Connecting with friends through the Watershed Ride

Gary Johnson is passionate about cycling, whether it’s through the salt marshes and cranberry bogs of Buzzards Bay, or the mountains and fjords of Norway. He’s training for his 13th straight Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride, having participated in every ride since 2009. He rides for team “Chi Lodge” with lifelong friend David Kibbe.

Gary Johnson crossing the finish line in Woods Hole in 2016

Enjoying the scenery. “Buzzards Bay has so much diversity in the landscape, going by salt marshes, then cranberry country. It’s a truly beautiful ride. I had never done any charity rides before the Watershed Ride, and it’s the only one I’ve ever done. I’m glad we can contribute.”

Training for the Ride. “I join the National Bike Challenge every year, so I keep track of my riding. I set a goal to build up for the Watershed Ride. Every week I try to do a few more miles and I do one long ride a week. In May and June the long ride is 45/50 miles, but in September I get up to 80/90 miles.”

Cycling the fjords. “Normally we spend our summers in Norway as my wife has family there, and I do the same training schedule there. One long ride a week on mountains and fjords, there is no flat. There are places where it’s a 10% grade that you’re climbing. Just not at all like here. I also spend a lot of time in the boat, doing a lot of fishing and hiking. We’re about 63 degrees north, so if we’re there in June/July it never gets dark, you can be out at any time. I miss it, it’s been hard not going back the past two years.”

Riding with a friend. “Dave and I grew up in the same county west of Buffalo, but didn’t know each other until we ended up at Colgate. We were fraternity brothers for three years. Have you seen Animal House? That movie was like a documentary about our house. Around 2000 we got in contact and we started going to the NCAA hockey tournament every year as a way to see each other. I’d been doing various rides for years, and he decided to join me for the Watershed Ride. We decided it’s a great way to get together and spend the weekend together since he lives in Albany. We have a good time, and our wives hang out while we ride.”

Clever fundraising. “One year I managed to get the yellow top fundraiser jersey. I sent an email to all my frat brothers. We call our team Chi Lodge after our fraternity. We used to buy 25 kegs for one weekend, so I sent an email asking them to contribute the current cost of a keg of beer to my ride. I was able to raise enough money to wear the yellow jersey! It was good getting back in touch with everyone.”

Gary Johnson is the treasurer of the Mattapoisett Land Trust and serves on the Buzzards Bay Coalition finance committee.

Category: On the Land

Working to Save Buzzards Bay

The Buzzards Bay Coalition is a membership-supported organization dedicated to improving the health of the Buzzards Bay ecosystem for all through education, conservation, research, and advocacy.

We work to protect clean water on the Bay and on the land: