Saturday is going to be a BIG day for little kids in Morristown.
And a morning of fun bicycling activities is planned for the Mayor’s Kid Fondo, a mini-version of Sunday’s Gran Fondo New Jersey, a mega-cycling event entering its third year.
The playground is a joint project of MetLife and KaBOOM, a national nonprofit established by social entrepreneur Darrell Hammond to build more than a dozen playgrounds across the United States and in Mexico City, Mexico.
Children at the Neighborhood House–a nonprofit that has been helping immigrants and working families since 1898–sketched their dream playground in July. Some of their ideas will be incorporated into the new playground. Volunteers are welcome, starting at 8 am at the Nabe, at 12 Flagler St. Work is expected to conclude by 3 pm. No construction experience is necessary.
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11th Dist.) and Mayor Tim Dougherty are slated to welcome the volunteers.
At 10 am, look for the Mayor at the Vail Mansion, at 20 South St., where the Kid Fondo will include a kids’ ride, bicycle decorating, safety tips from TransOptions and a chance to meet Jamis Pro Riders. Free food rounds out the festivities.
The Kid Fondo is free, but participants are asked to register in advance online.
Video from last year’s Kid Fondo:
Riders still can sign up for the Gran Fondo, too. They can choose among scenic bike loops of 18-, 42-, 62- and 107 miles. (Gran Fondo is Italian for “big ride.”)
The $175 price includes parking, food and live music, plus medals, a goodie bag and video of the event, and timed hill climbs for more serious cyclists. Extra efforts also will be made to make the Gran Fondo NJ a model for recycling and composting of food wastes.
Registration is open from 10 am to 8 pm on Friday, and from 10 to 6 on Saturday, at Marty’s Reliable Cycle on 173 Speedwell Ave. Riders also can sign up right before Sunday’s ride, between 5 am and 7:30 am, at Pioneer Park at Headquarters Plaza.
Marty Epstein, founder of the Gran Fondo NJ, promises route markings will be even better than last year. He anticipates 2,000 cyclists will participate in rides that meander through 24 towns in Morris, Hunterdon and Somerset counties. Some of the proceeds will benefit four area charities: The Seeing Eye Inc., Grow It Green Morristown, Homeless Solutions Inc. and Sustainable Morristown.
“We’re not the biggest” of the world’s Gran Fondos, Marty told MorristownGreen.com. “But we think we are the best.”
Video from last year’s Gran Fondo: