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Kids’ Bike Race Brings Crowds To Hilltop


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Geordie Smith starts a race.

If you saw a steady procession of cars with bike racks on Bloomfield Avenue this past weekend, the reason was the first Hilltop Grasshopper. The mountain bike race, open to kids in kindergarten through eighth grade, was organized by the Hilltop Conservancy, the Essex County Parks Department and the Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association. The course ranged from six-tenths of a mile to 3 full miles over rocks and rough terrain at the southern end of the Hilltop Reservation.

Fifty-one kids–and their fans–turned out for the event, from towns as far away as West Milford. There were more than a few Verona faces in the crowd and two of them came away winners: Cole Smith finished first in the race for boys in grades four and five, while Tori Socci picked up third place in the race for girls in the same grades.

The race was organized by Verona’s Rhonda and Geordie Smith, who handled the race registration and starts, respectively, with aplomb. It had a raft of sponsors, businesses like Montclair Bikery, Cycle Craft of Parsippany,  Kent Bicycles and KIDStrong, a maker of energy drinks for kids. The kids got their bikes professionally checked out before the race, and came away with bags to carry their gear and bike repair tools, a bike mileage calculator and even a photos of themselves racing by Luke Kelly.

If you missed this year’s race, mark your calendars for August 20, 2011: Geordie Smith already has it reserved for the second Hilltop Grasshopper!

These race photos were taken by Dan Robinson.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


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