Tour of Somerville, a Memorial Day Tradition
SOMERVILLE – As they have for 75 years, thousands of biking enthusiasts gathered on the curbs along Main Street and other Somerville streets to witness bike races in the Tour of Somerville on the last Monday of May. This Memorial Day tradition, which started in 1940, stops for no man or woman, although races were suspended for a few years during World War II.
The winner of the 1940 race was Furman Krugler, son of Fred “Pop” Kugler, who owned the popular Somerville bike shop.The announcer of this year’s race was Joe Saling, the former competitive cyclist who bought Kugler’s shop.
Saling has been announcing the race for years, and last year had the privilege of seeing his grandson compete. This year, national competitors James Mellen and Ava Burke competed.
Leading up to the Monday races were bike races in nearby towns that were organized by the Tour of Somerville committee. On Saturday, criterium races in Bound Brook included the 9 a.m. masters’ 55+ (First Race); 9:45 a.m. men’s; 10:20 a.m. masters’ 45+; 11:10 a.m. juniors’ 15-18; 11:55 a.m. women’s; 12:30 p.m. categories; 1:40 p.m. women’s; 2:40 p.m. men’s pro. Bound Brook Police Officer F. Waller with his new friend Harmony, grandson of Bound Brook resident Jannet Mathias.
During the Criterium races, one lucky little 5-year-old boy got to live out his dream, not as a cyclist but as a police officer. The visiting grandson of Jannet Mathias, Harmony, was befriended by Bound Brook Police officer F. Waller. Not only did Waller let the boy sit in his patrol car and blow the horn, but he also invited the boy to tour the police station.