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  1. #1
    Senior Member NVanHiker's Avatar
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    Cycling in Kenton Country

    Just wanted to share a wonderful holiday I took in October exploring Central/Southern New Jersey. (Plus a little PA, DE, and MD). What a beautiful state! Seems like it's all forests, farmland, and seashore. With very few exceptions, the roads and highways have generous shoulders and no debris (although I swear NJ has more wildlife than Canada if the roadkill is anything to go by - several deer (looked pretty fresh, too), poor little cardinals, groundhogs, raccoons, opossum, skunk, plus a few cellphones). Oddly, although the fall weather was in the high 70's, I did not see one other cyclist touring, and saw almost no other cyclists period. (It could be my imagination but I'm sure I felt the presence of Miss Kenton as I cycled through Evesham Township along roads with genteel names like King's Grant, Crown Royal, Barton Run, Tomlinson and Tuckerton and past peaceful lakes named Taunton, Medford, Marlton and Mimosa).


    Rented a Trek 7.2 from Danny's in Manhattan, spent a fun couple of hours playing in the traffic before heading down to Pier 11 to catch the Seastreak ferry to Atlantic Highlands. After a night in the Blue Bay Inn I ripped off a century the first day out on the way to Philadelphia. (Doing 100 miles on NJ terrain is hardly remarkable; the most difficult thing is trying to do it while staying within State lines). First thing I noticed was that miles are a lot harder to crank out than those diddly little french things we use in Canada - hectares or kilopascals or whatever. Second thing was what a nice ride you get from 700x35's. Third, I noted that it is possible to ride long distances without the use of spandex clothing or clipless pedals. Not a big fan of bike trails, but used the Henry Hudson for about 20 miles and it was very pleasant. Stayed with friends in Philadelphia and Marlton, then headed down to Cape May on Route 47. Only problem I have with the Shore (other than the yahoos from up north partying at my Wildwood motel 'til three am - Hey! it's OCTOBER!) is the outdated bike racks they still use, difficult to attach a U-lock and designed to twist your front wheel out of true as your bike inevitably topples to the ground. Cape May is very charming and worth a few days exploring. Even off-season, a car would be a headache - bike is the best way to get around.

    (Wanted to add a couple of photos but 'insert image' button demands a URL)

  2. #2
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    I like your style, sounds like a trip I would love, thanks for sharing it.
    1990 Davidson Impulse all Dura Ace, 1990 Bridgestone RB1, 1998 Lemond Zurich, 2003 Bianchi Eros, 2010 Kona Bandwagon, 2008 Raleigh One Way SS with bamboo fenders , 2009 Fisher X-Caliber 29er.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by NVanHiker View Post
    Third, I noted that it is possible to ride long distances without the use of spandex clothing or clipless pedals.
    Heresy! Stone him!

    Sounds like a very enjoyable ride in some good riding weather.
    Last edited by doctor j; 11-11-11 at 08:31 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member miss kenton's Avatar
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    Well, NVanHiker, you probably DID feel my presence! You rode right through my stomping grounds and had it been a time other than this October, you would have probably caught a glimpse of my presence as we passed each other in Marlton or on Taunton Road. I was in the midst of preparing for a huge Halloween party and wasn't on the bike much last month.
    Additionally, I work in Cherry Hill, which is but a water bottle's throw from Marlton.

    You are correct about the roadkill. I grew up in this area and never saw a deer or groundhog except in the heart of the Wharton Tract. What with the overdevelopment of this area, the wildlife has been driven from their habitat and can be seen everywhere. It is the rare ride I don't see live deer, I am guaranteed to see one that's been hit.
    I haven't seen a cellphone on the road, but often, bits of hair weaves, which my son told me, when found on the road, are called "tumble-weaves".

    I have to imagine other South Jersey cyclists were planning their own Halloween parties because normally one couldn't swing a cat without hitting a cyclist 'round here.

    Well, I hope you have a better image of South Jersey than is portrayed by the despicable television show "Jersey Shore." Next time you visit South Jersey, post about it first so that we can meet for a ride!

    By the way, nice report.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Nice report. Sounds like a great place to ride.
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    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    NJ gets a bad rap because people drive the I-95 corridor and base an opinion on that. It is a very pretty state with a lot of great riding and friendly people. I like it a lot. Unfortunately, as Miss K. points out, shows like Jersey Shore and Real Housewives amplify incorrect stereotypes. Even Jersey City has come a long way. I am not saying it's pertect (ahem.. Camden and Trenton), but it is a much nicer state than its reputation.
    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    How are you ever going to live in the real world if you can't get along with people who don't believe what your do?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NVanHiker View Post
    Just wanted to share a wonderful holiday I took in October exploring Central/Southern New Jersey. (Plus a little PA, DE, and MD). What a beautiful state!...

    (Wanted to add a couple of photos but 'insert image' button demands a URL)
    Thanks for the nice ride description. I have ridden very little in the mid-Atlantic states, mainly a few days on the Delmarva peninsula, and I would certainly like to explore New Jersey off of the I-95 corridor. Maybe a venue for an East Coast Fourth Annual Fifty Plus Ride? Kenton Country---anybody out there wanna host?

    BTW, I found it pretty easy to attach photos without a URL using the following:

    Click REPLY > Click GO ADVANCE > Scroll down to MANAGE ATTACHMENTS > Click ADD FILES > Click SELECT FILES to open your own files to browse and then OPEN to choose the appropriate picture(s), and it is then attached. Interested viewers can click on the thumbnail to enlarge the photo (see example below).
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    Senior Member NVanHiker's Avatar
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    BikeRack.jpgHHTrail.jpgCapeMay.jpg

    Jersey Bike Rack, Henry Hudson Trail, Cape May scene.

    Thanks Jim. I sampled the Delmarva and really liked it also - if I had the time (i.e. retired) I would have slipped a pickup driver 20 bucks to take me over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and pushed on to Florida! (Haven't found a way to include a photo in an initial post).

  9. #9
    astro
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    NVanHiker -

    If you draw a line from New York City to Philadelphia, to the southeast is quite flat. To the northwest you encounter rolling hills up to serious hills in the northwest part of the state. Most of my riding is in northwest Mercer county and southern Hunterdon county. We have quite a few hills but not very many shoulders! Lots of wildlife.

    Glad you liked your visit!

    - Ed

  10. #10
    Senior Member miss kenton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdon View Post
    NJ gets a bad rap because people drive the I-95 corridor and base an opinion on that. It is a very pretty state with a lot of great riding and friendly people. I like it a lot. Unfortunately, as Miss K. points out, shows like Jersey Shore and Real Housewives amplify incorrect stereotypes. Even Jersey City has come a long way. I am not saying it's pertect (ahem.. Camden and Trenton), but it is a much nicer state than its reputation.
    Thank you for your kind and accurate words about my home state. I agree with your impression of Camden and would strongly suggest any visitors traveling by bicycle to Jersey from Philadelphia via the Ben Franklin Bridge outfit themselves as pictured below:


  11. #11
    Senior Member miss kenton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    Thanks for the nice ride description. I have ridden very little in the mid-Atlantic states, mainly a few days on the Delmarva peninsula, and I would certainly like to explore New Jersey off of the I-95 corridor. Maybe a venue for an East Coast Fourth Annual Fifty Plus Ride? Kenton Country---anybody out there wanna host?

    BTW, I found it pretty easy to attach photos without a URL using the following:


    Click REPLY > Click GO ADVANCE > Scroll down to MANAGE ATTACHMENTS > Click ADD FILES > Click SELECT FILES to open your own files to browse and then OPEN to choose the appropriate picture(s), and it is then attached. Interested viewers can click on the thumbnail to enlarge the photo (see example below).
    Well Jim,
    While South Jersey offers an abundance of campgrounds, and I currently have two empty bedrooms in my home, I would make a poor cycling group host as I give the worst route directions ever, unless one is adept in following instructions like, turn left at that big tree with the sign on it, then left two miles past the little church with the white flowers out front...

    Furthermore, I, and I'm sure many others on this forum, are looking forward to seeing the location where the very first Boston Creme Pie was made. Your photo makes it very clear that we should plan a summer ride in Boston (unless, of course, robbing liquor stores is planned as an unusual, but exciting, group event).

  12. #12
    Senior Member NVanHiker's Avatar
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    As it happened, I rode through Camden after sundown. Two front blinkies, two back. I was thinking, maybe all these lights just make me a better target. A couple of days later, I ended up riding in the dark again in rural NJ - magic experience; it was pitch black and the insects and tree frogs created a wall of sound.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miss kenton View Post
    Well Jim,
    While South Jersey offers an abundance of campgrounds, and I currently have two empty bedrooms in my home, I would make a poor cycling group host as I give the worst route directions ever, unless one is adept in following instructions like, turn left at that big tree with the sign on it, then left two miles past the little church with the white flowers out front...

    Furthermore, I, and I'm sure many others on this forum, are looking forward to seeing the location where the very first Boston Creme Pie was made. Your photo makes it very clear that we should plan a summer ride in Boston (unless, of course, robbing liquor stores is planned as an unusual, but exciting, group event).
    Dear Miss Kenton,

    Thanks for your reply. It sounds like you would be a most gracious hostess for 50+ bike ride in New Jersey. It has been my experience in the past two rides that the host just made sure everyone knew how to get to the “Main Event,” i.e. the organized bike ride sponsored by a local cycling organization. This year though, Road Fan did lead an informal ride in Ann Arbor, and the riders did split up, but the route was simple. I suspect that the pack, from the slowest Fred to the hardest roadie, would hold together and follow directions on a ride led by Miss K (think of the eager beaux swarming around Miss Scarlett in the antebellum scenes of Gone with the Wind).

    I certainly think a ride in New England would be a nice event too. In particular MassBike promotes a Summer Century and Family Ride, with planning already in progress. It usually occurs in July and though I've not ridden it, I believe it's usually held in the historic and bucolic western suburbs, to include Lexington and Concord of Revolutionary War fame. The history around here certainly is an attraction to visit. For example, Charles Dickens was a guest at that same hotel where Boston Creme Pie was invented, but I don't know which came first.

    Sincerely,

    Jim
    Last edited by Jim from Boston; 11-15-11 at 10:09 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member miss kenton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    Dear Miss Kenton,

    Thanks for your reply. It sounds like you would be a most gracious hostess for 50+ bike ride in New Jersey. It has been my experience in the past two rides that the host just made sure everyone knew how to get to the “Main Event,” i.e. the organized bike ride sponsored by a local cycling organization. This year though, Road Fan did lead an informal ride in Ann Arbor, and the riders did split up, but the route was simple. I suspect that the pack, from the slowest Fred to the hardest roadie, would hold together and follow directions on a ride led by Miss K (think of the eager beaux swarming around Miss Scarlett in the antebellum scenes of Gone with the Wind).

    I certainly think a ride in New England would be a nice event too. In particular MassBike promotes a Summer Century and Family Ride, with planning already in progress. It usually occurs in July and though I've not ridden it, I believe it's usually held in the historic and bucolic western suburbs, to include Lexington and Concord of Revolutionary War fame. The history around here certainly is an attraction to visit. For example, Charles Dickens was a guest at that same hotel where Boston Creme Pie was invented, but I don't know which came first.

    Sincerely,

    Jim
    Now, Jim. It is quite obvious you are trying to flatter your way out of hosting a forum ride. The location poll clearly indicated the East Coast forum members are in favor of a NEW ENGLAND ride. While I would never consider myself a cartography expert, I am quite certain New Jersey is not considered part of New England. Moreover, after an extensive Google search, I can find no evidence that Charles Dickens ever lodged, or even indulged in a piece of Boston Creme Pie, in New Jersey. Therefore, a trip here versus a trip to Boston would surely disappoint all of the Dickens/Boston Creme Pie enthusiasts.

    Save your silver tongue for the gullible.
    Last edited by miss kenton; 11-17-11 at 07:42 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miss kenton View Post
    Now, Jim. It is quite obvious you are trying to flatter your way out of hosting a forum ride. The location poll clearly indicated the East Coast forum members are in favor of a NEW ENGLAND ride…

    Save your silver tongue for the gullible.
    Quote Originally Posted by irwin7638 View Post
    … this thread [4th annual 50+ group ride] moved into a poll which indicated interest in rides in the Natchez Trace area of Tennessee, San Diego and New England. I was able to locate an organized ride near Nashville on June 2nd that has a good number enthused…
    I haven't heard about any developments in the other areas. But that's where we are at this point.

    Marc

    Quote Originally Posted by miss kenton View Post
    I think throwing in suggestions and then creating a poll is a great idea. I'll throw mine in, though I'll leave it vague to allow the most options: New England…Okay, I'll be more specific: New England, but not in January.
    I’m still keeping an open mind about New England, but I think it’s still pretty early to plan. A ride here would certainly save me travel time, and I could bump up my streak of consecutive Annual 50+ Rides to number three. Before I would commit to scheduling that time off from work to host, I’d like to get an idea of the interest in this locale. I think the major drawback is that this region would be more expensive than the Midwest for lodging in the summer.

    I went back to the early posts during the planning for the Third Annual Ride seeking my quote below regarding dual venues. It was sad to see how many of the most enthusiastic respondents to the Ann Arbor ride had to drop out for serious personal reasons.

    My post:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    … Seems like [the 3rd Annual Ride] may become an East Coast / Midwest / Southeast US event.

    Going way off topic, if there are any science fiction fans reading this, I started to free-associate about the classic sci-fi trilogy of Foundation by Issac Asimov in which the great Hari Seldon [Irwin 7638] set up two Foundations at either end of the Galaxy. From Wikipedia:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    The First Foundation [Tennessee], learning of the implications of the Second [New England], who will be the true inheritors of Seldon's promised future Empire [4th Annual Ride], greatly resents them - and seeks to find and destroy them, believing it can manage without them.
    Are we of [New England] the valiant Second Foundation?

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