Saturday, March 25, 2023

The road from Vernon, New Jersey, to Glen Spey, New York, was dotted with pink last week when 219 women cycled their way from the Minerals Spa and Resort to Camp Simcha Special as part of the 2017 Tour de Simcha. Among those riding from Bergen County were Freeda Muller, Tova Gerson, Bibi Pavel and Eva Rothberg.

The women cycled either 40 or 75 miles to reach the “The World’s Greatest Finish Line,” the gates of Camp Simcha. They arrived in a sea of hot pink cycling shirts and matching covers for their helmets.

Despite 90-degree heat and the fact that it seemed like every hill was going up, the women seemed filled with energy as they passed the finish line. They got off their bicycles, which were efficiently whisked away by volunteers, and danced with Camp Simcha Special’s campers and staff. The group was welcomed with music, screaming adulation from the campers, dancing and a barbecue guaranteed to replace all calories lost during the arduous trek.

Many professed that they hadn’t felt the 90+ degree heat during the afternoon. “It’s all in your mind,” one laughed at a visitor who was clearly feeling the temperature. “It’s worth it for the kids,” another said.

Now in its sixth year, Tour De Simcha has become one of the premier women’s charity cycling events. The fully supported ride allows women to choose both distance and route. It begins with a lavish and spirited pasta party the night before the ride, and ends with an emotional, triumphant entrance into Camp Simcha and a presentation created by the campers. This year’s program included two choreographed dances adapted for children with disabilities. Cyclists were clearly moved as they watched. “It’s the essence of camp,” commented a woman who wouldn’t take her eyes off the performance. “They are proving that disabilities can’t stop you.”

By JLNJ Staff


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