Sojourn cyclists first to cross
Members of the Jim Thorpers Bicycle Team line the trail to cheer on riders from the Rails-to-Trails Pennsylvania Sojourn as they make their way to Easton. BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS
The 330 cyclists taking part in the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s 2018 Pennsylvania Sojourn were among the first ones to cross the Mansion House Bridge.
The four-day sojourn is following the path of the Delaware & Lehigh Trail for the second time. It’s the 18th edition of the event, and 16 different states have hosted it.
Cyclist Joel Kring of Berks County said he loves the beauty of the Lehigh Gorge, and was looking forward to exploring more of the D&L. “We’ve ridden most of the sections, it’s nice having another section to ride,” he said.
Cyclist Dennis Fetters of Catasauqua said he was impressed with the generosity of the state government to create something like the D&L and the Mansion House Bridge.
“Pa. has some of the greatest state parks,” he said. “And this is just an extension of those parks.”
Tom Sexton of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy took that sentiment a step further. He said that Pennsylvania’s DCNR is the best trail agency in the country, adding that he does not say that in every state he visits.
He said it was appropriate that the sojourn could pass over the new bridge because part of its mission is to raise awareness of trail gaps like the one the bridge closes.
“The sojourn helps celebrate openings, it also draws attention to gaps in regional trail systems. This one’s almost complete,” Sexton said.