-time participant, the Tour of Somerville is an unforgettable experience that will have you coming back year after year.
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