|Jersey Jaunts - Biking in (and around) New Jersey|
My cycling information is organized by Trails, Tours and Rides, with each class of jaunt presenting it's own advantages and disadvantages. Most trips I've reviewed here are "rack worthy" at least once (i.e. worthy of racking up the bikes and making the drive). Where possible I've included maps, links and even GPS routes or tracks in gpx format.
You will find that my bicycle jaunts tend to avoid traffic, with children you really focus your attention to low, and no traffic routes that provide safe cycling experiences. Most jaunts will also have a destination or purpose; a reason to ride your bike further than just around the neighborhood, for this reason you'll find I've listed rail trails, organized city bicycle tours, and organized bicycle club ride events through out New Jersey, and along the border areas of New York, and Pennsylvania.
For recent news & site history or just to read more of my blather visit my bike blog. You might also want to check out my New Jersey Bike Events Calendar, this is a historical listing of all bike events that I have every found in the NJ metro area, including the last know link.
Trails - Trails are specific routes on pathways with no vehicular traffic. You can start and stop whenever, and wherever you like, but you are on your own should you experience mechanical breakdowns or get lost. For some trails I've created suggested routes that give you a destination or point of interest to help plan your trip.
Trails provide no stocked rest stops (water, snacks) so you need to carry you're own supplies of these things. Locating an open rest room on a trail may sometimes also be a challenge.Here are the trails that I've ridden and reviewed
Tours - Tours are rides on public roadways with controlled or no vehicular traffic; bicycles generally have the right of way. These tours are usually organized with a specific start time, and route, and utilize ride marshals or police escorts to ensure the safety of riders. Tours can be broken down into two general classifications; open, and enveloped. In an open tour you start at a specific time, and run a traffic free route to a finish point at your own pace. An enveloped tour also starts at a specific time and runs on traffic free roads but riders must remain within an envelope of protection provided by a lead car, and a tail car/SAG. Because all riders must stay together within the envelope, the tour must stop periodically to allow the slower riders to catch up before continuing.
There are some hybrid tours/rides that utilize a grouped pack (or packs) with a lead rider, and safety marshals at dangerous intersections or stretches of road. These semi tours are much more appealing than a self-guided ride where you are on unfamiliar roadways with no knowledge of traffic patterns or road conditions.
Tours and rides always provide stocked rest stops, some are better than others, but all will have at least water every 8 to 10 miles. Some sponsoring bike clubs do a really great job at stocking rest stops with goodies, so be sure to heap thanks on these folks who make the effort to give you more than just warm water. Most rest stops are parks or other public areas with rest room facilities.Here are the Tours that I've ridden and reviewed
Rides - Rides are mapped or self-guided tours on public roadways (route selection is usually based on safety, and points of interest) with uncontrolled vehicular traffic. I've included organized self-guided tours in this section where you are on your own with traffic, as is the case with a number of popular charity "tours". Organized rides almost always provide SAG services for mechanical brake downs. Small or very diverse rides usually rely on cell phones to contact the SAG, while larger rides (and virtually all "tours") sweep the course at the end of the ride looking for stragglers. The routes are usually marked with colored arrows painted on the roadway, and you are given a paper cue sheet with turn-by-turn directions and distances. Each route requires you to start within a certain time window so that you will finish before the rest stop and SAG services end. Organized rides, like tours, will also have provide stocked rest stops at 8 to 10 mile intervals.Here are the organized rides that I've ridden and reviewed
On your own
Yet to be explored rides, trails & tours
Paper (undeveloped) trails