Sunday, November 2, 2014

Riding up the Jersey Shore, Part 1 - Cape May to Tuckerton

After spending the night in Lewes, I planned to catch the 8:45am ferry to Cape May, NJ.  So I got to sleep in, get breakfast at the motel, then pedal the 4+ miles to the ferry dock.  It wasn't entirely clear where I was supposed to go, so I pretended I was a pedestrian and took myself inside.  No extra charge for the bike.

Waiting for the Cape May Ferry

Sat around outside for awhile, then, as the ferry approached, moved myself to the Bicycle Staging Area.  When it was time to load, I got to go first, park my bike in the racks, then head up to the passenger deck.

Sweetpea in the bike racks between the stanchions on the ferry

View from the MV Cape Henlopen ferry to Cape May, NJ

The crossing took about 90 minutes, and I had great fun coffeeneuring (how often does one get to coffeeneur on a floating coffee shop?) and standing outside enjoying the ride.

Coffeeneuring on the Cape May Ferry

Cape May Lighthouse

This day's route here.

Welcome to New Jersey

Last off, and I headed toward Cape May.  The route took me up along the barrier islands which are the South Jersey coast, mostly riding right along the shore and boardwalk, but occasionally heading a bit west to cross over a river.

Riding on the Ocean City Boardwalk!

Flying kites on the beach

The bridges were all toll bridges, but not for bicycles. :-)  Sunny day, wind was generally from the south.  Lovely.

Toll Bridge

Marsh or estuary

Lots of this from Cape May to just before Somers Point

the shore

Bridge to Somers Point NJ

After Ocean City, I rode across a big enormous causeway over Great Egg Harbor Bay, to Somers Point, ending up on a bike path all the way through Linwood, Northfield (lived there as a child), and Pleasantville.  Other than it had signs requesting that cyclists WALK across every single street, it was quite nice.  For the record, I saw many cyclists, and not a one of them walked across the streets.  For that matter, they didn't even stop.  I at least did that!

That's not going to happen

Pleasantville, NJ

Then I turned northwest, because the only way across the next river (for nonmotorized transport) was inland, in the Pine Barrens.  More bike path, then on a very major road past the Atlantic City airport.  But it was freshly paved and had a wonderful shoulder; no worries.  I had noted that the Last Chance for Food before my endpoint was at the intersection of that road and the White Horse Pike.  Of course, it was on the most difficult corner of the intersection to get into and out of :-)  More Wawa soft pretzels, a banana, nuts and Gatorade.  The White Horse Pike was busy, with high speed traffic and no shoulder, but I wouldn't be on it long.

Frankfurt Rd - I thought it was nice and quiet after the White Horse Pike...

Turned off onto Frankfurt Ave (all the streets were named after German cities), and it was immediately ever so much nicer.  A few miles later, I was to turn onto Indian Cabin Rd.

Wait.  What?  Sand?  Couldn't be sand for too long, and it looked rideable.  Mostly it was, but for a few bits.  Got to the next road.  Sand.  And the next road.  Sand.  I figured the NEXT turn would be onto pavement, and it was, but some time was taken.  At least it was flat, and only a little over 2 miles.

Oops.  Found another sand road.

Almost done with the sand

So, back onto pavement, and headed into the woods.  You wouldn't think New Jersey would have places this remote, but it does.  Crossed the river; only 14 more miles for the day.  It was a long 14 miles.  Not because it was difficult or anything, but there just wasn't anything there, but for a couple of taverns.  I was starting to think I'd never get to Rt. 9...

Bridge back in the Pine Barrens

When there wasn't shore, there was often marsh.

After riding through the state forest (full of pines, naturally) and crossing over the Parkway, there were finally signs of human habitation :-)  Then, finally, left on Rt. 9, into Tuckerton, and over to the golf club where I was staying for the night.  Not many places to stay in Tuckerton :-)

There was a brief discussion about where to put the bicycle - in my room, obviously, but not so much to them.  I promised they would never know it had been there.

Dinner that night was in the club restaurant.  There were tablecloths, real dishes and flatware, and golf on the TVs (I felt right at home).

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