By Dan Brooks
The summertime beckons bicyclists, especially after a winter as long and cold as this past season. New Jersey is replete with events in June, July and August that will bathe cyclists in warm weather, sun and smiles. Below is a list of bicycle events and rides around the state.
In the summertime, many foundations host races to raise money for a cause. While some of these races require a minimum donation to participate, many do not. However, most rides do require some type of payment that covers the cost of ride logistics. Rural areas around New Jersey host many of these rides. The pastoral scenery is a gorgeous backdrop for a bike ride. Below is a sampling of rides across the state.
In South Jersey, several charity rides utilize the open, flat roads of the Pine Barrens:
- Saturday June 13th is the Githens Center Bike- and Walk-A-Thon. Five bicycle courses between 10 and 100 miles and three walking courses from 1 to 5 miles in length are mapped.
- On June 14th , the 43rd annual Bike-A-Thon rides through South Jersey on the way to Atlantic City from Philadelphia in order to raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society.
- For couples eager for a sponsored pairs ride, Tandems East, a South Jersey bicycle company is hosting a Tandems Ride over three days, July 10-12.
Central Jersey’s rolling hills offer rides throughout the summer as well:
- In Lincroft on Saturday the 13th, the Ride for Autism will take place. This ride allows participants to choose between five different ride lengths, from 10 to 100 miles in length.
- The following Saturday in Stockton will be “Bike for the Buns”, a ride on Bull’s Island with a variety of options for rides, all beneath 20 miles.
- Mixing formalwear and cycling is part of the publicity for the “Black Tie Tour”. The Allentown ride on June 28th has two routes, 25 and 50 miles in length, and raises funds for the Rutgers Cancer Institute.
Rural North Jersey has its share of rides:
- On June 13th in Madison the 7th Annual “Revolutionary Ramble” will offer six different routes between 12 and 100 miles in length.
- On August 8th, the first annual “Tour de Blairstown“ will offer routes three route options through rural northwest New Jersey.
- August 16th is the “Ramapo Rally”. The rally begins in Mahwah and offers hillier terrain and more elevation change than many other rides.
If special organized rides aren’t what gets your wheels rolling, there are plenty of other opportunities to ride your bicycle this summer. New Jersey’s many bicycle clubs. Many clubs have regular weekly rides of various lengths and difficulties to include novices and experts. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has a helpful list of the different bicycle clubs operating in New Jersey.
Many municipalities put together tours or events that highlight and celebrate bicycling during the summer. In Cape May, the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities created a biking tour that highlights different interesting and historic properties around the Cape May area. New Brunswick has another Ciclovia coming up Sunday, June 14.
Regardless of how you wish to enjoy your bicycle during the warm and sunny summer, there are myriad places and possibilities to do so. NJDOT offers a variety of resources in addition to the bicycle club list. They have a compilation of maps and routes provided by local cycling organization, as well as a page of tips and reminders for bicyclists going out on long rides. They have also published over 25 possible tours around New Jersey.
However you wish to ride your bicycle, the summer is the time to do it. Long days and open roads and trails are ready to be enjoyed. Towns, organizations and NJDOT all have resources to help you get on you find bicycling events and routes. Bicycle safely and enjoy the ride.