Alfred University News

Tour de Alf 2023: Reunion Bikers’ trip to Alfred University draws near

After much discussion, debate, backroom horse trading, and some arm twisting the Alfred University “reunion bikers” were able to come up with this year’s theme name for their week-long bike ride back to campus. The winner is “Tour de Alf 2023”. Organizers of the ride credit Dave Perry ’61 for his hard work and sage guidance in advising the group during the naming process.

It’s not too late to join in a tradition that was started by a handful of adventurers from the class of 1958 who decided to bicycle from the Philadelphia area to Alfred University for their 40th reunion in 1998.  They did it again for their 45th and 50th reunions choosing different routes in most years.  By 2010 the ride had become a tradition (and was opened up to other classes) and has continued each year since except 2020 when the reunion was canceled due to COVID-19.  Believe it or not some of the 58’ers, as they have become known, still participate in parts of the ride.

This year’s group includes veteran bikers Larry ’68 and Denise ’69 Ploetz, Mary Bouchard ’73 (50th reunion, a soon to be Golden Saxon), Roberta Auerbach ’74, Steve Crandall ’77, David ’77 and Regina Holleb, Jim Randall ’77, Terry Kiff ’84, and Blake Mayo.  We are welcoming rookie biker Brian Bortz ’93 who is returning for his 30th reunion.  Brian graduated with an elementary education degree.    

The group has again chosen Geneva, NY, as their pedal off point.  Geneva is in the heart of the Finger Lakes at the north end of Seneca Lake.  The area was long occupied by the Seneca Indians, part of the Iroquois Federation of central NY.  Geneva is now known for its tourist industry, particularly wine making and tours.  The city also identifies as the “Lake Trout Capital of the World”.  It is the home of Hobart and William Smith Colleges (a frequent opponent of Alfred University on the athletic field), and NYS Agricultural Experiment Station of Cornell University.  Famous sights include the Belhurst Castle and the historic row houses on the college campus overlooking Seneca Lake.     

The bikers will be traveling Saturday, June 3, to Geneva and spend three nights there before moving on to Mt. Morris, NY for two nights (June 6 and 7).  Bike routes are still being planned but will focus on country roads around the Finger Lakes area.  Area hotels are being considered.  While in Mt. Morris the cyclists will tackle the challenging Park Road in Letchworth State Park.  A whitewater rafting trip along the Genesee River is also back on the agenda for Thursday morning.  The reunion bikers move on to the Best Western Maple City Inn, in Hornell, NY Thursday night, June 8.  On Friday morning, June 9 the group will celebrate with their “Victory Ride” into Alfred with an anticipated arrival at the King Alfred Statue at high noon.

The group welcomes students, alumni, and friends to join in the ride as it passes through their local area, or for part or all of our trip.  The reunion bikers also enjoy having lunch or dinner with friends of the University throughout their travels.  Anyone interested in taking part in Friday’s “Victory Ride” that needs accommodations in Hornell is encouraged to make reservations early as the area hotels quickly fill up.  Stay tuned for updates every few weeks.  Please email Jim Randall ’77 at for additional information.