This is New Jersey?

New Jersey is nothing but sprawling malls, fake tans, tacky velour jumpsuits and drivers who use their middle finger instead of a turn signal, right?

Okay, some of these things are true. Growing up in Upstate NY, I loved to hate our trashy neighbor to the south. That is until the Garden State was the only way out of our stint of unemployment. This past weekend, we packed up the U-Haul and headed south.

When I agreed to move to NJ, I feared that the days of roaming the countryside on my bike were over. And I was willing to bet that beginning a ride from the end of the driveway was a thing of the past. It turns out that “dirty Jersey” is true after all. Dirt roads, that is. The state is also brimming with farms, trails, historic buildings ¬†and bucolic winding back roads with low traffic. Once you leave the highways that snake like veins from one end of the state to the other, you’ll be amazed by the scenery. The cycling scene here is huge and we’ve already ridden (and climbed, and climbed) right from our driveway.

.NJ back road

Yes, this is New Jersey.




7 thoughts on “This is New Jersey?

  1. Welcome to the Garden State. Luckily, I was able to do the reverse move and after growing up in Jersey, settled in New York’s Hudson Valley. That said, I agree that there’s great cycling in NJ. Not sure if you’ve had any experiences with randonneuring, but I highly recommend it and no better group than NJ Rando to help you get started. Try the Princeton 200K on April 21 to get your feet wet. More on Randonneuring at the NJ Rando website. You may just find yourself riding Parsi-Brest-Paris in 2015.

    • Thanks, George. We just moved from Red Hook in Dutchess County. I’ve read and enjoyed your blog for a while now. Good luck with your riding and put in some miles on those beautiful HV back roads for us.

      • Hilarious! We really are switching lives. I’ll be riding through Red Hook on Saturday. In which section of NJ are you living? I grew up in Somerset Co. Thanks for reading my blog. I look forward to following yours.

        • I’m in Lebanon near the Round Valley Reservoir, which seems to be the preferred route for local cyclists. I can’t believe all the climbing here too. I haven’t mapped anything less than 100 ft/mi. Not much recovery! I’ll miss those easy spins through Rhinecliff and River Road. Enjoy your ride Saturday! It’s been a beautiful winter for cycling.

          • That is totally nuts! My mother has lived in Lebanon for the passed 15 years. We get down there quite a few times throughout the year. I’ll have to give you a shout when that happens so I can tag along on a ride. Beautiful countryside. The Princeton 300K actually spins right through that area.

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