Behind the scenes at the LHF Lake Loop 2017: Bike Ride

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The Lake Hopatcong Foundation (LHF) is bringing back the regional favorite cycling event of a 20, 40 or 62 mile bike ride around Lake Hopatcong and beyond. To gather the behind the scenes information we spoke to Doug Palen and Walter Wurster the two key volunteers that run the Cycling Event.

Doug helped sum up the LHF Lake Loop Event as, “In my history here on the lake, and in cycling, I don’t know of another event that helps capture the enthusiasm of the communities, the beauty of the lake, and provides such a grant venue for cyclists.”

Walter added, “If you want to keep the lake here for the next 40 – 50 years, you need to do something to support the cause. And I believe the best opportunity is with the LHF.”

History behind the LHF Lake Loop Biking Event:

Tour De LakeThe idea for the Lake Loop started with the Mount Arlington Chief of Police Keith Licata, who created the initial event for cyclists looking for a spring ride around the lake called “tour de lake”. He created the 20 and 40-mile courses, which mostly remains intact today. After the LHF was asked to start a fall event by Keith, they created the 62-mile course in 2015, which is very popular with cyclists since it’s a traditional 100k biking course.

What to Expect:

20 Mile CourseThe core 20-mile cycling course that is included in all three distances, goes clockwise around the lake with mostly right-hand turns with markers at each turn to help you navigate the course. According to Doug, “In the history of this event we have only had one cyclist make a wrong turn.” The terrain is mostly flat to small rolling hills, with great views of the lake, where along the way you can also appreciate some of the amazing homes and historic sites as you ride.”

The 40 and 62-mile courses are much more hilly extension challenge to the 20-mile course as you encounter three significant climbs, on the 62-mile course there is one hill that lasts four-miles. Walter shared, “As a native of this area, I know this area very well, and as I helped develop the 62-mile course with Doug, we looked to bring just a little more challenge into the ride.”

Both Walter and Doug emphasized, “This is not a timed event, we encourage all cyclists to go at their own pace, there is no judgement, just make it fun for you!”

Expertise Necessary:

Both Doug Palen and Walter Wurster helped us define what to expect on all three courses, and the level of expertise necessary:


Ideal Expertise Needed

  • 20 Mile

Average Recreational Cyclist: Beyond just bike riding in your neighborhood, but most average fit people comfortable on the bike can finish easily.

  • 40 Mile

Challenge for Average Person: If you can do the 20-mile, and you have ridden this distances in the past, you can challenge yourself with the 40-mile option.

  • 62 Mile

Experienced Cyclist: Includes all the hills plus 20 additional miles of very scenic terrain, and Walter’s favorite 4-mile long hill.

Walter shared, “As an average recreational cyclist, I dared my friends to raise $2,000 for me to do the 62-mile. They achieved this goal and while it took me seven-hours to finish, I achieved this fundraising for the LHF.”

Event Logistics:

Date: September 24, 2017

Time Starts:

  • 8:00 am: 62 Mile Bike Course Starts
  • 8:30 am40 Mile Bike Course Starts
  • 20 Mile Bike Course Starts:             9:00 am

Location: Hopatcong State Park - 260 Lakeside Blvd, Landing, NJ 07850

Register Online, or the day of the event starting at 7:00 AM

Post your Pictures: with #LHFLL2017

Bio of Walter Wurster:

Walter is a local native of this area and has ridden all of his life as an average cyclist. I volunteered for the LHF, “As they do a lot of good things for kids and the healthiness of the lake. The lake is a lot cleaner now than when I was a kid on the lake.”

Bio of Doug Palen:

Doug has been in the area since 1976, and currently lives in the Landing area, in 2007 with only 11 months of training he participated in the Race across America, which runs over 3,000 miles from Ocean City, CA to Atlantic City, NJ. They cycle 24 hours a day and his team finished at just over 6 days. To help practice for this event he rode the initial Mount Arlington event as his training.

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