Wednesday, May 1 by JerryFoster
Please join us Wednesday, May 15 at 7pm at the West Windsor Municipal Center for the Ride of Silence, to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. Please arrive early enough to be ready to leave at 7pm. The ride is a free national event that features slow riding, helmeted bicycists on public roads, see: http://rideofsilence.org/main.php
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Friday, May 18 by sandy
But that was a good thing. WWBPA Advisor and Past President Ken Carlson organized a bike advocacy event in his new hometown of Somerville, Massachusetts. The challenge was for a cyclist, a T-rider (subway), and an auto to race from Davis Square in Somerville to Kendall Square in Cambridge. Ken drove the car.
The cyclist finished first, in 20 minutes. The T-rider came in second, in 29 minutes. Ken drove the course in 32 minutes. (And yes, Ken usually bikes to work.)
New York City did the same contest this week (after all, it is National Bike to Work Week) and once again the bike won. The cyclist traveled from Williamsburg to SoHo in morning rush hour in 15 minutes. The subway took 26 minutes and driving, 41 minutes.
As for West Windsor? Think how long it takes you to drive all the way around the station to the Vaughn Drive lot (unless you’ve been commuting so long that you have a Wallace Road permit) and to walk to the platform in the morning, and then to get out of the Vaughn Drive lot and over the roundabout on the way home. Your bike would be right by the tracks and probably would get you home in a similar amount of time, no sweating involved. And let’s not even think about the time you spend (or intend to spend) at the gym doing cardio. Then the bike will surely win!
Read more about Ken’s race at Metro.US and Boston.com, and tell us about your bike commute.
Wednesday, January 25 by JerryFoster
Please join us Saturday, February 25 at the West Windsor Arts Center to see an exciting documentary of an informal mountain-bike race from Canada to Mexico along the Continental Divide trail. The film, Ride the Divide, weaves the story of three characters’ experiences with immense mountain beauty and small-town culture as they attempt to pedal from Banff, Canada to a small, dusty crossing on the Mexican border.
Tickets are free for members, $5 for nonmembers, and admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. Members can help with set up starting at 6:30pm, and the box office opens at 7 p.m. The film starts at 7:30 p.m. Free parking is available a short walk away at the Wallace Road lot by the station.
Please join us for discussion and light refreshments afterward. And yeah, we’d really appreciate your help cleaning up.
The West Windsor Arts Center is located in the historic Princeton Junction Fire House at 952 Alexander Road, at Scott Avenue.
This is a great time to renew your membership, if you haven’t done so already. Hope to see you there!
Saturday, December 10 by JerryFoster
Let’s take a break from all this focus on infrastructure and let me share the story of how I came to enjoy biking and walking.
I learned to bike as a small child in a small town in the midwest in the 1960s, which was surrounded by open space. As kids, we biked and walked to school, raced our bikes around the basketball hoops on the playground, and rode the trails through the woods, all on a banana-seat bike with knobby tires.
Later, we rode motorcycles and snowmobiles on those same trails, as well as walked and cross-country skied them. I bought a 10-speed from Sears with my paper route money while in junior high school. With friends from scouts and school, we’d backpack overnight or all week, sometimes in winter with cross-country skis, and once we loaded the camping gear onto the bikes and did a weekend out and back via bike.
After learning to drive, we moved on to longer backpacking trips, including a 6-week trip to Wyoming with a school friend, and learned to rock and later ice climb. Any excuse to travel was good enough – my college roommate and I took a 6-month European rock and ice climbing trip, with an interlude traveling via rail pass.
I moved to the east coast after college and bought a touring bike with high hopes, not realizing how little time there is for fun once you start working full time. My wife and I canoed and camped together, and cruised our sailboat after the children arrived. I did my best to introduce all the outdoor activities I love to my son’s scout troop and later to my daughter’s Venture Crew (a co-ed scout group).
My long term backpacking project is to hike the entire Appalachian trail in sections – so far, I’ve done almost 1300 miles out of about 2200.
Biking for me is mainly recreational – I bought a road bike after failing to keep up with my neighbor on a ride in the early 1990s, and still ride it today. Besides errands and recreational riding with the Princeton Free Wheelers, I’ve done several week-long charity rides for Anchor House, plus a self-supported camping tour from Oakland to Los Angeles.
Hope you enjoyed my story – do you have a story you’d like to share? Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be happy to post it here.
Thursday, October 20 by silvia
Join the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance and Eagle Scout Paul Ligeti for the inaugural bike ride of Paul’s 11-mile tour of historic West Windsor sites. Paul’s route points out many places beyond the imaginary Martian landing in War of the Worlds. Did you know West Windsor has two stops on the Underground Railroad? Or that a double murder in Dutch Neck in 1910 led to the first use of the electric chair in Mercer County? Woodrow Wilson used to bike from Princeton to walk around Grover’s Mill Pond, another stop on the tour. The red markers you see around town are stops on this route, which you can find on http://wwhistoricbiker.weebly.com.
We will meet at the kiosk at the trail’s starting point, next to the World War II memorial in Dutch Neck (corner of Village Road East and South Mill Road) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29 (rain date is Sunday, Nov. 13). Paul, a member of Troop 66, will say a few words about his project before we start. We will stop around the halfway point to hear more about War of the Worlds – broadcast almost to the day 73 years ago, on Oct. 30, 1938.
While much of the route is on roads with bike lanes or on quiet residential streets, it does include a portion of Cranbury Road. Helmets are required, and children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult. Everyone should bring a signed copy of the waiver form available here: wwbpa waiver form. For more information, email email@example.com.
Monday, October 17 by JerryFoster
43 people enjoyed a nice ride on a beautiful fall day, a little over 5 miles round trip from Community Park to McCaffrey’s and back. Thanks to everyone who participated, including our WWBPA trustees, student advisers and volunteers who planned, led and directed the bicyclists, and even handed out a few bandaids, and special thanks to McCaffrey’s for donating the refreshments!
The fall colors were out in full force (see our facebook page for more pictures) and we enjoyed the Trolley Line Trail as well as the bike lanes on Rabbit Hill Road and Bennington Street. Also appreciated were new high visibility crosswalks at Davenport and Southfield Road by the shopping center. We also saw a policeman patrolling the Trolley Line Trail on motorcycle.
The group included all ages, from those enjoying a ride in a trailer to us older kids (at heart), and split into 3 smaller groups pretty quickly – the fast group led by the speedy student advisers, a middle pack of family members, while the last group comprised those with the smallest bicyclists.
We got a number of positive comments, including a request to do this more often. With the new bike lanes on Village and Penn Lyle, we have more routes to choose from, thanks to the township and county.
Click for slide show by Mark Shallcross
Sunday, September 25 by sandy
Dan Rappoport leads a tour through the Pine Barrens
The 2011 Tour de Pines, sponsored by Pinelands Preservation Alliance, celebrates Pinelands Month in October with five consecutive single-day bicycle tours of the New Jersey Pinelands. The aims are to highlight the natural and historic features of the one million acres of the Pinelands and to encourage New Jersey residents to get out and explore this unique environment. The Pinelands, an area of 1.1 million acres in our densely populated state, is the largest surviving open space on the eastern seaboard between the northern forests of Maine and the Everglades of Florida. Ghost towns, historic sites and legends such as the Jersey Devil preserve the Pinelands’ unique culture, telling the many stories of how humans have used and depended on the natural world around them.
The 2011 Tour de Pines will begin on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at PPA’s Bishop Farmstead in Southampton Township, traverse the length and breadth of the Pinelands National Reserve, and culminate at Whitesbog Village on Sunday, Oct. 9.
Each day’s tour will range from approximately 40 to 55 miles per day, with average speeds of 11-13 mph, and begin and end at the same location. Registration deadline is Oct. 1. You don’t need to do all the rides. Plus it’s free! Just provide your own transportation, food and lodging as needed.
For more information, look here.
Saturday, September 24 by silvia
If you want something more on Sunday, Oct. 2 than riding the sharrows in Princeton, consider this from our friends at the East Coast Greenway:
4th Annual Hudson River Loop Tour, Sunday Oct. 2
Join us for a guided bicycle ride on the East Coast Greenway along the Hudson River waterfront in New Jersey and New York, Sunday, Oct. 2 at 9 a.m. This 25-mile bike ride (easy-going pace of 9-10 mph) will travel along greenways (and a short on-road stretch), enjoying newly completed segments of the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway. At the Hoboken/14 Street dock, we will take the New York Waterway ferry to Manhattan, then return north along the Hudson River Greenway to and over the George Washington Bridge.
We’ll enjoy lunch at beautiful West Harlem Piers Park, just opposite Fairway Market where food and drinks can be bought. We will return to Fort Lee Park at about 2 pm. Cue sheets provided. Bring snacks and water, wear helmet. Rain or shine. Start and end at Fort Lee Historic Park, Fort Lee NJ.
Pre-registration: ECGA member $10 / non-member, $20
(New Members can join the ECGA at a special $25 rate – this event only!)
Day-of registration: member $15 / non-member, $25
Price includes cost of ferry (rider + bicycle) - Children under 13 – $10 (for ferry)
To pre-register: http://hudsonloopride.eventbrite.com
Monday, August 15 by silvia
Head to New York City this Saturday, Aug, 20, for the last of its three Summer Streets festivals and experience the city in a totally different way.
On these Saturdays, Park Avenue and connecting streets from Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park (including the underpass under Grand Central!) are closed to all motor traffic from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and are turned into a people-friendly venue on which to bike, skate, run, stroll and just hang out.
Here’s a report from WWBPA members Norma and Tim, with pictures they’ve taken over the years:
We first learned of Summer Streets four years ago when it began and have been returning each year for at least one and sometimes two or three events. In 2010, we took the Staten Island Ferry with our bikes and joined dozens of others in a ride up the West Side bikeway and then across town to City Hall where we started up the route first on Lafayette Street and then onto Park Avenue all the way up to 72nd Street, where we headed west into Central Park. Along the way, we passed dance troupes, Juan Valdez and his burro at the free coffee stand, swimming pools made from large metal containers with a “beach area with cabanas” on the side, through the tunnel at Grand Central Station and on up to the park. All manner of bike, tricycle and other people-powered vehicles wheeled gracefully uptown and downtown, and everyone– police officers, riders, joggers, and walkers–were in great high spirits and having a ball.
After riding for a couple of hours, we dropped our bikes off at the Bike Valet around 23rd Street and headed into the “Picnic Area,” where Whole Foods had set up booths to dispense goodies from yogurts to gelatos, cheeses to juices and all manner of free yummies. As 1p.m. approached, we headed back to the West Side and rode back to the ferry and started the boat and car trip back to Princeton Junction.
This year we decided to leave the bikes at home, ride the train in and take advantage of the “Free Bike Rentals” from Bike NY. We took our helmets and bike gloves in, as the thought of shared helmets was too much to contemplate. Once up from the depths of Penn Station, a brisk stroll east to Park Avenue got us to the pick-up station at 25th St. As we stood in line, we learned that the “free” portion is limited to 60 minutes, after which they charge $1/minute. The idea is to let everyone have a chance and to get a constant supply of bikes coming back. Within 20 minutes, we were on street bikes and heading uptown. The hour is enough time to go the majority of the route, but left no time to visit the entertainment venues, so next year, our own bikes go in with us. We did have a great time and the bikes provided were quite good.
To promote safety, the DOT has a “free helmet” program where you sign up and receive a brand-new helmet along with assistance in getting it correctly fitted. There are free bike repair areas and places where they provide training on how to ride. The whole experience is very bike and pedestrian friendly.
Thanks, Tim and Norma, for sharing this!
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Monday, June 20 by sandy
Three Chinese citizens are cycling across the country, from New York City to San Francisco, to highlight the plight of artist and activist Ai Weiwei and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Liu Xiaobo, both imprisoned by the Chinese government.
The cyclists stopped in Princeton on Friday evening, June 17, and spoke with people on the corner of Nassau and Witherspoon Streets.
They hope to collect more than 10,000 signatures asking for the release of the two imprisoned men. The letter will ask United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to address “the Chinese government’s serious and on-going human rights violations against its own people.”
To read more about the “Cycling Tour for Human Rights of China,” go to the Initiatives for China website.