“Good morning Ben.”
“Hi. I’m not Ben. I’m Sol.”
“Good morning Sol.”
“I’m not Sol. He’s Sol. I’m Ben.”
It’s often difficult to recognize cyclists in their biking clothes, helmets and sunglasses, but this week the cyclists on the Anchor House Ride for Runaways have an extra challenge with two of the riders. For the first time that the Anchor House cyclists can recall, identical twins are participating in the ride.
Sol and Ben Hayon, graduates of West Windsor-Plainsboro High South, are both taking part in the 36th annual ride this week.
“I went to high school in the same town as they did and I can’t even tell them apart,” cyclist Russ Buckley said of the pair.
“We’re used to it,” Ben Hayon said.
“We hear it all the time,” Sol Hayon added.
The twins are cycling with their father Jack, Hayon, who is participating in his seventh Anchor House ride this week.
“They didn’t want to do a marathon with me, so they are doing this,” said Hayon, the chief financial officer at ETS. “It’s great to have them on the ride with me. I couldn’t be happier. I’m on cloud nine.”
Sol is studying medicine at the University of Maryland, and Ben works for Deloitte in Manhattan. They are doing their fundraising for Anchor House, the Trenton-based shelter for abused and runaway children and teens, via Crowdtilt.
“They both got bikes for the ride two months ago,” Jack Hayon said. “They are doing great. They are very athletic.”
The twins, who will turn 25 at the end of this month, often ride with their father, or are usually not very far away. Hayon, 58, has a strategy for making sure they don’t get too far ahead of him. He doesn’t linger at rest stops on the ride so he can get a head start. The twins have been impressed with their dad’s riding skills. On the longest day of the ride they could be overheard talking about how he was doing. “He’s moving pretty fast,” one said to the other. “He didn’t leave the rest stop that much earlier than we did.”
The best proof that the sons are enjoying themselves while raising money for a good cause — they think their older sister should joint the family on the ride next year.
More than half a dozen parent-child groups are participating in the Ride for Runaways this week. The ride raises more than a third of the money to operate Anchor House each year. Veterinarian Patti Maslanka of Princeton and her son, Mark Maslanka, are both rookies this year, and have ridden the whole ride together.
Maslanka said she has been thinking about doing the ride for years. Her son is about to start college this fall so she decided it was now or never.
“We wanted to do it before the bird flies from the nest,” she said.
The 183 Anchor House cyclists pedaled 69.3 miles from Winchester, Va. to Hagerstown, Md. Tuesday, enjoying rolling hills and milder temperatures after two days of hot weather and tough climbs. The cyclists biked briefly through West Virginia, crossed the Potomac River, and rode near Antietam Battlefield.
Wednesday the cyclists will bike 57.6 miles from Hagerstown. Md. to Westminster. Md., climbing 3,237 feet. The route includes a 5.1-mile early in the day.
Reporter Krystal Knapp is a cyclist in the 36th annual Anchor House Ride for Runaways. For more information about Anchor House or to make a donation, visit www.anchorhouseride.org, where you can also make online donations in a cyclist’s name. Donations can also be sent to the Anchor House Foundation, P.O. Box 2357, Trenton, NJ 08607-2357.