New Jersey 1 day to Pittsburgh 7 days
620 miles...30,640 feet climb
930 miles total...44,230 feet climb total
There have to be better ways out of New York City than my route. The ferry across the Hudson River from 39th Street to Paulus Hook landing in Jersey City was very nice. But then crossing over other waterways on US route 1 to Newark, Irvington, Madison, and Morristown was terrible and unpleasant. After Morristown to the Delaware Water Gap, the next 50 miles were much better. Arrived after 8:00 pm to conclude a long day.
Such a bad day causes one to question their route. I am becoming quite enamored with the mapping abilities of GoogleMaps. With bike symbol highlighted, nearby bike trails become visible in green and the topo layer helps to identify coarse grades. There have been many greenways available to me. Over the next several days I will ride a greenway at least partially every day along streams, weaving between mountains, passing abandoned villages and early industrial communities, and through current villages where water, ice cream, and snacks are available. Whenever I leave these trails I recognize why Pennsylvania has no yearly cross-state ride. If they ever develop one it will be called the Ole Cycle Ride Across Pennsylvania-Land of Endless Mountains, with the acronym O'C.R.A.P.
Delaware Water Gap...a bike/hike trail follows the river on the Pennsylvania side. I did not know this trail existed until viewing the NPS map closely. Biked the early morning road to the park headquarters where there were (of course) some extremely steep, but short hills then down, down to the river and a good level ride. It would have been better to start from Dingmans Ferry Campground where I spent the night and the trail was right there without the climbs. Leaving DWG I took a side climb up to a roadside viewpoint where I had a lovely view of interstate 80 below and not much of the gap. All that this earned me was the justification for another slice of pie at the next opportunity. But the bike spirits were with me, for upon the descent I noticed a Pennsylvania little green sign with letter "V." I recognized this as a bike PA signed route; one not previously listed on PA site. During lunch I uncovered it's specifics and changed my prescribed route...not for the last time.
Pennsylvania has a wonderful, well-signed bike route system that crosses the state north-south and east/west. (See http://www.pahighways.com/other/bicyclepa.html#bikeroutey for a good list and map links.) I so enjoyed route V that during the next several days I biked on V, Y, and G.
|The Eliza Furnace|
There's also the not-so-fun surprises such as the bike rail-trail that suddenly ends at the sealed tunnel. A series of three long wooden steps takes me 100 feet above the trail. There are moments of drama as I loose the ability to continue pushing the bike up the inclined, dew-slick board provided for bikes. Lou and its heavy load begins to respond to gravity. Lou wants down. Robbie struggles to keep what gained ground we have. We all collapse on the stairs. I hold on desperately with one hand while removing one pannier at a time, carry bike up, carry gear up, and then see a sign at the top that tells me to expect significant hills further on.
What's wrong with this picture?
Dare I continue?
I'm nearly worn out, tired, hot, sweaty.
Descending those stairs will be worse than climbing.
Onward we go. The trail ahead turns out to have some ups and downs but is rideable.
For the bike traveler...
- Brooklyn, Manhattan, ferry to Paulus Hook landing in Jersey City, US route 1 to Newark, Irvington, Madison, Morristown, Patriots Path Trail, Mt Freedom, Succasunna, Ledgewood, Netcong,Stanhope, Sussex Branch Trail, Andover, Newton, Augusta, Branchville, Layton, Delaware Water Gap, Dingmans Ferry camp
- Delaware Water Gap Trail, town of same, signed bike route V, Saylorsburg, Kunkletown, Albrightsville, Hickory Run SP, camp
- D&L-Lehigh Gorge SP Trail, White Haven, Mountain Top, Ashley, Wilkes-Barre, Kingston, Forty-Four, Black Mountain Trail, Dallas, Mehoopany to Cully's house
- SR 4002, PA 187, Wyalusing, US 6 (signed bike route Y), Wysox, Towanda, signed bike route J, Monroe, Leroy, Canton, Gleason, Ogdensburg, Blossburg, Liberty, Morris, camp behind rescue squad compound
- Wellsboro, Leonard Harrison SP, Pine Creek Trail (signed bike route G), camp
- Jersey Shore, Avis, Lock Haven, Mill Hall, Zion, Bellefonte, Port Matilda, Tryone, Bellwood, Altoona, motel
- Cresson, Edensburg, Ghost Town Trail, Nantu Glo, Vintondale, Dilltown, Josephine, Black Lick, Blairsville, camp
- West Penn Trail, Saltsburg, Westmoreland Heritage Trail, Slickville, New Kensington, Russellton, Gibsonia, to Tom and Janet's house and Henry's Hut...Sewickly and Tara's house...Pittsburgh