ESSEX — Though the day started out with frost, as it progressed the warm sun illuminated fall foliage along the route for the Bikes the Barns participants as they navigated the roads, cutting through farm fields and woodlands.

Though slightly down from the 200 riders in pre-pandemic 2019, 175 participants from Georgia to Minnesota, including 88 year-old Bill Borzilleri of Lake Placid, spun one petal in front of the other as they took a leisurely ride through the Champlain Valley.

The event commenced and terminated at Hub on the Hill, a food processing and distribution hub and retail store at which lunch was served and music provided by The Insolent Willies.

As she was sipping hot coffee, Hayley Hughes of North Creek was not one to be intimidated by the bike ride as a few weeks earlier she summited Mt. Kilimanjaro.

“I love being here in the mountains and in the open air and meeting new people,” she gave for her rationale for joining the event.

Janet Booth of Plattsburgh arrived with four of her Ride with Women on Wheels cycling group.

“I love to cycle and the scenery is eye candy. I also like the camaraderie of women who love to cycle. We are so lucky to be living in this area,” Booth said.