MOUNT ARLINGTON – Seasoned and novice riders gathered in the borough Saturday for the fourteenth running of the Cycle Craft Tour de Lake Hopatcong bicycling challenge.
In the men’s 40-mile challenge, a course with steep up hills and fast down hills that weaves through Morris and Sussex counties, twelve of the 125 registered riders finished the challenging course in just under 2 hours.
For those less inclined to take on the punishing 40-mile course there was a 20-mile scenic ride around Lake Hopatcong, with some challenging hills, twists and turns.
Landing resident Anthony Scorciolla was one of those novice riders taking on the 20-mile ride.
Dressed nothing like most of the rest of the field of bikers in a pair of blue jeans (with his right pant leg tucked into his sock), a Roxbury High School
football sweatshirt and a well-worn bike helmet, the 40-something Scorciolla was confident his circa 1977 Peugeot would be up to the challenge of the rolling hills around Lake Hopatcong.
“Steel is real,” he said of his vintage bike. “Forget about aluminum or carbon. All the modern stuff – that’s for sissies,” he said smirking while proudly standing next to his somewhat rusting blue bike. Scorciolla, who said his “breakfast of champions” before the ride consisted of two cups of tea, a Snickers bar and Advil, said he trained one day, Friday, for Saturday’s event. His riding mates, Allison Alexander and Barbara Bagnuolo, both from Rutherford, said they trained two days for Saturday’s ride.
“We’ll be lucky we make it through,” said Bagnuolo as the trio waited for the challenge to begin.
The Tour de Lake is the brainchild of Mount Arlington police chief Keith Licata. The event raises funds for the borough Fraternal Order of Police and the Police Unity Tour. This year’s event raised a total of $3,100. The money will be used to offset the cost for Licata, Sgt. James DiStasio and Robert Wargo to ride in the Unity Tour event. Wargo is riding in honor of his brother, fallen borough police officer Joe Wargo.
Licata said Eastern Sports Promotions provided the electronic timing device attached to each of the rider’s helmet and had “tons of volunteers and support strategically stationed” to help riders stay on course, both new additions to the Tour de Lake this year.