New Jersey comes in for lots of derision from New Yorkers. For city cyclists, it’s the sixth borough, thanks to much more hospitable riding environments than those in southern Westchester. Ambitious riders see the George Washington Bridge as the gateway for all things north, as the road riding can be most excellent, with empty roads and plenty of hills, Even those just developing their cycling legs can take advantage of the urban riding that is just on the other shore of the Hudson.
One of the reasons I like riding in Jersey is that it’s easy to add a little to a ride to make it a little longer if I’m feeling good or have more time. Likewise, it’s easy to subtract a little if I’m running late. Another is that it’s easy to put together flat rides if I’m feeling tired or hilly rides if I’m feeling good. The valleys generally seem to run parallel to the Hudson River, in a nearly north-south axis, while the hills often come when you’re riding east-west. This was, if I understood what I read properly, the result of glaciers advancing during the Pleistocene era.
The holy grail of developing fitness cyclists is to make the trip through Bergen County to Nyack, N.Y., grab sustenance at a café, and ride home. We’ve detailed that ride, though it’s on a route that is much more than the out-and-back 9W plan most cyclists imbibe. An intermediate step to Nyack is riding River Road, at the southern tip of the Palisades Interstate Park System, it is hilly and virtually car-free, so you’ve got a great escape just across the bridge. We’ve got that covered. Northern New Jersey is rather hilly, lots of short, steep rises, and plenty of hills that take five minutes to climb. We take you there as well.
If you’re averse to hills, or long distances, or are looking for easy, scenic places to ride that aren’t in the five boroughs, we’ve got that, too, running along the west bank of the Hudson from Jersey City north to almost the George Washington Bridge.
Greenways aren’t just popular in New York City; Jersey is getting in on the act as well. There are plans for multi-use paths to start in Bayonne, just across the bridge from Staten Island and run up both the west side of the city along the Newark Bay to the Hackensack River and on the south side along Kill Van Kull to join up with Liberty State Park. There will also eventually be a bike path from the George Washington Bridge south to Weehawken, further expanding car-free road cycling options.
NJ03-NJ10 are being updated