A new cycling challenge

Bill Simpson.

Bill Simpson has a message for all those planning to ride the Hills of Attrition cycling route at this year’s Miles for Matheny fundraiser and community event. Enjoy an “easy ride” this year, because next year, the course will be longer and harder.

Simpson, a Gladstone resident who has been designing this route for several years, reasons that, “We already have a 50-mile route. Next year the Hills of Attrition is going to be 66 miles. It will continue further west, and there will be no rest stops.”

Simpson has cycled all over the country and the world, including such places as California, Colorado, Ireland and Switzerland. “In this part of New Jersey,” he says, “the hills are small but challenging. This is great, great cycling country.”

Simpson has lived in Gladstone since June 2004 and, before that, lived in Pottersville. He remembers that in the early days of Miles for Matheny the Bedminster Flyers, a local riding group that he belongs to, was asked to design all the cycling routes, and he was specifically tagged for the Hills of Attrition. Asked if he has any advice for those tackling the Hills of Attrition, he says: “Most guys who ride it know what they’re up against. But remember, if you go up, you also get to go down.”

Miles for Matheny will be held Sunday, April 22, at Liberty Park in downtown Peapack. All funds raised will help support the Matheny Center of Medicine and Dentistry, which provides medical, dental and therapy care to Matheny inpatients and people with disabilities in the community. Activities include five different Cycling Routes, a 5K Race, a Kids Fun Run and the Lu Huggins Wheelchair Walk in which more than 100 participants in wheelchairs, with walking partners, travel 1.5 miles around town. Peapack-Gladstone Bank is the Cycling sponsor, and its Whitehouse Station branch will be used as a rest stop.

For more information about Miles for Matheny, or to register, log onto www.milesformatheny.org or call (908) 234-0011, ext. 260.

Cyclists line up in 2009, the last year Miles for Matheny was held in downtown Peapack.