Harvey Cedars Serves as Finish Line for Bicycle Trek

Aug 29, 2018
Courtesy of: Robert Friedman

Every Saturday morning, a group of North Jersey bicycle enthusiasts known as the “Essex County Chain Gang” pedal through the highways and byways of the Garden State. But on Aug. 25, the group took its 13th annual group ride to Long Beach Island, starting from Millburn at 5:30 a.m. and ending early in the afternoon at the summer home of Bob and Pam Friedman on Mercer Street in Harvey Cedars.

Bob Friedman, the event organizer, said the event raised nearly $2,000 for Jewish Service For The Developmentally Disabled. His wife volunteers there as a speech and language specialist. He said each rider was asked to make a donation.

Not all the cyclists completed the 110-mile trip.

“We started out with 30,” Friedman said. “Some of them just rode with us for a short spell.”

Friedman said 22 pedaled all the way to Harvey Cedars, where they enjoyed a catered lunch by Mario’s Italian Market in Surf City.

He said the cyclists who completed the trip did not take a beeline to the shore. Rather, they took a more scenic, circuitous route.

“The weather was perfect,” he said. “It was pleasantly cool when we started and it got sunny, but didn’t get very hot.”

He said the riders also took two breaks. The first was at a Panera’s establishment in Princeton; the other stop was the Wawa located at the intersection of Routes 70 and 539.

From the Wawa, the cyclists got onto Lacey Road, driving it to Route 9, where they headed south to Hilliard Boulevard in Manahawkin. From Hilliard they pedaled to East Bay Avenue to Marsha Drive and then onto Route 72.

“Riding on the Island can be pretty congested, especially with so many coming down on a Saturday,” said Friedman.

He said a bike shop in Chatham provided a support and gear vehicle to accompany the group.

“They look after the bicyclists in case they need any assistance,” he said. “We had two broken spokes and four flat tires. All goes with the territory.”

Later in the day, some of the cyclists got to rest their weary legs by relaxing on the beach.

“It was a great day,” said Friedman. “We get a lot of exercise and at the same time help a charity.”

— Eric Englund

ericenglund@thesandpaper.net

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