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By Miranda Alvarez, Community Engagement Manager
As a former New Yorker, avid trail user Johnny Lopez didn’t know trails like the D&L existed. Before moving to the area, Johnny rode city streets. 15 years later, he’s traded in city blocks for our mixed surface trails. In 2020, he, like many others, invested in a mountain bike. With a new ride in tow, he set out to explore the trails that had long been in his backyard.
The trail became a respite for him. Faced with the “new normal” of working from home, there was a need to get out of the house. The trail offered an alternative to the busyness and noise of technology. The D&L served as a place to getaway with his wife, take a socially distanced ride with friends, and clear his head.
“I’ve been able to maintain mentally healthy by enjoying nature and having great conversations with friends on the trail,” said Johnny. “The trail has been so helpful for me, especially in 2020.”
Beyond the mental health benefits, the trail created an intersection for two of his passions: biking and photography. If you follow us on social and keep up with #DLTrail, you’ve probably spotted his work. It’s how he first met Johnny. When captivating photos of the trail started popping up with yet unfamiliar faces, we had to pay attention.
“I’ve been able to connect my passion for photography with my trips along the trail.”
From unreal sunsets to adorable family memories, Johnny has managed to freeze the scenic, beauty of the trail for all time. Give him a follow on Instagram to keep up– just like we did!
Johnny resides in Bethlehem with his wife and adorable doodle. While he may have started his exploration in the Lehigh Valley, he has a blast exploring the northern sections too. To date, his favorite ride was when he and his crew extended their usual ride for 27 miles all the way to Jim Thorpe. But, most often, you might catch him in the Lehigh Valley, especially on his all time favorite section of D&L from Cementon to Lehigh Gap.