The second annual Drops to Hops bike race is set for Saturday in Cooperstown.
The “hops” part of the name refers to Brewery Ommegang, which, along with the Clark Sports Center, is presenting the event. And “drops,” for the uninitiated, is short for drop handlebars — the sort often seen on touring or racing bikes.
The race is presented by the Clark Sports Center in partnership with the brewery. The event is divided into two individual races, both of which will begin and end at Brewery Ommegang. The race is open to riders ages 16 and older; beer will be served at the party for those who are 21 or older.
Race Director Doug McCoy of the Clark Sports Center said response has been great for this year’s event, having already surpassed last year’s total of 124 riders.
“We passed last year’s number on Sunday, so we’re at about 165, 170,” McCoy said Wednesday afternoon.
The race is divided into two categories, with registrations evenly split between the two, McCoy said. The “A” field will take experienced riders in a 43-mile loop as far north as Roseboom (nearly to Cherry Valley) and as far south as Milford.
The “B” field is a 23-mile loop designed for riders of various levels on county roads. Licensed riders will not be permitted in the “B” race, which McCoy called “an everyday Joe kind of race.”
McCoy got the idea for Drops to Hops after noticing how popular cycling seemed to be in the region.
“Every corner or every street that you ride on, you see someone on a bike,” McCoy observed. “And I’ve always heard people say that they wish there would be a race in this area.”
Partnering with Ommegang for the event was “a natural fit,” McCoy said. “Belgian-style beer with bicycling just seemed like a good idea.”