Nature & Camaraderie at the Land Conservancy Fondo
TLCNJ President David Epstein shares his account of riding in the Land Conservancy Fondo last Saturday:
We were incredibly fortunate to have spectacular riding weather for the second annual Land Conservancy Fondo. It was sunny and 58 degrees when left early from Nancy Conger West Brook Preserve, and we rode immediately downhill for 4 miles. It was ridiculously fast, thrilling really, and a great start.
We rode together as a group, though there were a wide range of abilities among the riders. When an injured knee made him a reluctant late scratch from the ride, our good friend and founder of this ride Bill Conger drove with us as our sag wagon taking photos, providing food, and ready to help with flats.
A bald eagle greeted us as we had our first glimpse of Greenwood Lake and the Appalachian Trail on the ridge above the west bank. Our ride back south along the lake left us with breathtaking views of this beautiful bi-state treasure for many miles. Although the ride was originally mapped as 35 miles, we took a short cut over the final leg on back roads to avoid traffic. Although this shortened the ride by four miles and helped us miss many cars, it was significantly steeper and felt longer. All in all, it was a good workout with great friends. Riding with my brother-in-law Bill (my partner on many a Five Boro Tour in New York City), wilderness adventuring buddy Ed Goodell, and childhood friend Andrew Bergen (who I hadn’t seen since high school) were other highlights as well.
Thanks to all of you, we raised more than $3,200 in contributions and another $2,400 from riders to preserve more of these beautiful places we rode past! I am humbled by your generosity, friendship and support and just can’t thank each of you enough.
While we miss the Garden State Fondo from whence this ride originated, the camaraderie and beauty of this ride more than made up for the loss. Thank you once again, I hope to see you all soon.