If there's such a thing as a summer extravaganza in a state park, then this past weekend's events at Prompton would certainly qualify.
— If there's such a thing as a summer extravaganza in a state park, then this past weekend's events at Prompton would certainly qualify.
On Saturday, 35 runners raced through the park on 10, 20, or 30 mile circuits in the second-ever "Prompton Punisher." The following day, the Friends of Prompton Park spearheaded a day-long opportunity for the general public to try out various kinds of bicycles and human-powered watercraft.
Weather-wise, it couldn't have been a better day to ride a bike or paddle a boat and many came from far and wide to do just that. In addition to the local cycling shops, Sicklers' and Sawmill Cycles, the Giant mountain bike company was there with one of its national touring demonstration teams and brought its fleet of mountain bikes for folks to try out.
Company representatives from Breezer and Fuji bicycles were also there while the local stores had many bikes from their own demo and rental fleets on hand.
It wasn't all mountain bikes either as Zach Wentzel of Sickler's in Hawley showed off a new ride perfect for tooling around the town. The Commuter 4 by Jamis has skinny tires like a road cycle but the frame and handlebars like a mountain bike, it's a hybrid. While hybrid bikes have been around for some time, the NuVinci transmission that comes as standard equipment eliminates the complex and clunky gears typical on most multi-speed cycles.
Just turn the dial on the handgrip and watch the icon change from a flat line to a slope, the steeper the slope the less resistance on the chain. Simple.
Another feature on this ride is the Slidepad breaking system. No more confusing the front and back handbrakes. Just pull the lever and the rear brake engages a bit then pulls tension on the front brake, making it much more comfortable for novice riders or just someone carrying a briefcase in one hand while trying to steer through the city streets.
Giant representative Jordan Nguyen also had several mountain bikes sporting the NuVinci shifters as well.
"We're on the road all the time and we're at a demo every week," said the Austin, Texas based technician. "We have 58 bikes we take with us, mostly higher-end equipment and a lot of them are 29-inch bikes." He went on to explain that a lot of riders, even beginners, are choosing the larger wheeled bikes because they are more efficient and attack the terrain better.
Sawmill Cycles/Northeast Wilderness Experience, another business with a Hawley locale, was doing double-duty at the event.
Up in the parking area was owner Dan Corrigan and his bike crew, getting folks set-up to take a ride, while down at the lake was trip director Paul Mang, giving crash courses in kayak paddling and helping people into and out of the NEWE boats.
"Things have been going great," said Corrigan, "We brought a number of our own bikes and boats and have been talking to people all day about everything from new products to our tours. We're really pleased with the turnout today too. It's good promotion for the park."
It's actually a win-win-win scenario.
The local businesses get to show off their wares to the public, the public gets to play with a lot of cool toys and everyone gets to discover what the park has to offer.
Also there were Seaman's Marina, The Trackside Grill and the First Presbyterian Church youth group, who were manning concessions to help offset their upcoming mission to West Virginia.
Off property, Antler Ridge Winery and Three Guys and a Beard Brewing were holding tastings of their products in support of the event as well.
Tim Pender of The Friends of Prompton Park was very pleased with the turnout.
"We've worked very hard over the past few years to bring attention to the park; today we've met people from New York and New Jersey who came here specifically for the event. We've also done a lot of work on the trails and public areas too for people to enjoy.
"We acquired some weed whackers and chainsaws this year from DCNR to help us get more work done. Hopefully we'll recruit more members for our group and be able to do some more things here in the park in the future."
In addition to the manpower and financial contributions from the Friends group, the Pocono Mountain Visitor Bureau, Wayne County Tourism, the Greater Honesdale Partnership, Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, The Dime Bank and other local businesses helped play a part in making the event a big success, one that certainly will become a staple at the park.