Tuesday, May 31 by silvia
Sunday, May 29 by silvia
June 4 is National Trails Day, and the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail is marking the day in two ways, one for walkers and one for bicyclists.
The first option is an approximately three-mile walk from the Mercer Equestrian Center across Rosedale Park to the Hunt House in Mercer Meadows and back. The second is an approximately 12-mile group bike ride from the Brearley House off of Princeton Pike in Lawrenceville to the Hunt House and back with perhaps a quick jaunt a little further down the trail to check out the connection to the D&R Canal and the East Coast Greenway. In each case, a representative from the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail will be your guide.
Both the ride and the walk are free and will start at 9 a.m., rain or shine. Just rendezvous at the starting points. Both areas have parking available.
The Lawrence-Hopewell Trail still has some missing links, but once finished (the goal is 2012), it will create a 20-mile loop from Lawrence to Hopewell and back with Bristol Myers Squibb and Educational Testing Service as anchors.Comments Off on Walk or Bike the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail on June 4
Saturday, May 28 by silvia
We’ll be riding about six miles each way, most of it on the Henry Hudson Trail, a 24-mile paved multi-use trail that connects Freehold to Atlantic Highlands (with a couple of gaps). We’ll be starting at the end of the southern section, at Marlboro High School on Route 537 north of Freehold (NOTE: that’s a change in plans from our earlier intention to start at the Bicycle Hub a bit further up and take some back roads to the trail). We also will bike on Freehold streets.
This is a fabulous museum for gadget-lovers, not just cyclists: it’s packed with hundreds of bicycles, from boneshakers, highwheelers, quadricycles, ordinaries and safeties (we’ll learn what all those are) to tricycles, children’s bikes and trick bikes. See a lamplighter bicycle that is over eight feet high as well as miniatures made by a prisoner of war in Belgium in the early 1940s.
We’ll leave the high school at 11 a.m., which gives us plenty of time to grab lunch and see some of Freehold’s Springsteen sites, before our 1 p.m. appointment at the museum. The museum can only handle 30 people at a time so you MUST RSVP if you want to join us. Just send a quick email to email@example.com. (We’ll also contact you on Friday the 3rd if the weather looks bad.)
The ride is free, but museum admission is $10.
What a great way to mark National Trails Day (OK, a day late)!Comments Off on Join Us For a Bike Ride
Friday, May 27 by silvia
About 50 area kids, generally ages 5 to 7, learned to ride bicycles without training wheels at the West Windsor Farmers’ Market on Saturday , May 21, as they took part in a free “learn to bike” class with the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance.
The class used a safe and effective method that teaches kids to first sit and “scoot” on their bike without pedals or training wheels until they learn how to balance. Pedals are then reattached, kids are taught how to start and stop and then, with a bit more practice, they are cycling without an adult needing to clutch the back of the seat. The method isn’t just for kids; the WWBPA also taught one adult on Saturday.
The response from the community – West Windsor and beyond – was incredible and exceeded the WWBPA’s expectations. The feedback from parents who brought their children has been overwhelmingly positive, and the WWBPA will be discussing plans for a future event.
Many thanks to Bike Exchange, which supports the Boys and Girls Club of Trenton by selling good used bikes, for the use of loaner bikes. We learned that it’s much easier to learn balance on a small bike (easier to touch the ground solidly with your feet), and we swapped bikes many times.
Now who left pedals behind?Comments Off on We Teach Kids to Bike
Tuesday, May 24 by silvia
The League of American Bicyclists has released its latest rankings for bike-friendly states, and New Jersey comes in fifth. Only Washington state, Maine, Wisconsin and Minnesota outrank us. Yes, we do better than Colorado (No. 8), home to bike-friendly Boulder, and Oregon (No. 12), despite the incredible biking infrastructure in Portland. We’ve also moved up from 8th last year and 10th in 2009.
That’s some of the good news. Here’s some of the bad: We get a “D” on infrastructure and don’t get an “A” in any category. We’re more like a “B” student — Bs for legislation, policies and programs, education and encouragement, and evaluation and planning. We get a “C” on enforcement.
Amazingly, we come in fifth without any bicycle-friendly communities.
How does the League come up with its rankings? It uses a multi-faceted Bicycle Friendly State (BFS) questionnaire that is answered by each state’s Bicycle Coordinator. The data collected – based on 95 questions, across six categories – is verified by League staff in concert with advocates in each state. States that continue to promote bicycling and improve conditions can expect to improve their scores.
Oh, and those other states across the rivers? Pennsylvania is 25th (a “D” student, with three Fs), and New York is 34th (another “D” student, despite an A for legislation.)2 Comments »
Sunday, May 22 by silvia
A Ride of Silence is a one-hour, 10-mile ride (in silence) to honor those killed or injured while cycling on the road. We are thrilled that we will have both a West Windsor police officer and a hearse from Mather-Hodge Funeral Home in our procession. Thanks!
The ride leaves at 7 p.m. from the Municipal Center parking lot, so please arrive by 6:45 p.m. so we can start pedaling on time. Bring lights, reflective vest if you have one — anything to help make us even more visible! We of course will be obeying all traffic rules. This ride is about promoting safe riding practices, courtesy and sharing the road.
In addition, we are holding a “yoga for cyclists” class with instructor Nancy Sheehan at the Cranbury Library off Main Street on Thursday, June 2. The session starts at 7 p.m. We’ll talk first about fun places to ride in the area (what’s your tip?) and then get into our deep stretch. The May session was great; join us this time!
On Sunday, June 5, we’ll be visiting the Metz Bicycle Museum in Freehold. The museum houses one of the world’s finest collections of antique bicycles, dating from the 1850’s to the 1950’s. Hundreds of bicycles are artfully displayed. Boneshakers, highwheelers, quadricycles, tricycles, ordinaries, safeties, children’s bikes, trick bikes, and many more unusual and one-of-a kind cycles make up this fascinating collection. See a lamplighter bicycle that is over eight feet high as well as miniatures made by a prisoner of war in Belgium in the early 1940s.
We will be riding there from Marlboro High School on Route 79 (NOTE CHANGE from the Bicycle Hub in Marlboro, NJ), starting at 11 a.m., and using the off-road Henry Hudson Trail for most of the 6-mile route. This leisurely ride is free, but museum admission is $10. You must RSVP for this ride because of the museum’s capacity; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll also be at the West Windsors Farmers Market on June 4; see you there?Comments Off on Ride of Silence Rescheduled for June 1
Friday, May 20 by silvia
Remember how you learned to bike without training wheels? One of your parents was probably clutching the back of the seat and eventually let go.
The WWBPA is doing it differently: At our free class at the WW Farmers’ Market this Saturday, we’ll take off the training wheels and the pedals, and then lower the seat so the child can touch the ground while seated. Kids will learn to balance by scooting while seated and lifting their feet off the ground. Only then will we put the pedals back on and make sure they know how to start and stop before letting them try to ride.
We’ll be teaching from 9 a.m. til the market closes at 1 p.m. Stop by!
Thursday, May 19 by silvia
Two weeks into National Bike Month, we’ve been reminded of why we bike and that yes, you can bike to church. Through Sunday, we’ve reached 1,057 miles (though I know there are more of you out there who haven’t yet reported).
WWBPA member Sudi says she’s ridden 40 miles so far: two round trips from home to Rocky Hill via the canal tow path. “It was relaxing and energizing at the same time! Saw lots of turtles sunning themselves on logs. Found a good way to cross Route 1 later in the day when traffic gets heavier – go through the Sarnoff fields and cross Route 1 at Harrison. On the way out in the morning, since traffic is generally light, I cross Route 1 at Alexander. Looking forward to bringing my bike to Cape Cod and the Islands next month!”
WWBPA friend Don P. racked up 158 miles just commuting and then rode to church on Sunday (plus a few other places), for a total of 190 miles. “I commute to Mt Laurel. The preferred route is riding 35 miles to work and then a multi-modal commute home – 8 miles from office to RiverLine train station in Riverside, take the train to Trenton and then back on the bike for 8 miles home. To church I normally wear khakis, but today because of the wet roads, I wore black denims. As a family we walk, but as just me, I bike.
Another big commuter, WWBPA member Bill G., reported 103 miles, while WWBPA member Dan R. reported in as he rode the perimeter of Dorchester County, Md.: 90 miles.
We’ve got some more shout-outs: WWBPA member Bob S. rode 14 miles on his first ride of the season, while Levi S. notched 28 and Abby S., 8. Andrea tallied 15, much of it riding to and from the Mercer County dog show. Sonya L. rode to work and to the community garden, for 12 miles, while Clive did a five-mile loop one Saturday that included stops at the library and the farmers market. And Diane pedaled another 19 miles.
WWBPA trustee Silvia Ascarelli blames the early rain on Sunday for ending her streak of being out on a bike every day this month, but not before riding another 31 miles. It’s faster to bike to the station than to drive to the Vaughn Drive lot and then walk to the platform, she says.
What’s your biking tale?Comments Off on 1,000 Miles and Counting
Wednesday, May 18 by silvia
West Windsor’s Ride of Silence scheduled for tonight has been cancelled because of the weather. We’ll be rescheduling, possibly for June 1.Comments Off on Ride of Silence Postponed
Wednesday, May 18 by silvia
A sidewalk has been added on Alexander Road from Wallace Road on the opposite side of the street from the Arts Center, making it possible to walk from the Wallace Road lot to the Arts Center (and beyond).
Another sidewalk fills in the gap between the roundabout at Alexander Road and Vaughn Drive, creating a key pedestrian connection over the railroad bridge.
Finally, a sidewalk has been added on the curve of North Post Road, creating a pedestrian connection from the roundabout to the library and municipal center.
The sidewalks were added just after the WWBPA’s annual walk to the farmers’ market; next year’s route will include them.
The projects were funded with a Safe Routes to Transit grant and were encouraged by the WWBPA.
Largely because of the WWBPA, the township has a regular sidewalk extension program. Let our elected officials know that you consider this program to be important!
According to the township’s capital improvement budget, plans through 2016 calls for sidewalks to be added on Cranbury Road between Sunnydale Way and Route 571; South Mill Road between Village Road East and Edinburg Road; Millstone Road between Cranbury Road and Plainsboro Township border; Cranbury Road between Clarksville Road and Van Nest Park; Clarksville Road between Cranbury Road and Princeton Hightstown Road; Rabbit Hill Road between Route 571 and Bennington Drive; North Post Road between Clarksville Road and Village Road West; Conover Road between Ginnie Lane and Aldrich Way; North Mill Road between Clarksville Road and Route 571.Comments Off on More Sidewalks
Tuesday, May 17 by silvia
Three are planned in the Mercer County area, and the West Windsor ride will leave at 7 p.m. from the Municipal Center parking lot. This FREE ride is the only one of the three that will include a funeral hearse in the procession! Many thanks to Mather-Hodge Funeral Home for providing one.
The ride will be about 10 miles and last one hour. We will ride as a group and of course obey all traffic laws. Helmets are required. Think about how to be particularly visible …turn on your lights, wear a reflective vest.
Check on Wednesday if the weather looks dicey. (No ride if it’s raining; we’ll aim to reschedule.)Comments Off on Ride of Silence is Wednesday
Monday, May 16 by silvia
A critical, long-planned piece of the future East Coast Greenway is in danger of getting cut from NJDOT’s project list. Please join the East Coast Greenway Alliance to voice your support for keeping the 2.5-mile Route 7 Improvement Project alive in New Jersey!
NJDOT is recommending that the 2.5-mile Route 7 improvement project, in Jersey City and Kearny, be deleted from its Study & Development Program. We are asking all of our supporters to voice their approval for keeping this project alive. NJDOT will meet on May 18th to make a final decision on this project. Please email (to email@example.com) and/or mail a letter of support for this project. We need to show public support for bicycle & pedestrian infrastructure. If we don’t give people choices and build alternative infrastructure our options for transportation will always be limited and our policies will continue to lead to increased congestion, decreased safety and a less-healthy lifestyle. Thanks for your support!
Not sure what to say? The ECG offers this template:
I am writing you in regards to the recommendation made by NJDOT to remove the above mentioned project from the Study and Development Program. I feel that the 2.5-mile Route 7 project is a vital corridor and connection for the future route of the East Coast Greenway. I understand the many challenges and that significant costs are associated with this project but feel the benefits to the general public will outweigh the challenges and justify the investment.
The East Coast Greenway is a developing safe and accessible bicycle & pedestrian corridor which stretches from Maine to Florida. Currently 26% of the East Coast Greenway exists as traffic free trails. We have worked very closely with NJDOT over the years and their commitment has had the direct result in making New Jersey a leader amongst states in the development of the East Coast Greenway. Currently 53% of the ECG in New Jersey exists as traffic free trails.
The Newark to Jersey City corridor is a critical connection for the East Coast Greenway and also for local non-motorized users who wish to travel between those cities, New Jersey’s two largest. On its eastern terminus, the completed safe and accessible bicycle & pedestrian corridor along Route 7 will enable users to cross the new Wittpenn Bridge being constructed over the Hackensack River and enable users to continue east into Jersey City and other populated towns and cities along the Hudson River in New Jersey.
On its western terminus the Route 7 project will connect to the Newark Industrial Track which will eventually provide a safe bicycle & pedestrian connection to Newark and many other populated regions in New Jersey. The Route 7 project is a vital link which makes all of these connections possible. Without the Route 7 link, these connections become even less feasible and more costly.
For all the aforementioned reasons I urge that the Route 7 corridor project not be removed from the Study & Development Program. If, ultimately, NJDOT decides to cut this project, we urge the agency to put more resources into assuring the safety and accessibility of the current East Coast Greenway route.Comments Off on East Coast Greenway Needs Our Help
Monday, May 16 by silvia
Plainsboro has awarded a contract to construct a bike path on Plainboro Road from Maple Avenue (by the railroad bridge) to Prospect Avenue, one block east. That will fill in a key gap in the township’s bike network.3 Comments »
Sunday, May 15 by silvia
Did you know that a mere 30-minute ride to and from work at a leisurely pace burns 500 calories?!
You can find the WWBPA at three events:
A bikers’ breakfast at the Princeton Junction train station on Tuesday, co-hosted with Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association. Stop by between 6:30 a.m. (we’ll aim to be there closer to 6) and 8:30 a.m. for a cup of coffee and some food. It’s our way of saying thanks for biking! You’ll find us on the southbound side. We’ll be happy to chat even if you’re not on your bike.
A Ride of Silence at 7 p.m. on Wednesday that leaves from the Municipal Center parking lot. This is a one-hour, 10-mile ride to honor those injured or killed on the road. Many thanks to Mather-Hodge Funeral Home and Peter Hodge for providing a funeral hearse for our procession of riders! You can read more about it in this Princeton Packet article. The ride will be cancelled if it’s raining. If the weather looks questionable, check the website and Facebook page for updates.
A “Learn to Bike” class aimed at kids 5 years old and older on Saturday at the West Windsor Farmers’ Market on Vaughn Drive. This uses a safe and effective method that doesn’t involve clutching the back of a bike. The class is free but space is limited, so we suggest pre-registering via firstname.lastname@example.org. Please bring a working bike. A helmet is required (the WWBPA will be selling them for $10). Sessions will run continuously during farmers’ market hours; please arrive between 9 a.m. and noon.
In addition, GMTMA is hosting a bikers breakfast at the Trenton train station from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Monday and a “lunch and learn” session at the Princeton library on Friday to spotlight what Hoboken is doing to promote walking and biking. The session runs from 12:15 p.m. to 2 p.m. and includes lunch refreshments. Space is limited, so pre-register by emailing email@example.com.
Through a variety of innovative planning, transportation, and parking strategies, Hoboken, New Jersey is rapidly transforming itself into one of the most bikeable and pedestrian-friendly municipalities in New Jersey. The consulting firm Civic Eye Collaborative recently produced a film that documents some of the strategies that have been implemented to reduce the need for automobile ownership, and to enhance and promote access to transit and other non-motorized transportation modes. The film shows how fundamental smart urban planning is to the quality of life of citizens, and how important these issues are to a town’s vitality and sustainability. After the movie, Ranjit Walia from Civic Eye Collaborative and Hoboken’s Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs will speak about the importance of community outreach and sustainable transportation, and help guide the audience through a “visual preference survey” to engage in a discussion about where, how, and if similar transportation strategies could work in our communities. Lunch refreshments will be served, and attendees will be eligible to participate in a free raffle!Comments Off on Bike to Work Week
Wednesday, May 11 by silvia
It’s been a great weekend for getting out on a bike, and a great start for National Bike Month. As usual, the WWBPA is keeping a tally of miles ridden, whether to get to work or school, to run errands or for fun. We want to include yours!
With many who have yet to report, the mileage meter already stands at 492 miles. Impressively, several members and friends who racked up triple-digit mileage totals, or close to it. Hats off to WWBPA friends John W. with 177 miles and Don P. with 105 miles. WWBPA member Bill Garrett logged 99 miles for the first week. “Nippy ride this morning, but still better than chilly temps of January,” he told us Friday. “I see deer feeding as I ride through Mercer County Park.”
WWBPA member Dan R. reports 66 miles, and member Diane C. rode 40 miles.
WWBPA trustee Daryl McMillan rode 27 miles to and from work over two days.
WWBPA trustee Silvia Ascarelli figures she’s been on a bike every day so far, even if it’s just a couple of miles, for a total of 63 miles.
WWBPA trustee Mark Shallcross reports 14 miles.Comments Off on Week One of National Bike Month
Monday, May 9 by silvia
Middlesex County has created a traveling sign aimed at informing motorists about the law that took effect last year and requires motorists to stop — not just yield — for pedestrians in crosswalks. The sign also spells out the consequences of those caught not doing so: two points plus a $200 fine.
The sign can be requested by any Middlesex municipality. So where would be a good spot in Plainsboro? “Pick a street, ANY street” is what we were told via Facebook. What do you think?
The Middlesex County sign looks like this:
The WWBPA made up its own signs last year:2 Comments »
Thursday, May 5 by sandy
Want to cover New Jersey from north to south? Interested in a great, long ride in part of the state?
WWBPA member Dan Rappoport has mapped the routes for you. Dan got the idea for the project about three or four years ago, but started creating the cue sheets in earnest two winters ago.
The New Jersey Bicycle Route goes from Belvidere, near the Delaware Water Gap in the northwest, zigzagging to Cape May Point in the southeast in nine days. Daily distances vary from about 44 to 74 miles, with each day conveniently ending at a motel.
Dan also developed a New Jersey Bicycle Route Network of rides all around the state, with ways to avoid congested highways in densely populated parts of the state as well as routes in beautiful, rural settings. These rides range from 40 to 188 miles, though one could, naturally, break them down into smaller segments.
Dan also compiled a Bicycle Touring Resource Guide, including NJ DOT tours; New Jersey multi-use trails; Cycle Jersey 500 itinerary; cross-state, state-wide, multi-state, and regional bicycle routes and books.
We hope you’ll try some of these routes. Thank you, Dan!Comments Off on New Jersey Bicycle Routes
Tuesday, May 3 by sandy
Hoboken has been named a Gold-level Walk Friendly Community! Only 11 cities received the designation, and Hoboken ranks near the top. In October we reported on Montclair and Hoboken earning Bicycle-Friendly honorable mention from the League of American Bicyclists.
Hoboken’s 20 is Plenty program encourages speeds of 20 mph rather than the posted 25 mph. And there’s a citywide car-sharing program to encourage families to give up their cars. Read more about Hoboken’s innovative programs.
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC), funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, introduced the Walk-Friendly program to encourage communities to make walking safer and to encourage families to be more active, with a goal of improving health and reducing our need for fuel.
Walk Friendly Communities (WFC) is a national recognition program developed to encourage towns and cities across the U.S. to establish or recommit to a high priority for supporting safer walking environments. The WFC program recognizes communities that are working to improve a wide range of conditions related to walking, including safety, mobility, access, and comfort.
What’s your suggestion for making West Windsor more walkable?Comments Off on Congratulations, Hoboken!
Sunday, May 1 by silvia
This is an “event” ride for all riders of levels, with routes ranging from 1.5 miles inside the park to 40 miles around West Windsor. Registration includes lunch and a post-ride party with music, moon bounce and giant slide. Riders will be given cue sheets and maps, and there will be water stops along the routes.
For those who want to brush up on their bike skills, head over to the Bike Safety Rodeo between 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Register for BikeFest online or on the day. Preregister by May 13 to receive a T-shirt and save $5.
Rain date is Sunday, May 29.2 Comments »
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