A friend and I are kicking around the idea of riding from a little north of Philly to the Jersey Shore. Has anyone done this? We are looking for the shortest route and have narrowed it down to somewhere around Pt. Pleasant Beach..
You might consider riding to Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania in Lycoming county. That way you can avoid New Jersey. I always have thought that it's weird that a town with that name exists in north-central Pennsylvania.
Trek 630 • Jamis Quest • Bilenky Tourlite and various others
Take the Ben Franklin over, buzz down the main drag in Camden and you'll end up on RT. 130 for a swing south. Nice road and once you're past Eagle Point Refinery you can head east. Roads are nicer and (from my last experience some years ago), less travelled. You would be getting out of "Megalopolis" at that point. Stay off anything that has the word "Pike" as a name. Philly to the shore is a nice ride. When I did it we went to Cape May and then ferried over to Lewes to camp.
The most direct route will be via Route 70, which isn't so bad east of Route 206; it takes you through the Pinelands into the vicinity of Point Pleasant. For a break from the traffic on 70, you could turn onto Route 72 southeast at the traffic circle near Brendan Byrne State Forest, go about six miles on 72, then turn left onto Savoy Boulevard. Savoy parallels a railroad track (though it crosses from the west side to the east side after a few miles) and is paved all the way until it joins Route 539, a distance of about eight miles with very little traffic (the name changes to Pasadena Road and then McMahon Street near the end). Then you turn left on 539, go north for a couple of miles, left at the first traffic light to stay on 539, and then right a short distance later to get back onto Route 70. Once you get closer to the Garden State Parkway there are probably better options than Route 70 to continue on, but someone else will have to help you with that.
You should know that most of the "back roads" in the Pinelands are unpaved, SOFT SAND. Don't even think of trying to cycle on them, unless your tires are as fat as a dune buggy's. Savoy/Pasadena/McMahon is an unusual exception to this.
I went from Philly to Wildwood back in the '70s. We went over the BF Bridge, thru Camden and got on Atlantic Ave. It follows the railroad tracks for quite a way. Then got onto 561 around Berlin and down toward Hammonton. From there, you can take any of the County Roads-they're all bikeable and much safer than Rt. 70 which has very heavy traffic. I'd also stay WAY clear of 130 for the same reason.