A quick way to keep your bicycle humming

Friday, July 16 by silvia

Let’s keep your bike humming between annual tune-ups at your local bike shop. It’s all too easy to quickly give your steed the once-over and let your excitement of being in the great outdoors get the better of you.

Follow these quick pre-ride tips that will keep you safe while still keeping you … um…pumped up! Every time you ride, don’t forget the ABCs of bike safety. If something doesn’t seem right and you’re not sure what to do, have a bike mechanic look it over.

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Explore the Lawrence Hopewell Trail

Thursday, July 1 by silvia

The Lawrence Hopewell Trail – a 20ish-mile loop connecting Lawrenceville and Hopewell – is one of WWBPA board member Silvia Ascarelli’s favorite local trails. She loves to combine it with the D&R Canal towpath to help get her where she wants to go by bike (they meet near the historic Brearley House).

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Great bike rides using the D&R Canal towpath along the Delaware River

Thursday, May 20 by silvia

WWBPA board member Steve Hagen’s favorite spot to bike is traffic-free.

You may be familiar with the D&R Canal towpath that marks the border between West Windsor and Princeton – but did you know that it goes for 34 miles, all the way to New Brunswick and Trenton? And that there is a second section along the Delaware River, with a sister canal path on the Pennsylvania side? (Click here for a map.)

WWBPA board member Steve Hagen shares why he spends many summer weekends on leisurely bike rides along the Delaware River.

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Seeking Student Advisors

Wednesday, December 19 by silvia

The WWBPA is once again seeking student advisors interested in working to make our community even friendlier for bicyclists and pedestrians. Applicants must attend West Windsor-Plainsboro schools or live in West Windsor and attend other schools in the area or be home-schooled. The deadline for applications is February 18 (Presidents’ Day), and terms are for one year (and are renewable).

Serving as a student advisor is an excellent way for students to make a difference in their community while developing organizational skills, helping to plan and publicize events, and learning to advocate before local government for improvements. The WWBPA’s activities this year included numerous bike rides and walks, a bike drive and a ?learn to bike? class. Students have considerable freedom to come up with a project that interests them. This is also a great way for any student considering a college major in environmental sciences, engineering or political science, among other areas, to gain some hands-on experience in their general area of interest.

Learn more about what’s expected here: 2013 WWBPA Student Advisor Requirements

The application is here: 2013 Student Application for Advisory Board

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Volunteers Clear More Trails

Saturday, December 8 by silvia

Thanks to 20 volunteers who came with handsaws, loppers, chainsaws and more on Saturday, Dec. 1, the Millstone Preserve trails, the Millstone West trails and the last of the Rogers Preserve trails are now cleared of fallen trees and other Sandy damage. Our group ranged from a kindergartener armed with small loppers who attacked those invasive thorny green vines to a longtime resident in his 80s who helped cut branches with his handsaw. The group also included two other elementary school students and two high schoolers. Three volunteers with chainsaws allowed us to clear the biggest trees, and our own ?lumberjack? even got Santa to deliver his Christmas chainsaw early.

It is amazing what such a group can do in less than two hours!

We also are thankful for some neighborhood ?trail elves? who cleared some trees in Millstone Preserve before we arrived and the five volunteers who stayed for an extra two hours to remove more downed trees.

We left most of the leaves on the ground to fight against mud and soil erosion, so please let us know if you find some trails difficult.

Trails in the Rogers Arboretum and Zaitz Preserve still need to be cleared. We plan to tackle Rogers Arboretum at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, weather permitting. Join us in the arboretum parking lot on Clarksville Road. Once again, we will aim to finish by 12:30 p.m.

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Help Clear the Millstone Trail

Friday, November 30 by silvia

As West Windsor’s public works department concentrates on clearing our roads of Sandy’s debris, members of the all-volunteer West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance are tackling the many trails in town, which also suffered heavy damage. Volunteers have already cleared the popular dog-run trail at Community Park and much of the Rogers Preserve trails, where countless large trees were toppled by the winds.
This Saturday, Dec. 1, we will be at Millstone Preserve. Join us at the Millstone Preserve parking lot on Millstone Road at 10:30 a.m. with loppers, chain saws, hand saws, gloves and whatever other equipment you think might help. Children are welcome with an adult and can help pick up smaller branches.

We will finish by 12:30 p.m. If we have enough people and time permits, we may also start on the Millstone West trail off Joanne Street.

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Another Bike Lesson for Cub Scouts

Monday, November 26 by silvia

Nine eager young bicyclists and their bikes, mostly second-grade scouts from Pack 66, joined the WWBPA for a lesson on bicycle safety on a beautiful Saturday in November.

We shared lots of valuable lessons, from pre-ride checks, known as the ABC Quick Check, and proper fits for helmets (flat on the head, and snug) to being courteous and watching for others, whether riding on the sidewalk or in the street. We hope they always signal!

But these kids really just wanted to ride, so we headed out to test their skills. The branches left over from Sandy that were scattered on the sidewalks behind Maurice Hawk Elementary School became our obstacle course, and the group also got a taste of riding in the street. All did great, and we hope to see them on a bike ride next summer!

This was our second session for scouts in which we talked about bicycling basics. If your group would like something similar, email us at wwbikeped@gmail.com.

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Our Trails Are Slowly Being Cleared

Friday, November 23 by silvia

We’re making progress in clearing our trails of fallen trees after Sandy.

Three WWBPA volunteers cleared the fallen trees off the dog run trail in Community Park. There were several trees blocking the popular blacktop trail and a great deal of debris and leaves on the pathway. It is now clear for all to use.
One day later, a large crew of volunteers tackled the down trees in the Rogers Preserve trails. One section was so bad that we had to re-route the trail around a large fallen tree. Even so, most of the Preserve is now cleared, with only a couple of very large trees yet to be cut. These will be tackled soon, but they are passable with a little effort. Many thanks to all who helped, particularly to Phil, the “Minnesota lumberjack” who impressed us with his chainsaw skills. Some of us had never seen a giant rootball and stump settle back into place oh-so-slowly when cut right.
We will keep you updated as we clear more of the open space trails in West Windsor. If anyone wishes to join us on our next “work day”, please send an email to wwbikeped@gmail.com. We’ll also send out an email to our members. Feel free to bring a friend. The more people who help, the faster we can get our trails back to normal.

A trail is cleared

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The Wrath of Sandy

Thursday, November 15 by silvia

Sandy’s damage in West Windsor extended to our trails. Take a look:

Help make it possible for friends, family and neighbors to enjoy an after-Thanksgiving walk through the woods by joining us this Saturday to help clear part of Rogers Preserve. We will meet at the Clarksville Road entrance at 10:30 a.m. Please bring gloves and tools: rake, loppers, hand saw, gas-powered chain saw — whatever you have.

All are welcome, and all help is appreciated.

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Online Survey Seeks Transit Users’ Input on Bicycle Accessibility

Friday, November 2 by silvia

This quick survey, from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, is your chance to speak up about biking conditions getting to the Princeton Junction train station (and other transit stops you use):

Do you use your bike to get to a transit station? Would you be more likely to bike to the transit station you use if it was more easily accessible for bicyclists or had better bike parking? DVRPC wants your input!

DVRPC, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, SEPTA, NJ Transit, PATCO, and Open Plans are collaborating to determine where investments in bicycle accessibility are most needed. Available online, a new map-based survey allows commuters to select the transit station they use and share their ideas on how transit stations can better accommodate bicyclists.

The survey, available at biketotransit.shareabouts.org, will continue accepting public input until December 1, 2012. The results of the survey will help to shape recommendations for investment in bike improvements at our region’s transit stations. For more information on DVRPC’s Office of Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning, click here.

 

 

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Our Halloween Treat

Wednesday, October 24 by silvia

Dressed up for the market in 2011

Trick-or-treating is fun, but it’s not just spooky out there — it’s dark! We challenge you to incorporate some reflective material in your kids’ costumes or even goody bag, so you don’t have to worry that they won’t be seen by motorists as they dart across the street for more treats.

Plus, the WWBPA has a treat for those who do and take part in the farmers’ market Halloween parade (10 a.m. this Saturday): a glow-in-the-dark bracelet. Treats also for those who decorate their bikes! Just stop by our booth to show off your trick.

Three more safety reason to come to the farmers’ market: the Princeton Junction Fire Department will be there with a truck, the Twin W squad will bring an ambulance and rescue squad rig, and the West Windsor Police Department will be there too.

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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 Safer Penn-Lyle Road

Saturday, October 20 by silvia

The Penn-Lyle Road improvement project near High School South is complete, and its neighbors love it.? No longer do school buses block one lane of traffic every afternoon as they line up waiting for students to transport home.? At every other time of day, clearly marked bicycle lanes are a pleasure for bicyclists. After the improvements made last year to another stretch of this heavily traveled road, we now have bike lanes down the entire length, improving the bikeability of our community.

In addition, the reconfigured right turn lane, suggested by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (which also has suggested dedicated left-turn lanes in all directions at Clarksville and North Post Roads) improves visibility of approaching traffic from Clarksville Road for cars wanting to turn onto Clarksville Road from Penn Lyle Road, which traffic engineers are sure will cut down on accidents there.

This project, supported by the WWBPA, is another example of Complete Streets that take all users into account, and the traffic improvements have really made a difference.? Thanks, West Windsor Township.

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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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Three-Year Jail Term in Cyclist’s Death

Sunday, September 23 by silvia

More than 2 1/2 years ago, Edward Boye was killed by a motorist while riding his bicycle on Dutch Neck Road in East Windsor, not far from the border with West Windsor. This month, the driver, Margaret Corrigan, was sentenced to three years in jail (and more here). Mr. Boye was disabled and used a special tricycle to get around. Ms. Corrigan was under the influence of medication when she struck Mr. Boye. She pleaded guilty to third-degree assault with an automobile and driving under the influence of narcotics in May after initially being charged with vehicular homicide.

Motorists, please share the road with cyclists, give them plenty of room while overtaking and refrain from passing on a curve when you can’t see oncoming traffic. Cyclists, follow the rules of the road, including riding the same direction as traffic, and be predictable and visible. With daylight hours shrinking, make sure your lights work, and consider adding a reflective vest to your safety gear. We sell them for just $10 at the farmers’ market.

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Biking and Hiking With Princeton Adult School

Thursday, September 6 by silvia

Zaitz Preserve WalkPrinceton Adult School’s fall course list includes several sports and outdoor recreation classes, including a “learn to bike” class for adults, a bicycle repair and maintenance class, hiking in New Jersey and more.

The “learn to bike” class, taught by the founder of Bike Exchange, comprises four one-hour classes on Saturday mornings.

The four-session bike maintenance class will be held at Harts Cyclery on Route 31 in Pennington.

The hiking class will take participants to four different areas of the state on Saturdays. There’s also a separate class that spends an October morning exploring the woods at the Institute of Advanced Study with a professor who has studied the woods for more than 40 years.

Details on all courses are on the Princeton Adult School website.

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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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Congratulations To Our Scholarship Winners

Tuesday, August 28 by silvia

Paul Ligeti and Alice Eltvedt are this year’s winners of the WWBPA’s scholarship to graduating high school seniors.

Paul, who graduated from North and is headed to the University of Michigan, impressed us with his Eagle Scout project: an 11-mile bike route of historic West Windsor sites, with a well-researched website that describes the story of each site and red markings at each spot. Paul has led two rides of his route for the WWBPA, and all have been impressed with his work.

Paul Ligeti

Paul Ligeti

Alice, who is going to Princeton after graduating from South, led by example as she rode her bicycle to the West Windsor pool. The racks have been overflowing!

Alice Eltvedt

The scholarships are one of two sets of annual awards from the WWBPA to honor those who share our vision of a bicycle and pedestrian-friendy community. We also selected three winners of our community service awards and presented them at our annual meeting in March.

Mike Viscardi, a project development? planner, has been a fantastic contact for the WWBPA at New Jersey Transit. It has only been with Mike’s help that we have been able to add bike racks and lockers on two occasions.

Michael Ogg, a former trustee, has raised our awareness of the needs of the disabled when making improvements to our sidewalk network. We thank Michael for all his contributions.

And West Windsor Township, beginning with Francis Guzik, the township’s engineer, has added so many bike lanes, filled in many gaps in the sidewalk network and added safe pedestrian crossings in the past few years. Thank you!

 

 

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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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Upcoming Events

Find us at the West Windsor Farmers Market (Vaughn Drive parking lot) from 9 am to 1 pm every other Saturday through Halloween.

Aug 3    National Night Out 6 pm – Community Park

Aug 12  Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municipal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level) or via zoom due to covid

Sept 9   Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municipal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level) or via zoom due to covid

Oct 14   Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municipal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level) or via zoom due to covid

Nov 11  Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municipal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level) or via zoom due to covid

Dec 9   Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municipal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level) or via zoom due to covid

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