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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 09-16-09, 11:11 AM   #1
neilfein
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Moving in October, (mostly) new commuting route

I'd post this in the Northeast forum, but I know there are a lot more people here, and more than a few in the paradise that is the garden state.

http://maps.google.com/...

I'll start riding this route in October, probably once a week or so. (Bike/train or bike/carpool the rest of the time.)

I'm not worried about anything south of Dunellen - I know that area well. The 287 crossings in Piscataway pretty much all suck, so I'll just have to accept my heart rate rising a bit there.

Does anyone have any thoughts on how to make this better? Anyone know of any secret shortcuts? (e.g., paths out of deadends, parking lots, etc.) I'm particularly unhapppy with the bits in Plainfield and Dunellen.
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Old 09-16-09, 01:14 PM   #2
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I'm not completely familiar with these roads, but I currently live near somerset, nj and have driven down that way a few times. Here's a link to a NJ bike maps webpage for the area you're looking to ride. Check out the "plainfield" map after looking at the map key or legend to know what the colors mean. I'm pretty new to riding and found the maps to be very helpful in avoiding heavy traffic areas.

hope that helps a little! Good luck, stay safe.
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Old 09-16-09, 07:41 PM   #3
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Thanks, Herz, I made a few minor changes:

Route Draft 3
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Artistic Differences - 8-track EP "Dreams of Bile and Blood" now available for download.
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Old 11-02-09, 10:16 PM   #4
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I rode this today, and it's (mostly) a good route. Here's the route in Bikely.

Here are the highlights. Links are to Google Street View pictures.
  • Leaving work on Passaic Avenue: A security guy in a safety yellow vest directing traffic waved me onto the road, pointing at my jacket and saying, "you're more visible than me."
  • Passaic Avenue gets quite hilly, and quickly. Mountain Avenue is more so, and I had to walk one hill there (the only one on the whole ride).
  • Mountain Avenue past Soth Street/ Glenside Road is pretty bad for riding, particularly in rush hour - two narrow lanes in each direction, traffic that just can't wait to get onto 78. The only way around this is (unless you have a Lucent keycard) to go through Watching Reservation - pretty, but very hilly indeed and very twisty.
  • I used New Providence Road to get over route 22. There was a lot of backed-up traffic in this jughandle-style overpass. You're over the Watching Mountains at this point, and the big hills are all behind you.
  • Front Street from Scotch Plains into Plainfield - It's a straight shot, and mostly good riding, but the neighborhood gets worse the further west you go (no surprise), and the potholes get bigger.
  • Park Avenue (rt 531) through Plainfield is more of the same, but it smooths out a bit when you get into South Plainfield, but I still found myself wishing for a suspension fork from time to time.
  • Talmadge Road was part of my old route home from Union, and from this point I'm on familiar ground. Wide lanes, good shoulders, and fast traffic (but the cars give me room). Watch out for the pavement after you get over 287 - it's like the surface of the moon for a bit, as if LCROSS hit Edison.
  • Brunswick Ave - one moderate climb - into Plainfield, into Kilmer Road past the post office and the DMV.
  • Cedar Lane is worth noting - two lanes in both directions, but the lanes are wide and the traffic is patient and gives you room.
  • A left on Raritan Ave (one brickwall hill, but it's very short) , a right onto South First Avenue, and I'm home. Time for dinner!
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Ukulele Abyss - ukulele cover videos - Youtube channel

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Artistic Differences - 8-track EP "Dreams of Bile and Blood" now available for download.
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Old 11-03-09, 07:50 AM   #5
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hey neil, glad the trip when okay! that's quite a ride, 21 mi! Mine is only 5 mi but I still fight trucks and crazy rush hour drivers...can't imagine what it must be like going 21 mi each way! Good luck!
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Old 11-03-09, 09:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herz13 View Post
hey neil, glad the trip when okay! that's quite a ride, 21 mi! Mine is only 5 mi but I still fight trucks and crazy rush hour drivers...can't imagine what it must be like going 21 mi each way! Good luck!
It's not as much as it sounds - my normal routines (in so far as I have one) are:
  1. Get dropped off at work with my bike by my carpool, and ride 6 miles at the end of the day to the carpool meeting place.
  2. Bike/train commute, 3 miles of riding each way, 2 hours door-to-door.

Since the bike/train thing takes almost as much time as just riding the whole thing, it makes sense to ride to 21 miles every so often. I aim for once a week.
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Uke On! - ukulele duo - Youtube channel

Ukulele Abyss - ukulele cover videos - Youtube channel

My celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry's full-length studio album "Mended", available for download.

Artistic Differences - 8-track EP "Dreams of Bile and Blood" now available for download.
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