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Old 08-31-10, 07:13 AM   #1
Flandry
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Your input: New Jersey/York to Boston "easy" route

Good morning

As a small trial for an anticipated Atlantic coast tour, i am making a bike tour out of a visit to family near Newark and return to Boston. The Chinatown bus (Fung Wa) and PATH did the heavy lifting on the outgoing trip, and now i'm planning the return bike ride. This will be my first multi-night, > 200 mile tour.

I've read some threads about distance riding from NYC-Boston or vice versa with either one or no stops at a motel, but with my loaded bike i'm sure it will take me at least 3 days to cover the ~250 miles. I'm not at all familiar with New Jersey, New York or Connecticut. As i'm not really in great shape (haven't done any rides over 30-40 miles this year), what would you suggest as a fairly leisurely route from Newark to Boston with camping stops?

The first routing decision i'm especially looking for input on is whether to go completely around Manhattan to the North (via NJ)--which seems rather out of the way, back to Newark and across Washington or WTC via PATH and follow the ECGW route, or out LI to either of the ferries.

One gap in the LI option is how to get to a rideable part of the Island, (wherever that may be), so if you have good things to say about the LI route, some details about that step would be appreciated.

I'll have more questions soon, i'm sure. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old 08-31-10, 10:57 AM   #2
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Go North, Young Man

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Originally Posted by Flandry View Post
Good morning

As a small trial for an anticipated Atlantic coast tour, i am making a bike tour out of a visit to family near Newark and return to Boston. The Chinatown bus (Fung Wa) and PATH did the heavy lifting on the outgoing trip, and now i'm planning the return bike ride. This will be my first multi-night, > 200 mile tour.

I've read some threads about distance riding from NYC-Boston or vice versa with either one or no stops at a motel, but with my loaded bike i'm sure it will take me at least 3 days to cover the ~250 miles. I'm not at all familiar with New Jersey, New York or Connecticut. As i'm not really in great shape (haven't done any rides over 30-40 miles this year), what would you suggest as a fairly leisurely route from Newark to Boston with camping stops?

The first routing decision i'm especially looking for input on is whether to go completely around Manhattan to the North (via NJ)--which seems rather out of the way, back to Newark and across Washington or WTC via PATH and follow the ECGW route, or out LI to either of the ferries.

One gap in the LI option is how to get to a rideable part of the Island, (wherever that may be), so if you have good things to say about the LI route, some details about that step would be appreciated.

I'll have more questions soon, i'm sure. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
I'm not certain of the roads, but it would be best not to think like a car driver but like a bicyclist on this one. What I mean is avoid the congestion and risks of NYC and southern CT. Why not plan a route up the Hudson Valley across into northwestern CT (beneath the peaks of the Berkshires in MA), and eastward through MA. That would be more scenic and restful. Also, allow 5 days not 3.

Just my $0.02.

PG
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Old 08-31-10, 11:41 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
I'm not certain of the roads, but it would be best not to think like a car driver but like a bicyclist on this one. What I mean is avoid the congestion and risks of NYC and southern CT. Why not plan a route up the Hudson Valley across into northwestern CT (beneath the peaks of the Berkshires in MA), and eastward through MA. That would be more scenic and restful. Also, allow 5 days not 3.

Just my $0.02.

PG
The goal is to do it in 4 riding days but that could change depending on the length of the final route. I guess what you describe would be the "go North around Manhattan" option taken to an extreme. It sounds intriguing but i haven't seen anyone else mention it when talking about biking from NY to Boston. Have you been through the Hudson valley?

I suppose part of the reason i'm leaning toward a coastline route is that i was home in the West a few weeks ago and saw lots of inland terrain. For that reason, the Long Island route is appealing but for as much talk of biking LI as i see, it's been tough to find a simple route described.
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Old 08-31-10, 12:01 PM   #4
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Throwing this blindly at the Google Map "bike route" facility gets you: http://goo.gl/maps/HOgw

You use a ferry to cross the Hudson, and a ferry to cross the Long Island Sound. The bit through Manhattan/Brooklyn/Queens is probably a bit (edit: okay a lot) of mean streets, but the rest is probably good.

Taking the northern route and crossing the Hudson in Poughkeepsie gets you: http://goo.gl/maps/0npS

Longer, and less mean streets.

Speedo
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Old 08-31-10, 12:05 PM   #5
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Biking through town isn't so big of a deal. Drivers are generally going slower, looking out for kids, double-parked cars, and the like. Granted, biking through town isn't as pleasant as biking on an open country road. You need to watch for cars that pull out in front of you, cars that overtake you and then turn right immediately in front of you, and of course parked cars with occupants that might open a car door in front of you.

If you want to skip biking through town, you can generally take your bike on regional rail during off-peak hours. As long as there's room and you don't block the aisle with the bike, you should be fine. Metro-North and Long Island Railroad trains require a $5 permit (available at Penn Station or through the mail). Unofficially, I'm seldom asked to show the permit when I'm on the train. NJ Transit doesn't require a permit at all. If you take LIRR to Port Jefferson, you can take the ferry from there, or you can hook up with State Bike Route 25 and continue to the ferry at Orient Point.

The Village of Greenport runs a campground that's right on the bike route, and Wildwood State Park isn't far off the route.

Here's some bike maps that you might want to look at:

https://www.nysdot.gov/divisions/ope...ion10/map.html
http://www.nycbikemaps.com/
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Old 08-31-10, 12:54 PM   #6
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A ferry across long island sound? that seems good.. maybe hitch a ride on someone's boat
between Montauk , to Block Isl., and there to RI, perhaps?
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Old 09-01-10, 12:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ploeg View Post
Biking through town isn't so big of a deal. Drivers are generally going slower, looking out for kids, double-parked cars, and the like. Granted, biking through town isn't as pleasant as biking on an open country road. You need to watch for cars that pull out in front of you, cars that overtake you and then turn right immediately in front of you, and of course parked cars with occupants that might open a car door in front of you.

If you want to skip biking through town, you can generally take your bike on regional rail during off-peak hours. As long as there's room and you don't block the aisle with the bike, you should be fine. Metro-North and Long Island Railroad trains require a $5 permit (available at Penn Station or through the mail). Unofficially, I'm seldom asked to show the permit when I'm on the train. NJ Transit doesn't require a permit at all. If you take LIRR to Port Jefferson, you can take the ferry from there, or you can hook up with State Bike Route 25 and continue to the ferry at Orient Point.

The Village of Greenport runs a campground that's right on the bike route, and Wildwood State Park isn't far off the route.

Here's some bike maps that you might want to look at:

https://www.nysdot.gov/divisions/ope...ion10/map.html
http://www.nycbikemaps.com/
Thanks, those are very useful resources that i hadn't seen before.

I'm looking at the Hudson River route (NY 9) and it sounds nice, but the real problem i see with it is getting East from that route. The rivers are all running south, so it looks like a lot of climbing that i'm just not sure i'm up for right now. It would be nice to hear from someone who's covered that terrain.
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Old 09-01-10, 02:41 PM   #8
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#4 to woodlawn rd, central ave to Tuckahoe rd (yonkers) to connect to the South & North county trails towards Danbury. Rt 6 & 202 East towards Farmington (CT) to fvgreenway to Simsbury towards Springfield ma. Backroads to Worcester to get commuter train to boston

look at westchester county site for maps of north& south county trails, fvgreenway.org for their maps and
rubels for maps of Mass.
I sent you a private msg is you want cues to MA yesterday
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Old 09-01-10, 08:34 PM   #9
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Don't listen to these guys. I live in the hudson valley and it's bliss. You got nice low traffic rural roads to take you through new york.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sour...9,8.453979&z=8

I don't know how to make links small... heh.

But this is what you want to do, cut off all that urban riding and replace it with nice rolling hills through the country side of the Hudson valley. You could also go up the north/south country trails as Bktourer1 said.

When do you want to do this tour? I'd love to join you for a leg of the ride.
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Old 09-02-10, 01:21 AM   #10
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Thanks again for your comments. Time has run short and i'm heading out this morning via LI and the Orient Point ferry. I'm a bit apprehensive due to the forcasted heat Thursday and holiday traffic over the weekend (and incoming hurricane) but realized that i need to leave now if it's going to happen this trip, so LI it is.

I hope to make a return trip soon when the leaves are turning using a more westerly route. I hope to take you up on your offers of more information on such a route when i begin preparing for that.

http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...28339648669241
http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...28340911222603

Wish me luck.

I'll be keeping a log and will post it when i'm done.

Last edited by Flandry; 09-02-10 at 01:24 AM.
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Old 09-02-10, 06:52 AM   #11
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I see you're going through Hope Valley RI. That is one hilly area
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Old 09-02-10, 12:40 PM   #12
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Fill us in when you arrive . . . or from your hotel room where you'll have to ride out the hurricane. Not sure when the ferries will stop operating for the storm. Earl's a fast mover so you're not going to stay in front of it but, on the other hand, won't take long to sit through.

Hindsight, I know, but you would have been better off with the northern route. Less impact from the storm.

John
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Old 09-02-10, 10:12 PM   #13
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You can cross NYC by using the the bridge that is in the 170's. I cant remember what it is called though, sorry. As for riding through, I rode Boston Post Road a good deal through. I stopped one night in Meriden, CT, the next in Coventry, RI, and the last day was a 50 mile ride to Boston.

Coming back I rode to Tolland, CT, Stramford, the next night, and New York the third. Even though it is out of the way, I preferred the Rhode Island route. Entering CT from MA I was forced to get onto an interstate for nearly 3 miles. Thankfully I was able to exit without incident of any kind.
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Old 09-16-10, 09:35 PM   #14
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Hey, thanks for the comments. I had a fine and pleasant misery, as one might say. Gotta have the bad with the good, but it was a great adventure.

I prepared a travelogue in Google Earth to share my experience:

http://biking.inquisitive.org

I'm leaving for Calais, Maine tomorrow (Atlantic junction with Canada) as part two of my 2010 Atlantic Coast Project!
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