A bicycling tradition is born in Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – From Smith and Canal Streets to the cross walk in front of the State House is less than 1/5th of a mile. But try riding it uphill on a bike from a dead stop.

That was the challenge facing bicyclists Sunday in the U.S. Open Cycling Foundation's first annual Providence Hill Climb. Bruce Masterson of East Providence made it with difficulty.

"It hurt," Masterson said. "Pretty close to losing my breakfast at the top which is the point. Not my type of effort. I'm more of a recreational kind of guy."

Cliff Marshall of North Smithfield, on the other hand, found it so easy he did it twice.

"What was it like? Not too bad," he said. "Not too intimidating. Anybody can do it."

The U.S. Open Cycling Foundation is committed to combating obesity through bicycle riding. Next Spring the group plans to have a seven hill bike ride in Providence.