Bike tour to feature Revolutionary War spy
FARIFIELD — The exploits of the clandestine Revolutionary War era Culper spy ring will be a featured focus of a bicycle history tour on Sunday, July 3, starting 9:30 a.m. at the Fairfield Museum and History Center.
The Revolutionary War spy ring operated in the Fairfield area, providing General George Washington with vital intelligence on British naval and troop movements through the Long Island Sound region.
The tour, sponsored by the Museum and the Town of Fairfield’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, will follow the official new town-approved Shoreline bike route in Fairfield and journey into the Black Rock section of Bridgeport toward the home of Caleb Brewster, the spy ring’s leader. At the time of the Revolutionary War, that area and all of Bridgeport was actually part of Fairfield. Some 60 miles away, however, New York City was occupied and controlled by British forces, making the Long Island Sound coast a hotbed of espionage and intrigue.
The cycling tour will take place on Sunday, July 3 from 9:30 am to 11:30 a.m. and will cover approximately 8 miles, starting and ending at the Museum. It will explore many historic locations, including homes of famous ship captains and revolutionaries. Bicycle tour participants are required to wear helmets and the group is limited to the first 25 people who sign up in advance at through the Museum’s website at https://2016bicycletour.eventbrite.com. The tour is priced at $5 for museum members and $8 for non-members, which includes admission to the Museum. Children 14 and older capable of completing the ride can be part of the tour but must be accompanied by a parent. In the event of poor weather, a rain date of Saturday July 9 has been scheduled.
The two hour tour will mostly follow established bike routes through Fairfield, into Black Rock and the Saint Mary’s By the Sea neighborhood with a rest stop before returning.
“A bike tour provides easy accessibility to many of the spots we want to show people including the homes of noted Revolutionary War era patriots plus more recent history such as the location for Gustave Whitehead’s first flight,” said Walter D. Matis, Program & Volunteer Coordinator for the Fairfield Museum, who will narrate the tour.
Keith Gallinelli, chairman of the Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee added that those interested in the bike tour but who don’t own a bike should consider the free Fairfield BikeShare Program now operating at Zane’s Cycles, 1215 Post Road, Fairfield.
“Initiated by the Fairfield Health Department and Fairfield Public Library with financial support from Fairfield University and Sacred Heart University, Fairfield BikeShare consists of ten 3-speed, custom designed bikes. Residents and visitors can borrow a bike and ride them for free,” said Gallinelli.
Want to tour Fairfield by foot instead of bike? A series of walking tours conducted by the museum are also available. For more information visit http://www.fairfieldhistory.org/programs-events/
“The Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee’s mission is to encourage safe walking and cycling as a means of enjoying the beauty and history of Fairfield. We are delighted to make use of our new Shoreline bike route. Bike Route signs have been erected and shoulder lane striping and other visual road markings will soon be installed by the town engineering department to enhance safety, reminding motorists that cyclists are sharing the road with them,” said Gallinelli.
The Fairfield Museum, founded 103 years ago by the Fairfield Historical Society, is located at 370 Beach Road on Fairfield’s historic town green. The Museum is open daily 10 am - 4 pm. For more information, visit Fairfieldhistory.org or call 203-259-1598.