Make the Lake 2011: Riders Cycle 200 Miles in Two Days to Reach Bolton
Nearly $10,000 Raised to Fight Prostate Cancer
Five guys from New Jersey who consider themselves weekend warriors rather than competitive athletes reached Bolton Landing on Sunday afternoon after cycling more than 200 miles from their homes in Bergen County.
In the process, they achieved two important goals: raising at least $1,000 each to help fight prostate cancer and arriving at Fredericks in time for Happy Hour.
In fact, both goals were exceeded. Michael Manning, who instigated the trip, said they may have raised as much as $10,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. And they reached Frederick’s by mid-afternoon, giving them plenty of time to celebrate their achievement with the wives, children, relatives and friends who were waiting for them.
“We had two reasons for choosing Frederick’s as our destination,” said Manning, who owns a home at Lagoon Manor. “One, we love the restaurant. Two, we didn’t want to cycle any farther.”
Joining Manning were Scott Montgomery, Steve Van Praagh, Ted Hughes and Tim Hermansen. Tim Hermansen also has a Lagoon Manor connection. His sister, Shirley O’Reilly, has a home there as well. Billy Stroemer drove behind the riders, providing SAG (support and gear).
According to Manning, the friends regularly ride together in their hometown of Oradell, New Jersey, for exercise and fun.
One day, approximately a year ago, he casually wondered aloud if they could “make it to the lake” – that is to say, Lake George, two hundred miles away.
They trained for eight months, but still wondered if their goal was practical.
“I’m not that familiar with Lake George,” said Steve Van Praagh, a graphic designer. “I spend my vacations in Vermont and New Hampshire. Then I looked at a map and said ‘Oh my God!’ Lake George is near Rutland! I don’t ride to Rutland, I drive there, and it’s a four hour drive!’”
On Saturday, June 4, the group left their homes in New Jersey and rode 114 miles to New Baltimore, just south of Albany on the west bank of the Hudson. On Sunday, they rode the last 93 miles to Bolton Landing, picking up Route 9 at Glens Falls.
The weather was cooperative, the terrain less so.
“Hills – if you ride one down, you have to ride the next one up,” said Van Praagh. “It was like running in two marathons on two consecutive days. We’re not guys who ordinarily do that.”
Manning would like to make the ride an annual event and raise even more funds for charity.
The group selected the Prostate Cancer Foundation as this year’s beneficiary because “all of us have someone near and dear to us who’s been stricken with it.”
His goal this summer is to cycle the circumference of Lake George and tackle “the beast, the monster” – the road over Tongue Mountain.