Scouts Get a Bike Safety Lesson

Tuesday, October 23 by silvia

Two dens of 8 and 9-year-old scouts from Pack 66 got a 90-minute lesson in bike safety led by Les Leatham, a West Windsor resident who is a bicycling instructor certified by the League of American Bicyclists, and some volunteers from the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance.

The group went through helmet fitting, the ABC Quick Check (Air, Brakes, Cranks, Chain and Cassette, Quick Release and a final check) that should be performed before heading out on a ride, talked about what they already knew about bike riding and some things they didn’t, including that bikes on the road must follow the same rules of the road as cars.

Then the group took a ride through Mercer County Park, and finished with a different sort of race: how slow can you go, without stopping, turning around or putting your feet on the ground. This tests their balance skills and ability to handle their bike in a fun way. The last one to reach the finish line was the winner.

Would your group, no matter the age, like a short lesson on bike safety and bike skills? Contact the WWBPA at wwbikeped@gmail.com

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A True Community Bike Ride

Wednesday, October 10 by silvia

Our final family bike ride of the season was a big hit: five dozen bicyclists of all ages stretched along the D&R Canal towpath from Turning Basin Park at Alexander Road to Brearley House in Lawrence, plus seven walkers who joined at Port Mercer Canal House. We may have caught one of the last days of summer to boot!

Many thanks to all who took part in our eight-mile ride — residents of West Windsor, Princeton, Lawrence and beyond — and to Terhune Orchards for providing apple cider and apples to quench our thirst at Brearley House.

With the help of our trio of number pickers, the WWBPA gave away a number of items in a drawing, from tools for repairing flat tires to safety gear such as lights, reflective tape and a reflective vest. Plus we all learned about the almost-finished 20-mile Lawrence Hopewell Trail, Brearley House and its New Year’s Eve bonfire night, Princeton’s sharrows and the Princeton Freewheelers. How exciting to learn that there will eventually be bike access from the D&R Canal towpath to the Princeton battlefield — another destination to explore!

This truly was a community bike ride!

We’ve enjoyed sharing new routes with all who came on our rides this year and inspiring them to head out on their own. Our other rides this year have taken us on a trip for ice cream, around historic West Windsor, to the Plainsboro Preserve and down the Trolley Line Trail.

We’d love your feedback and in particular suggestions for another summer’s worth of family rides.

 

 

 

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Our Trail-to-Trail Community Bike Ride (and Walk)

Monday, September 24 by silvia

Join the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance for its sixth annual Community Bike Ride on Oct. 6 (rain date Oct 7) as we head down the D&R Canal towpath to discover how it connects to other bicycling and walking routes.

Our eight-mile ride will leave from Turning Basin Park (Alexander Road and the canal) and head to Brearley House in Lawrence (located on the 20-mile Lawrence Hopewell Trail). We’ll stop there for refreshments and some give-aways, plus hear about the Lawrence Hopewell Trail and the East Coast Greenway before turning back.

This is the last in our series of free family-friendly bike rides for 2012. Meet at the park at 2:15 p.m.; the ride leaves at 2:30 p.m. No preregistration is necessary; just bring a bike in good working order and a helmet. Children under 13 should be accompanied by an adult.

This year, we are adding a walking option, from Port Mercer Canal House. Gather at the parking lot at 2:15 p.m. (departure time is 2:30 p.m.) for the 1.3-mile walk to Brearley House. Because of road construction, the parking lot is only accessible from Route 1, not Princeton.

The ride is so-sponsored by the Lawrence Hopewell Trail, Sustainable Lawrence and the Princeton Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee.

About two dozen people, many of them new faces, joined us on Sept. 15 for a five-mile loop from Community Park down the Trolley Line Trail to Penn-Lyle Road and past High School South back to the park. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

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Save the Date: Bike Ride Sept. 15

Thursday, August 30 by silvia

Join the WWBPA for the last of our 2012 bike rides. Our goal is to help you feel comfortable getting around by bike and showing you some new routes. The next one is Sept. 15 (rain date Sept. 16th): a five-mile loop down the Trolley Line Trail and along Penn-Lyle past High School South and back to the park. Meet at the tennis courts at Community Park (North Mill Road entrance) at 2:15 p.m.; ride leaves at 2:30 p.m.

Our last ride will be Oct. 6 (rain date Oct. 7). Our sixth annual Community Bike Ride (plus walk) is an 8-mile round trip down the D&R Canal to Brearley House and the new Lawrence Hopewell Trail, and back. Come learn about this new 20-mile route! Meet at 2:15 p.m. at Turning Basin Park parking lot (Alexander Road and the towpath); the ride leaves at 2:30 p.m. Walkers, meet at Port Mercer parking lot, 4278 Quakerbridge Road, for a 2.5-mile loop, also at 2:15 p.m.

No preregistration is necessary for either ride; just bring a bike in good working order and a helmet. The ride itself is free. Children under 13 should be accompanied by an adult. We will adjust routes as needed because of road construction. Check back on our website or Facebook page for final details.

Our August ride was to Plainsboro Preserve. Nearly 20 people took part. The kids loved the bugs; the adults discovered the point jutting into the lake. Some of us rode from Community Park, and others met the group at Town Center Elementary School.

Heading to the Plainsboro Preserve

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Join Our “Bugs and Bikes” Ride

Tuesday, August 7 by silvia

Our July bike ride stopped at Van Nest Park

The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance invites cyclists of all ages to join us on the third in our series of casual family-friendly rides, on Saturday, Aug. 18. The destination of our “bugs and bikes” ride is the Plainsboro Preserve, 80 Scotts Corner Road, where participants can opt to take part in the family nature program ($5/per person).

Meet at West Windsor Community Park tennis courts (off the North Mill Road entrance) for a 12-mile roundtrip ride at 2:15 p.m. or at Town Center School in Plainsboro for 5-mile roundtrip ride at 2:45 p.m. Walkers are also welcome and should arrive at the preserve by 3:15 p.m. We will use quiet streets and bike paths as much as possible. Those on the 12-mile ride should be comfortable riding on slightly busier streets.

The preserve’s nature program begins at 3:30 p.m., and pre-registration for that program is recommended (609-897-9400). Those who choose not to take part can join us for a casual walk around the preserve before heading home. (No biking in the preserve itself!)

There is no charge for the WWBPA ride, nor is pre-registration necessary. Just bring a bike in good working order and a helmet. Children under 13 should be accompanied by an adult. Check our website (wwbpa.org) or Facebook page for any changes. The rain date for this ride is Sunday, Aug. 19.

Additional rides are planned for September and October. Thanks to all who took part in our July ride–an 11-mile tour of historic West Windsor sites–and our short ride for ice cream in June.

Where would you like to ride?

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See West Windsor History By Bike

Wednesday, July 18 by silvia

Paul Ligeti

Paul Ligeti

The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance is sponsoring a free 11-mile bike ride of historic West Windsor on Saturday, July 28. Meet at 9 a.m. at the kiosk that describes the route at the corner of South Mill Road and Village Road East, next to the World War II memorial. The ride will be led by Paul Ligeti, who designed and signposted the route for his Eagle Scout project.

You may know that the Martians “landed” in Grover’s Mill, but did you know West Windsor has two stops on the Underground Railroad? Or that Woodrow Wilson would bike from Princeton to walk around Grover’s Mill Pond? Join us to hear about these and more fun facts.

Helmets are required. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.

The ride is the second in our series of casual summer rides. Our third is planned for mid-August and will offer something for both bikers and walkers.

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Bikes and Ice Cream

Friday, June 29 by silvia

The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance kicked off its series of casual summer bike rides with an easy ride for ice cream at Rite Aid with 25 people cycling through West Windsor neighborhoods (and no Route 571) on Saturday.

The riders, who included a five-year-old on a tag-along with his dad, a seven-year-old with a new bike and an eight-year-old new to town, left Community Park and went past the tennis courts on Hendrickson, through the arboretum and across Clarksville at the Norchester crosswalk. The stream of cyclists on Norchester shocked a pair of teens in a car! A little-known cut-though brought them to Ride Aid and ice cream — 1 1/2 miles from their starting point. A bonus: now some families know how to reach Community Park from the station (using the path by Schlumberger to reach the corner of Route 571 and Wallace Road).

The next ride will be an 11-mile loop of historic West Windsor on Saturday, July 28. We’ll meet at 9 a.m. at the kiosk that describes the route at the corner of South Mill Road and Village Road East, next to the World War II memorial. The ride will be led by Paul Ligeti, who designed and signposted the route for his Eagle Scout project.

You may know that the Martians “landed” in Grover’s Mill, but did you know West Windsor has two stops on the Underground Railroad? Or that Woodrow Wilson would bike from Princeton to walk around Grover’s Mill Pond? Join us!

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Ride For Ice Cream

Monday, June 18 by silvia

The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance is launching its series of casual summer bike rides around the community with an easy ride for ice cream at Rite Aid through West Windsor neighborhoods (and no Route 571) on Saturday, June 23.

We will gather by the tennis courts at Community Park (near the North Mill Road entrance) at 2:45 p.m. and begin our ride at 3 p.m. We’ll go past the tennis courts on Hendrickson and use the crosswalk to Norchester on Clarksville. Then we’ll show you a little-known cut-though; just remember to yield to any walkers we meet.

The route is less than 1 ½ miles each way, so perfect for younger riders. (Too short? Ride to the ride!)

Helmets are required and children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Remember to ride safely and follow the rules of the road.

The ride is free, but bring money for ice cream or other snack. The rain date is Sunday, June 24. There is no need to preregister.

Watch for details about more rides!

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Ride of Silence 2012

Monday, April 16 by silvia

The WWBPA is once again supporting a “Ride of Silence” in West Windsor as part of our National Bike Month activities. This is an annual international event to honor those cyclists killed or injured on the roads and to raise awareness among motorists that we are on the road. We will leave the West Windsor Municipal Center at 7 pm on Wednesday, May 16 for a slow, silent, one-hour, 10-12-mile ride through town. We will remain as a group, slowing down as needed.

You must wear a helmet! Think about ways to make yourself visible to motorists.

The ride is free; please bring a friend. (Also bring water, ID, spare tube and anything else you think you might need).

Please arrive for the ride at least 15 minutes early.

At least two other Rides of Silence are being planned in our area: in Princeton and in Montgomery.

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Registration for BikeFest Is Open

Sunday, April 8 by silvia

Claim your spot (and T-shirt) at BikeFest, West Windsor’s big one-day bike extravaganza!

The ninth annual BikeFest is set for May 26 (Saturday of Memorial Day weekend; rain date is Sunday) and includes the usual five route options, from the 1.5-mile loop within Community Park for young kids to the 40-mile route for experienced cyclists. Registration is open; just download the form and mail your check or drop it off at the West Windsor Recreation Department.

BikeFest includes a “bike rodeo” to help younger cyclists learn safe riding skills.

The WWBPA isn’t the organizer of BikeFest; that is Dan Gerstenhaber and his team. But many trustees and student advisors will be there as volunteers, and we’ll also have a table with plenty of materials. So stop for a chat after your ride.

Let’s hear the whirr of many wheels!

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Discovering Historic West Windsor By Bike

Sunday, November 27 by silvia

Riders learn more about "War of the Worlds"Eagle Scout Paul Ligeti sent us this report on our Nov. 13 ride along the route through town that he developed, mapped and marked. About 15 people participated–a perfect size given the stops along the way for explanations of the sites.

The rescheduled inaugural ride of the West Windsor Interpretive Historic Bike Trail took place on Nov. 13. Unlike the wintry weather of the original date, we were met with a mild, pleasant fall afternoon.  I was happy to see the riders enjoy the trail, which is the result of my Eagle Scout project in West Windsor’s Troop 66 and two years of work.  The 11 mile-long trail, which I designed with historical and traffic considerations in mind, winds through much of the town. My troop and I laid red plaques in front of many historically significant sites, including the Dutch Neck Presbyterian Church, the Schenck Farmstead and Grovers Mill.

The highlight of Sunday’s ride was a stop near  Grovers Mill to hear a local resident regale us with a vivid description of the days in his youth during the infamous October 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast. He also recounted subsequent commemorations of the event attended by the likes of governors and the writer of the original broadcast.

Anyone interested in riding the trail, or just learning more about the history of West Windsor, is invited to check out the website http://wwhistoricbiker.weebly.com/.  As an online companion to the trail, it provides a map of the route and historical background on the sites with the markers and dozens of others, as well.

Thank you WWBPA for arranging the inaugural ride.

And thank you, Paul, for creating it!

Riders meet at the kiosk in Dutch Neck that explains the trail

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Ride Historical West Windsor

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 wwbikeped@gmail.com.

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Tour the Pine Barrens By Bike

Sunday, September 25 by sandy

Dan Rappoport leads a tour through the Pine Barrens

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.

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Fabulous Day in Freehold

Saturday, June 18 by silvia

About 20 people from West Windsor and neighboring communities headed earlier this month to Freehold and the Metz Bicycle Museum, a museum filled with what must be more than 100 bicycles collected over 60 years by a former Cranbury resident who, we learned, came up with the idea for those scalloped cement blocks to edge gardens.

Most of us used part of the Henry Hudson Trail, a well-used, shaded and paved path on what was once a freight railroad line. We were accompanied from Marlboro High School by a number of local residents who gave us some extra local flavor: Freehold High School, Bruce Springsteen’s alma mater (we heard a few stories about him!); the Battle of Monmouth monument; and lunch on Main Street.

A smaller  group of hardy cyclists peddled from West Windsor to Freehold (about 22 miles). They had the bright idea to stop for ice cream on the way home!

Our youngest cyclist, 9-year-old Ashley, hitched her bike to Dad’s some of the time. We learned she’s a budding fashionista with real affinity for shoes. So guess what her favorite bike had?

See more of our pictures here.

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Bicycling in Hunterdon County

Thursday, June 9 by silvia

Here’s a new resource for cycling in Hunterdon County: www.bikehunterdon.org.

The site features maps of local bicycle tours, including the Delaware & Raritan Towpath, Last Covered Bridge and Round Valley Roundabout routes. An interactive Google map feature allows potential riders to view amenities along the routes including restaurants, bed and breakfast and other lodging, as well as points of interest. A full list of all local bicycle shops as well as where to rent a bicycle is also included. It even includes routes outside Hunterdon County.

Looking for other maps? Check the resources section of the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance’s website.

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Ride of Silence 2011

Thursday, April 21 by silvia

The WWBPA is delighted to support a Ride of Silence in West Windsor on May 18.

Ride of Silence is an international event to raise awareness among motorists that we are here and  to honor those who have been injured or killed while cycling on the roads. Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, the motoring public often isn’t aware of these rights, and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves.

At 7  p.m. local time around the world on May 18, the Ride of Silence will begin and roll across the globe in a silent procession. Each ride lasts just one hour and covers 10 to 12 miles. Cyclists ride in a group no faster than 12 mph and will remain silent during the ride. The event is free and is part of the WWBPA’s events for National Bike Month.

West Windsor’s Ride of Silence will start at the West Windsor Municipal Center on Clarksville Road. All you need to bring is a bike in good riding condition, helmet, squirt water bottle, spare tube, ID, cell phone and any other necessities you require. It will be dusk when we finish so don’t forget lights and, if you have one, a reflective vest to make you even more visible. Please arrive at 6:45 p.m.

A second Ride of Silence will roll from Van Horne Park (behind Princeton Fitness and Wellness Center) in Skillman.

Questions? Kyle is leading the West Windsor ride and is reachable at Advisor500@Gmail.com. Heather is leading the Skillman ride and is reachable at bpj2@gte.net.

Help spread the word and see you there!

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Adventure Can Change Your Life

Monday, November 29 by silvia

“I set out one summer morning to seek adventure. I don’t know how I summoned up the nerve to begin, but begin I did. I climbed onto my bicycle, pedaled away from my front door, and didn’t stop riding for four years until I arrived back home.”

Alastair Humphreys talks about how he rode 46,000 miles around the world and discovered that the world isn’t as scary as he thought. “I wasn’t rich (the whole trip cost approximately $10,000), I wasn’t brave. I wasn’t very fit. I just did it.”

crossing a snowy mountain pass

Brr! Alastair Humphreys takes a bike across a snowy mountain pass

While this sort of trip may be more adventure than most of us can imagine (and are quite happy to just read about it), we can find adventure closer to home. Go for a hike in the Sourlands, wander through the Plainsboro Preserve or ride part of the High Point to Cape May bike route … there’s no shortage of possibilities if we, like Alastair Humphreys, just open our mind to it.

The WWBPA would like to hear about your adventures. Help encourage others to walk and bike!

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Upcoming Events

Apr        Membership Drive. Become a member/Renew your membership today and support our local community.

Apr 29  WWBPA to participate in Community Day at Duck Pond Park (11am-4pm)

May 1     Scholarship applications due for Graduating High School Seniors

May 6     Opening day for WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market & Walk from Hawk Elementary School

May 11     Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

May 20   WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market & Kids Learn to Bike

June 3    WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market  & Adult Learn to Bike (9am-12pm)

Jun 8       Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

June 17   WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market & Bike Repair Clinic

July 8     WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

July 13     Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

July 22    WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

Aug  5     WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

Aug 10    Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Aug 19    WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

Sept 9     WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

Sept 14   Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Sept 23   WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market – Bike Drive (Donations)

Oct 7       WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

Oct 12     Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Oct 28     WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market – Halloween

Ongoing – Register your bike with the WW Police Dept for Free

Volunteer Opportunities – Sign up to give back to the community

Now Accepting Applications for WWBPA Student Advisory Board

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