The Best Commute in New Jersey

kmm guest post blogI boast to myself often, and sometimes to co-workers, that I have the best commute in New Jersey!   My name is Sam Gilbert, and I bicycle several days a week from Middlesex Borough to the Johnson and Johnson campus in New Brunswick.  Approximately 6 miles of my 9 mile commute is along the Delaware and Raritan Canal towpath. I enter the towpath at the Queen’s Bridge in South Bound Brook, and exit it at the Landing Lane Bridge.  And, it is a truly a pleasurable ride.

I average 70 or 80 bike commutes a year, excluding the winter.   Though I carry rain gear in my back pack when the weather is “iffy,” I tend to ride on days when the weather reports are favorable.  And, in case you’re wondering, I do have access to a shower at work!!

An added treat is the wildlife I enjoy along the canal.  A casual birder, I have seen herons, osprey, a great Horned Owl, a Bald Eagle and more!  Deer are a given.  But, raccoons, foxes, squirrels, muskrats are also to be seen.  And then, there are the beavers.

KMM guest post blogIn the past few years, there has been a population explosion of Beavers in NJ. I’ve seen few of them along the canal in the past.   But this year, beavers are swimming in the canal almost every day! There is beaver hut on the bank of the canal approximately 100 yards south of the footbridge near where Demott Lane meets the canal.  A beaver is often seen in this area, and I see another near the Landing Lane Bridge.  I suspect there is a beaver hut in this area.

“The best bicycle commute in NJ?  OK, maybe I exaggerate, but only slightly.   I REALLY do enjoy my ride.  Perhaps some other NJ Bike commuters will share their experiences of cycling to work.  If there is a better bicycle commute than mine, I’d sure like to read about it.

Post written by guest blogger, S. Gilbert.  Photos by guest blogger, S. Gilbert

New Brunswick Ciclovia is Coming!

Ciclovia7.12 eventKMM is getting ready for the next New Brunswick Ciclovia, coming on Saturday July 12th!

Ciclovia is an open streets event that encourages New Brunswick residents and visitors of all ages to get physically active through biking, walking, skating, and programmed activities on closed city streets. KMM is partnering with Safe Kids Middlesex County to bring mini bike skills course to Remsen Avenue.

The July 12th event features an all-new route that connects New Brunswick’s downtown and residential neighborhoods with the Cook/Douglas campus of Rutgers University.  Plan ahead and check out the Cicolovia map!

To learn more about the program, be sure to visit the New Brunswick Ciclovia’s website.

The Shore Attitude – Beyond Summer

Beach%20Pic%201The bright sun streaming through your window wakes you up – it’s going to be another hot day on the Jersey Shore. You and your family put on bathing suits, t-shirts and sandals, and walk a couple blocks to that breakfast place for pancakes. Later, you load up the cart for the three block walk to the beach while your eldest rides off on a cruiser bike to meet her friends on the boardwalk. On the walk, you wave hello to your neighbors for the week and stop to chat, while your youngest tugs at your shirt to keep going – the waves are waiting.

Summer vacation is great time to experience the joys of living “car-lite” by walking and biking where you need to go, but why can’t we bring some of that lifestyle and attitude with us when it’s time to return to work and school? Here are some ideas.
Group your walkable errands.

Got places to go near your home or office? Instead of stopping there in your car on your way to/from someplace else, plan ahead and save those errands for an evening or weekend walk. You’ll get things done, and some exercise, too!

Meet the neighbors

While you’re out, take a moment to say hello. Pet the dogs, sniff the flowers, and take a moment to enjoy your neighborhood.

Encourage your children

Show your children how to get around their neighborhood on foot and by bike, then encourage them to make that choice. Don’t just drive them because you can, or because “it’s hottttt,” “it’s colllld,” “it’s raining,” or “I have a backpack.” Make sure they’ve learned and practiced crossing the street and bicycling safely.

Ride slow.

Just because you’re home, doesn’t mean you have to be racing your bike. Where would you ride at a leisurely pace? To the coffee shop? The pool? A friend’s barbecue?

Any clothing is bike clothing.

If you can ride to the beach in a bathing suit and flip-flops, you can ride at home in, well, anything that works for the weather. Wear a helmet, and use lights at night (a front white light and a red rear light).

 

Ferry-ly We Go Along – Changes in Latitudes

When I was a kid, my Dad would take us for a ride on the Staten Island Ferry.  At 5 cents per passenger, it was a true bargain for a family of six.  We’d ride to Manhattan and turn around and come back.  Sometimes, he’d take the car on the ferry and we’d drive in the City.  Great times!

That was the start of my affection for ferries.  Here are a few others I’ve ridden.

Cape May, NJ – Lewes, DE

The Cape May to Lewes Ferry held 2 attractions for a friend and me – water and crab cakes.  The combo fare for ferry and shuttle service got us close to Lewes’ downtown area.  After dinner, we’d stroll to King’s for homemade ice cream before hopping the shuttle for the “cruise” back to NJ.

Oxford, MD – Bellevue, MD

Started in 1683, the Oxford – Bellevue Ferry is more modest than most carrying just 9 cars.  The pleasant 7 minute ride covers about ¾ of a mile as it crosses the TredAvonRiver on the way to St. Michaels, MD, the “town that fooled the British.”   During the War of 1812, knowing the British were poised to attack, the residents hung lanterns high in the trees.  At night, aiming for the lights, the British gunboats overshot and the town was saved.

Port Kent, NY- Burlington, VT

One of the best ways to start Vermont leaf-peeping is aboard the Port Kent-Burlington Ferry, operating since 1826.  With the Adirondacks to the west and the Green Mountains to the east, this is truly the “scenic route” of the Lake Champlain service.

Hyannis, MA – Nantucket, MA Lawrence

In the 1830s, Nantucket was one of the busiest whaling ports in the world.  Today, she still welcomes travelers arriving by sea, including by ferry.  The Steamship Authority runs service to the island regularly from Hyannis.  Passengers who “walk on” can chose the high speed which takes about 60 minutes.  Those with vehicles or a little more time, might prefer a more leisurely 2 ¼ hour cruise.

Levis, Quebec, Canada to Quebec   City, Quebec, Canada

As the Empress dominates Vancouver, so does her sister hotel the Chateau Frontenac loom high above Quebec City. Travelers crossing the St. Lawrence via ferry at Levis enjoy a 10 minute trip and some spectacular views of this 400 year old city.

Seattle, WA – Victoria, BC, Canada

Reigning over Vancouver Island’s Inner Harbor with grace and majesty, the Empress, a magnificent hotel from another age, awes visitors arriving by ferry from Seattle.  Built in 1809, she has welcomed royalty, rogues, and regular people like my Mother, sister, and me.  After visiting the Royal BC Museum, Parliament, and Butchart Gardens, we indulged in that time honored ritual known as Afternoon Tea.

Tea at the Empress

Tea at the Empress