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Old 06-15-11, 09:59 AM   #1
Pukeskywalker
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Good idea/bad idea? First long ride.

Hey everybody,

I have an opportunity to do an 8 hour ride from Philadelphia to Sea Isle City. The ride is 97% flat. My bike is ready to go. I know all about safety, maintenance, what to pack, etc.

However, the farthest I've biked in the past year is 50 miles. The farthest I've biked in the past 6 months is 20.

Assuming I'm a 25 year old, relatively fit, determined, and have no medical conditions, would it be stupid to go on this ride in 4 weeks, with minimal training?
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Old 06-15-11, 10:04 AM   #2
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It's not the miles, but the pace that really matters.
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Old 06-15-11, 10:04 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Pukeskywalker View Post
Hey everybody,

I have an opportunity to do an 8 hour ride from Philadelphia to Sea Isle City. The ride is 97% flat. My bike is ready to go. I know all about safety, maintenance, what to pack, etc.

However, the farthest I've biked in the past year is 50 miles. The farthest I've biked in the past 6 months is 20.

Assuming I'm a 25 year old, relatively fit, determined, and have no medical conditions, would it be stupid to go on this ride in 4 weeks, with minimal training?
How many miles is this? Also it's not a race so I would just say yes, you can always ride slow or take a break when needed. Enjoy it and have fun.

I'm 46 and lately I've been riding (on average) 20 to 30 miles a day on the weekends. I just point and go.
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Old 06-15-11, 10:21 AM   #4
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How many miles is this? I grew up in south jersey, and this sounds like ~80 miles or so. What bridge will you cross into NJ? What is the planned route, as many of the roads to the coast have rough shoulders and a lot of traffic. Are you familiar with the route and other riders?
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Old 06-15-11, 01:45 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies!

The route I'm planning to take is just past 80 miles. I could definitely take a full 12 hours to make this ride if I wanted to. I'm meeting up with a group of friends that is going to be camping there and would be going a day ahead of them.


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What is the planned route, as many of the roads to the coast have rough shoulders and a lot of traffic. Are you familiar with the route and other riders?
I was planning to take Black Horse Pike for most of the ride.

Reservations: looks really boring and I'll have cars coming up behind me the entire ride. Biking across NJ would be worth it though, in my mind. If it makes a difference, I'm comfortable riding my bike in heavy city traffic (though I know some jersey traffic can be really rough compared to PA).

I was thinking about going Pleasantville --> Somer's Point --> Ocean Drive Bridge to Ocean City --> Head south to Sea Isle
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Old 06-15-11, 01:48 PM   #6
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Doable. Some friends and I did it four years in a row. A couple of the people didn't ride all that much. The big factor will be the heat and humidity. One very hot and humid year, one the less fit riders in our group developed heat exhaustion by the time we hit Tuckahoe and was not too far from developing heat stroke. We sat him down in the shade at a local farm market and got him some water. His girlfriend had to drive out from Sea Isle to pick him up.

What route are you planning on taking? If you know what you are doing, you can get to Sea Isle from Camden (after crossing the Ben Franklin Bridge) in about 65-70 miles. Note that, regardless of which walkway is open (north or south), you will have to get your bike down a steep set of metal grate stairs on the Camden side. There is a little ramp on the stairs that allows you to wheel your bike, but it still could be a difficult if you are carrying a heavy load. To avoid this, you can take PATCO from center city to Camden. There is an elevator on the southwest corner of 15th & Spruce and another from the mezzanine down to platform level.

Send me a PM if you would like a relatrively quiet backroads option from Buena to Sea Isle that only includes a very short stretch on U.S. 9.
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Old 06-15-11, 01:54 PM   #7
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Doable. Some friends and I did it four years in a row. A couple of the people didn't ride all that much. The big factor will be the heat and humidity. One very hot and humid year, one the less fit riders in our group developed heat exhaustion by the time we hit Tuckahoe and was not too far from developing heat stroke. We sat him down in the shade at a local farm market and got him some water. His girlfriend had to drive out from Sea Isle to pick him up.

What route are you planning on taking? If you know what you are doing, you can get to Sea Isle from Camden (after crossing the Ben Franklin Bridge) in about 65-70 miles. Note that, regardless of which walkway is open (north or south), you will have to get your bike down a steep set of metal grate stairs on the Camden side. There is a little ramp on the stairs that allows you to wheel your bike, but it still could be a difficult if you are carrying a heavy load. To avoid this, you can take PATCO from center city to Camden. There is an elevator on the southwest corner of 15th & Spruce and another from the mezzanine down to platform level.

Send me a PM if you would like a relatrively quiet backroads option from Buena to Sea Isle that only includes a very short stretch on U.S. 9.
Interesting. Thanks for that info about the bridge.

I posted the route plan above. After looking at the map I'd like to check out the Atlantic County Bikeway. It looks like I could spend a good hour biking down that if I head towards Pleasantville.

PS. do you know any good routes through Camden?

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Old 06-15-11, 02:24 PM   #8
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I was thinking about going Pleasantville --> Somer's Point --> Ocean Drive Bridge to Ocean City --> Head south to Sea Isle
Don't do that. If you go as soon as the BF bridge opens, you can actually take the Admiral Wilson Blvd. (Sounds crazy, I know.) to U.S. 130 to SR 168 (Black Horse Pike), which eventually meshes with SR 42. It's not the nicest of rides, but it will get you there.

However, right after the Cross Keys Shopping Center on SR 42, make a right onto CR 555 and eventually ride straight onto CR 557. Take that all the way until it meshes with U.S. 40. In a little bit, you will see signs for where CR 557 branches off from U.S. 40. Take 557 and then bear right onto Cape May Ave./CR 666 (There is a sign.) It's a very quiet and pretty road. When it ends, bear left onto Aetna/CR 649 (before hitting SR 49) at the the Head of the River Church. Take that until it ends at SR 50. Make a right onto SR 50. Shortly after the junction with SR 49, bear right off of SR 50 onto Mount Plesant-Tuckahoe Rd./CR 664. Make a right at the T onto CR 610/Dennisville-Petersburg Rd. At the lashing red traffic light, make a left onto CR 550. Take that until it ends at U.S. 9. Right onto U.S. 9 and then left at the light onto CR 625, which is the causeway into Sea Isle. Follow along on Google Maps to get an idea of where this all takes you. And there are ways through Camden to avoid the Admiral Wilson.

One reason you don't want to ride through Ocean City is that you would have to ride through Strathmere to get to Sea Isle. The road through Strathmere is somewhat bumpy. More imporantly, it's relatively narrow, there is no shoulder, and people park along the side of the road to get to the beach there. Not very bike friendly. Traffic gets impatient. Also, it's a relatively long way from the north end of Ocean City to Sea Isle. You would most likely have a headwind the entire way.
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