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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Walk and Run Along the Canal

Saturday, March 24 by silvia

Some upcoming events along the D&R Canal, one of our area’s great resources for walkers, bikers and joggers:

This Sunday is a 12-mile “practice walk” in preparation for the 40-mile Great Canal Walk on April 7, organized by the FreeWalkers. This walk, scheduled as a 4.5-hour walk, goes from Trenton to Princeton. They call it a casual walk to review the trail and get back into a walking groove. More information here.

Saturday March 31 is the D&R Canal Watch 5K Fun Run, staring at 10 a.m. at Washington Crossing State Park. More information at www.canalwatch.org.

The Great Canal Walk, from Trenton to New Brunswick, also welcomes those who want to walk just part of the route. There’s a separate five-mile walk from Upper Ferry Road to the northern end of Titusville, at the junction of River Drive and Route 29. Meet at the intersection of River Drive and Route 29 (just south of Fiddler’s Creek Road). More information at www.canalwatch.org.

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Help Clean Up the D&R Canal

Tuesday, March 29 by silvia

Trenton Cycling Revolution, a bicycle advocacy group, is coordinating a community clean-up along the D&R Canal in Trenton on Saturday, April 2. Volunteers will meet at the Mulberry Street entrance to the recently completed section at 9 am and work for approximately two hours. Coffee and gloves will be provided. More information here.

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Walking Along the D&R Canal

Friday, March 4 by silvia

Get your legs in shape for the first organized walk of this year’s Cross-Jersey Walking Challenge: a 40-mile group walk from Trenton to New Brunswick that follows the D&R Canal almost the entire way on Saturday, April 9.

Yes, it sounds like a lot, and it’s possible to meet the group for just a portion of the walk (They expect to be at the Route 1 footbridge in Lawrence at 9 a.m., the canal and Alexander Road at 10:30 a.m. and in Kingston at noon, for example). And you can always break it down into smaller chunks on your own.

For those who want to take part, the TR2ND40 website is full of tips, from shoes (your feet will swell!) to what to carry (fanny pack vs backpack) to a training plan. You’ll want to be able to walk at a pace of slightly under four miles per hour. (There will be rest stops.)

Finally, if you need an extra incentive, the number of calories burned is impressive!

And if you want to keep walking, there’s more planned … all part of a 100-mile cross-Jersey challenge using the East Coast Greenway.

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Walk Across New Jersey

Monday, February 14 by silvia

Here’s a challenge for those who love to walk: Walk the length of the East Coast Greenway in New Jersey — 100 miles — this year.

The challenge comes from Freewalkers.org, the group that started last year with the NJ2NY50 walk, 50 miles from Metropark to Penn Station. Participants can walk the Greenway at any time during the year or take part in some or all of the three walks the group is organizing: the Great Canal Walk (Trenton to New Brunswick along the D&R) on April 9; the Tween Walk (New Brunswick to Metropark) on April 16; and The Big Walk (Metropark to New York City) on May 21.

More information and registration is at Cross-Jersey Walk.

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A Big Walk Along the Towpath

Tuesday, January 4 by silvia

Some of the participants in the NJ2NY50 Walk

The East Coast Greenway is planning two long walks in New Jersey in 2011.

On April 9, walkers will head from Trenton to New Brunswick following the East Coast Greenway, which uses the D&R Canal towpath for that stretch. Participants can walk all or part of the route, which is about 35 miles.

There also will be  a repeat of the 50-mile walk from Metropark to New York Penn Station on May 21. This walk, called NJ2NY50,  was a huge success in 2010 and is scheduled this time for May 21st.

Take part in both and you could essentially walk across New Jersey! More information will be on the East Coast Greenway’s website closer to the events. But it’s not too early to start training.

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Biking to Quaker Bridge Mall

Friday, November 19 by silvia

Quakerbridge Mall mapCycling shoppers can look forward to Quaker Bridge Mall’s expansion and renovation, which will include improved bicycle and pedestrian access to the mall. The plan is to provide trail links to both the Avalon Run community southeast of the mall and to Yorkshire Village on the other side of Route 1, behind Mercer Mall, as well as a path along the southern portion of the mall’s loop road.

A macadam path is to be added from Grover’s Mill Rd on the southeast side of the property to the Route 1 access bridge on the southwest corner of the parcel. The path will continue over Route 1 via a new bike/pedestrian lane to be added to the bridge that now connects the mall to Route 1 near Patio World Fireplace & Hearth and Toys R Us. Lawrence Township is working with the Yorkshire Village homeowner’s association to extend that path to Canal View Drive. From that point it is relatively easy to access the D&R Canal towpath (and then the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail and the East Coast Greenway) via the existing residential street and path leading to the neighborhood’s community center.

The size and shape of the new path over Route 1 is still to be determined, as is the timeline for the whole project. The mall’s expansion, which was originally expected to be completed by now, has been delayed by the recession. The mall’s legal counsel was recently before the Lawrence Township planning board seeking a 20-year extension in their overall plan. The township granted an eight-year extension and underscored the importance of bike/pedestrian access over Route 1.

The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance supports Lawrence’s efforts to improve bicycle and pedestrian access over Route 1, which will improve connections for West Windsor residents as well. The current bridge over Route 1 on Quaker Bridge Road isn’t suitable for bicyclists and pedestrians. The WWBPA also wants to see the off-road path along Clarksville Road that is in West Windsor’s master plan become reality at some point and is pleased to see that a multi-use trail along Clarksville is part of the new apartment complex now under construction near the railroad bridge.

Our thanks to Lawrence Township’s bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group, the Sustainable Transportation Committee, for this report.

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