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  1. #1
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    bike commuting in NJ

    I used to live in Edison and only commuted a few times to work, about 25 miles each way, mainly because of my fear of car congestion in this area. Recently moved closer to work, now only 15 miles away in Somerset county, but have also only commuted to worked a few times. I still find the roads too windy and narrow especially around rush hour. My office and home is near I78, but I rarely see bike commuters. Are there many of you in this area commuting a few times a month to work? If so, what are your strategies to avoid the traffic and ensuring safety? I would like to commute more next year, as the loss of daylight is a deterrent for me to consider it till the spring.

  2. #2
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    It is difficult in that area. I lived in Edison and then Maplewood. Much of the state is hostile to cyclists. But things are changing for the better, very slowly. I encourage you to try it.

    I recommend hanging out in the commuters section of bikeforums. There are people who manage in all kinds of environments, rural, mountainous, suburban, and urban. There is a lot to learn.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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  3. #3
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    I used to work in Branchburg and commuting there was terrible at times. I know a lot of the roads do not have shoulders in the 'rural' areas. I tried to stick to the residential streets which are better than the main roads.

    Side note: I used to have a NJ DOT permit to ride on Rte. 78 way back when it did not connect to Pennsylvania or through Watchung Reservation so traffic was light. Now riding on Rte. 78 would be insanity.

  4. #4
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    NJ DOT permit, that's new to me, do you need it to ride interstates and state roads? like Rt 22 or 206? I've had an acquaintance die on I78 while changing a tire, so definitely out for me

  5. #5
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Check the NJ Drivers' manual. It has a list of roads where bikes are not permitted. The list is very short. I remember

    - Garden State Parkway
    - NJ Turnpike
    - I-78
    - I-95
    - NJ 18 south of Old Bridge or so

    and a few others. Roads where bikes are prohibited are roads I wouldn't want to ride anyway, so I have no problem with the law. Twice, I road between Maplewood and Hoboken, and it's a hellish ride. I had to cross a few exit and entrance ramps where vehicles were moving at 70 mph. I would not recommend this to anyone.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
    If so, what are your strategies to avoid the traffic and ensuring safety?
    Riding before/after the traditional "rush hour" should help. E.g., get to work by 7:30am, leave after 6:30pm. I think you'll find traffic also takes a dip when K-12 schools are closed for summer, i.e., late June through Labor Day. Otherwise bright clothing, lights, riding defensively, and whatever else you'll learn in the commuter forum.

  7. #7
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    hmm... understand the strategy, but that puts in at work for 11hrs, that's going to demotivate me to commute, or could consider 3 more hour on BF at work...

  8. #8
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    Grew up in EB and commuted to my place of work (JFK) three times a week. Was risky but already been using a bicycle as standard mode of transportation for four years prior. It is all upto your riding style and learning what works for you. I would recommend avoiding main roads but are okay to just pass over at an X. Lol, no bueno just cruising down Rte.1. As mentioned NJ loves their cars, people around here are addicted and also dicks.

    Cheers

  9. #9
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    East Brunswick to JFK? That's a heck of a ride.

    Oh, wait. I was assuming you meant JFK Airport. Do you mean the hospital in Edison?
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  10. #10
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    Yes, the hospital in edison. haha

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
    NJ DOT permit, that's new to me, do you need it to ride interstates and state roads? like Rt 22 or 206? I've had an acquaintance die on I78 while changing a tire, so definitely out for me
    Rte.s 202 & 206 do not need a permit but those are two highways you do not want to ride on during rush hours. Stay on residential streets if you can.

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