Sound Cyclists grow into county’s largest club
NEW CANAAN — Norwalk resident Nancy Rosett has been a member of Sound Cyclists since it was founded in 1977.
In the first year, the club had around 25 members. Forty-one years later, that number has grown to close to 1,000.
“In the first few years, we had one ride on Sunday mornings and now we have different ride levels based upon the speed of the ride leader and about five to seven different rides on Saturday and Sunday each,” Rosett, who was the second president of the club from 1979 to 1980, said.
The majority of the club members hail from towns in Fairfield County, with a few who live in New York.
When his wife died from a life-threatening disease in 2008, New Canaan resident and dentist Alan Sheiner was encouraged by a patient to seek out a local cycling club.
“I searched ‘bicycle club’ on Google and found Sound Cyclists and it’s one of the best things I’ve done in my life,” Sheiner said.
Sheiner joined the club in 2009 and became a ride leader, helping and guiding other riders. In one of those rides, Sheiner met his wife, Shean-Mei Sheu, whom he had helped when riding along Goodwives River Road in Darien.
”That’s how we met,” Sheiner said. “Other members in the club are married and have met during their time there.”
Depending on each rider’s experience, they can join different groups: Level A is for the more seasoned cyclists and Level E is for beginners. Sheu, who joined in 2008, started out on Level E and has progressed to what she calls a C-plus.
“It’s great networking that you never thought you would have,” Sheu said. “I joined when I lived in Westchester in 2008 and I’ve been there ever since.”
A Darien resident, Al Drewes became a member 20 years ago. He had heard about the club after visiting a shop in New Canaan and joined shortly thereafter.
“It’s an amazing organization and well-run. You see people who are 75 years old and people who are triathletes and going 22 miles per hour,” Drewes said.
Residents from surrounding towns are also active members. Membership costs $25 a year.
“I wanted places to ride and explore with the safety of a group,” Aileen Thompson, a Westport resident, said. She joined the club 10 years ago when her children left for college.
New Canaan resident Alec Moncure calls himself the new guy on the block — or in this case, bike — as he joined only two years ago.
“I got involved in the club shortly after I retired. I had some time on my hands and since I had done recreational cycling as a kid, I wanted to pick it up again,” Moncure said. “It’s a great activity from a fitness and a social standpoint.”
According to Moncure, some routes go along the beach through Southport Harbor or go inland, where riders can get a view of the New England countryside, winding roads and reservoirs.
A $75 registration fee for the Bloomin’ Metric offers a breakfast before the ride, lunch afterward and a massage if needed.
Moncure hopes that those interested in participating know that the event is for anyone, including nonmembers, but hopes it will encourage others to sign up.
“The club is for anyone who wants to get out and enjoy the ride. It’s not about racing, but about having fun and a little exercise,” Moncure said.