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It was the YMCA of South Collier's 10th ride

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A record number of cyclists turned out over the weekend in ideal weather to enjoy the 10th Annual Tour de Marco.

"We had 228 riders representing 17 states, and also a group of 8 from Montreal," (Quebec, Canada) said Tony De Lucia, community relations manager for the organizers, the YMCA of South Collier (Marco).

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The tour was originally devised as a way for cyclists to cruise the island and take in the pretty neighborhoods, but some like to use it as a training run on the designated 15- or 30-mile course.

Either way, the Tour complements the Y's mission of healthy living.

Youngest cyclist on the day was nine-year-old Zachary Tomasheski, a Tommie Barfield Elementary student who also likes tennis, soccer and basketball. He said the main attraction for him of cycling is riding with the wind.

Safety was a priority, and Marco police personnel were on hand at key intersections to hold traffic as cyclists sped or eased by.

De Lucia paid tribute to the Y's energetic bunch of unsung hero volunteers for the morning, as well as sponsors the Marco Island Bike Shop and the Marco Bike Path Committee.

"Riders said they're already looking forward to next year's tour," De Lucia said. "It'll be Feb. 21."

Money from the Tour goes towards the Y's children and families scholarship fund, allowing them to participate in programs and camps they might otherwise not be able to afford.

More: Marco Island recognizes Audubon of the Western Everglades' Owl Watch program

For more on the Y's wide variety of programs and activities for adults and children, visit marcoymca.org or call 394-YMCA (9622). Follow on Twitter at ymcamarco; on Facebook @marcoymca, and Instagram at

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