And they’re off! Gran Fondo 2017 hits the road in Morristown for Year Seven

Some 2,400 riders came to the Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Some 2,400 riders came to the Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
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The temperature was in the mid-50s, and dry. Perfect for a 107-mile bike ride.

Or 18 miles, as lady members of the Seeing Eye team were preparing to do on Sunday morning at the seventh annual Gran Fondo NJ.

That should be easy, right?

“No!!!” the ladies yelled in unison moments before the start.

“We know the hills are coming,” said Carolyn Finkelstein of Mountain Lakes.

Slideshow photos by Kevin Coughlin

Sea of helmets, Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Here they come, Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Low rider at Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Volunteer Patrick McGoldrick waves the flag at Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Around the Green at the Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Through the Green, Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
The first hill, Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Sunday morning, Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Heading to Route 124, Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Anneliese Sepaniak of Peapacj prepares for her second Gran Fondo, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Crowd at Gran Fondo, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Starting line, Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Seeing Eye cycling team,Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Some 2,400 riders came to the Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
All smiles--before the hills. Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Waiting their turn,Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Mayor Tim Dougherty and Fondo founder Marty Epstein at Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Ready to go, Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
NO TURNS? Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Councilwoman Alison Deeb and her Seeing Eye puppy, Heath, Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Seeing Eye pups at Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Let's get started: Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Rolling start, Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Raring to go, Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Mayor Tim Dougherty cuts ribbon, Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Charity beneficiaries at Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Founder Marty Epstein at Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
Starting line,Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
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P1620350 - Sea of helmets, Gran Fondo NJ, Sept. 10, 2017. By Kevin Coughlin
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Some 2,400 riders from 30 states, nine countries and five continents showed up for the day of cycling.

Anneliese Sepaniak came all the way from… Peapack.

“It’s just a real beautiful ride,” she said, back for her second year to try a 43-mile route.

Patrick McGoldrick preferred volunteering.

“I’m more of a runner,” said the 26-year-old Morristown resident, waving an orange flag to direct cyclists around the Green.  “I’ll be biking in my later years.”

When will those be?

“My 40s,” McGoldrick said.

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