Tyler Cenci organizes Tour de Cranbury for Eagle Scout project, said he would like to see the bike tour become annual event.
Cranbury’s history is woven throughout the downtown and neighborhoods making up the township.
More than 100 cyclists got to view that local history as they participated in the first-ever Tour de Cranbury.
“Tour de Cranbury is my Eagle Scout Service Project and really stems from the idea that I really love biking in Cranbury,” said Tyler Cenci, lead organizer of Tour de Cranbury. “It is a way to share that experience with other people around the town and it ended up turning out really good.”
With over a year of planning, Cenci, a sophomore at Princeton High School and a Cranbury Troop 52 Life Scout, mapped out three separate biking routes for cyclists.
Along the way, there were changes made.
“We started with only one ride and then decided to break it out into two and three rides,” Cenci said.
Originally, the idea for a bike riding event was brought to him by Barbara Rogers, former Cranbury mayor and current Township Committeewoman.
As Cenci ran with the idea and shared that the goal for the day was just to get people on bikes, and get people engaged in the community.
“The goal was accomplished. We got over 100 people out on the roads and streets of Cranbury and had a really good experience,” he said. “I think a lot of people enjoyed it and had a good time.”
Kicking off the event to start the day was the 10-mile Tour de Cranbury route for experienced bikers. Starting from Village Park, riders made their way through Main Street, Old Trenton Road, George Davidson Road and Plainsboro Road before finishing back at Village Park.
“To see that this was actually organized by an Eagle Scout was so exciting. The next generation of kids are going to do amazing things for biking and walking,” said Elise Bremer-Nei, coordinator for the New Jersey Department of Transportation Bicycle and Pedestrian Program. “This is a great community and so many people came out.”
After invitations from Rogers, Bremer-Nei was joined by Mike Dannemiller, supervising engineer for Middlesex County Planning, as they biked through the Tour de Cranbury.
“Tyler told me that he really got into cycling during the pandemic, which is the story for a lot of people,” Bremer-Nei said. “To do something on this scale as his Eagle Scout project and the coordination it took to make this safe is just amazing and impressive.”
The second route was a shorter three-mile all skill level route that also started at Village Park. The route took people past the new library on Park Place, Town Hall, Brainerd Lake, Cranbury Inn and Heritage Park, which were just some of many views along the designated roadways.
This route also took riders from Park Place and Symmes Court to Liedtke Drive, past Shadow Oaks before finishing at Cranbury-Millstone Park.
A ride for only children later in the day closed out Tour de Cranbury’s biking routes. The route was under a mile. It started from Cranbury-Millstone Park and went around the Parkview Road Loop before the finish back at the park.
“This is by far the largest Eagle project I have seen in my years. Highly organized, executed so well and so much behind the scenes work between the Scouts, his family, and his friends,” said Tim Brennan, scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 52, adding he could not be any prouder.
“To put something together on public roads, involves the entire community, and getting permission for signage on roads and parks, he has learned so much about how government and volunteerism works.”
Cenci’s work organizing the Tour de Cranbury as his Eagle Scout Service project did not stop with the mapping out of routes and coordination with local entities, there was the creation of handheld riding passports for the tour.
The passports not only detailed all three bike routes, they also spotlighted and gave the history of Village Park, Cranbury Public Library, Dr. Wonder Comic & Collectibles, The Cranbury Inn, Barn Park and Millstone Park. These were the six destination stops each rider could collect a stamp if they visited.
Cenci praised his parents, the Township Committee, Cranbury Chamber of Commerce, and all of the people who volunteered their time and skills to help him through the process.
He said he would like to see Tour de Cranbury become an annual event.
“If someone would like to take on the role of leadership for this, I would love for this event to continue on,” he said. “That would be amazing, and I can coach them through what I did, and they can make changes if they like. I would love for this to be an annual event or something that continues on in the future.”