5-day or week long rides from Manhattan

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Anonymous's picture

So I want to take a 5- or 6- day ride in mid-March with a friend of mine. I know I can do at least 40 miles per day without much fatigue. My friend is very athletic and can do at least 20 at a stretch, and has never tried more than that but wants to go for it. So I'm thinking of planning for 30 miles per day, but maybe working up to 40/50 with a big break for lunch.

Do you know of any good routes for us to do? Preferably ones with hotel/motels easiily accessible, and good food, and maybe in a southernly direction to avoid a bit of the cold we'd get if we, say, took Route 5 up to Albany.

Thanks for your help / suggestions!


Anonymous's picture
A.T. (not verified)

South? South of Manhattan, there's Staten Island, and south of that, the ocean...

If you INSIST on riding from Manhattan, your best bet is going east. Let's see, 30 mile a day, you'll get to Montauk end of day 4. Maybe you'll get strong enough by then you can ride all the way back to Manhattan on day 5? Only problem is, the first 50 miles are pretty boring and congested!

I personally wouldn't do neither. I'd take the train to the end of whichever route and start riding from there...

Anonymous's picture
Chris T. (not verified)
You could go to Washington DC, but why not...

Go to Gettysburg PA. instead?

Day 1, don't leave from NYC by bike. Take NJ Transit to Trenton NJ. Then bike to Philadelphia, which should not be more than 35-40 miles using Business US 1. You still would have some time to tour historic Philadelphia by bike that first day.
Leave Philadelphia by the bike path to Valley Forge. That's only 20 miles. Then work your way on US 30 to York, PA. That should take 2 or 3 days. Gettysburg would be your next day. Then tour the battlefield by bike. These are all off the cuff approximations. Your Milage may vary.

Pennsylvania is rolling hills.

Washington is about 200 miles away. I don't know good back roads to DC to avoid the traffic.

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
My Suggestion

I agree and disagree with CT. I agree that your best direction is southwest, but not out to Gettysburg, nor via Route 30 which is a very, very heavily travelled road. First, one additional detail is required? Do you intend this ride to be an out and back, or one-way? If one way, do you intend to rent a car for you return, or go return by train?

What I would do is start on a Sauturday and take the train to New Brunswick. From New Brunswick, I would ride to Lambertville, NJ or New Hope, PA which is directly across the Delaware River. Both are great towns in which to spend your first night. On the next day, I would ride to Valley Forge, spending the night there. Day three: an out and back ride to Philadelphia from Valley Forge along the Schuykill River bike path. Day four, a ride in the wonderfully rolling back roads of Chester County, stop TBD. Day five ride into Lancaster County and stay around Intercourse (Amish and Covered bridges). Day six, ride to Thorndale, which is the western most SEPTA R5 Line stop, then train back to NYC via SEPTA and NJT.

Central NJ and Southeastern PA offer exceptional cycling roads that are generally in better condition than suburban NYC. Too bad you are planing this trip in mid-March, as one month later early spring is quite lovely in this region.

You have inspired me to plan a late summer an abbreviated one day version of this ride, 120-150 miles from New Brunswick, NJ to Thorndale, PA!

Anonymous's picture
lorrer (not verified)

Okay, here's the updated plan I've got so far.

Day 1: After checking out some more resources (Microsoft's trip planner, that is) I'm planning on taking 514 from a NJ train stop to Lambertville/New Hope.

Day 2: take a variety of backroads variously named Pt. Pleasant Pike, Farry Road, route 202, 363,23, and 52 down to West Chester, PA where a friend will host us.

Day 3: Hang out and relax with my friend for the day, maybe hang out in Philly (via car - giving our bodies some rest time).

Day 4: To Havre de Grace, MD, going from West Chester down 52 to 926 to 796 to State Road, 272 then 40, winding up in Havre de Grace.

Day 5: Take 155, 22, and 147 to Baltimore. I'll have to figure out the best approach.

Day 6: From Baltmore to DC on Route 1, stopping short in Tacoma Park, MD where we'll hang out with another friend of mine.

Day 7: Hang out with friend. Eat a lot.

Day 8: Train back to NYC

How does this sound? Are there better roads to be taking? Or at least, ones with fewer turns to think about/miss? I definitely want to stop in West Chester, PA and end up in DC, but I'm totally open to all other variations.

Also, how open are the NJ trains to bikes? How about your average low-budget motel?



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