Cue Sheet |
Bicycling Reports |
November 2003, Ken:
Sharon and I did this loop on Thanksgiving Day -- Sharon on her bike
and me on inline skates.
I wasn't sure how it was going to be on skates. I was surprised
by how many miles of enjoyable smooth pavement there were on the streets
of New Jersey.
Our strategy of doing the route on a quiet holiday and starting from
the GWB worked pretty well for the New Jersey sections. Every
couple of minutes a bunch of cars would come by after some traffic light
changed behind me, but in between I pretty much had one or two lanes
free with nobody else wanting to use them. But it was afternoon by
the time we got to Staten Island, so there was more traffic -- but still
lots of gaps with no cars going my way. I think in the future I'd
feel comfortable skating it early on a quiet Sunday morning.
Still, I was glad to be wearing my Third Eye eyeglass mirror for the
sections with more vehicle traffic -- like Rt 505 thru Edgewater NJ and
Richmond Terrace on Staten Island. That let me see cars overtaking
me from behind, so I could move over, skate narrow, and wave to the
The toughest combination of road surface difficulties and vehicle
traffic was Staten Island -- next time I'll take it easier on the
Bayonne Bridge and save my strength for the four miles on Richmond
The textured surface of Liberty Walk in Liberty State Park gets
tiring -- the views are so beautiful, but it goes on for a long ways.
No problem on a bike because just shift to a lower gear, but on skates
it would be nice to find a way to just be on Liberty Walk for shorter
distances near some of the best viewpoints (like at each end), and skate
on nice pavement the rest of the way through Liberty State Park.
More skating details below.
In Bayonne we added the side trip to Gregg
Park. In Staten Island we skipped the side trip to the Verrazano
Bridge. In Manhattan we skipped Riverside Drive and instead stayed
on the Hudson River Greenway path the whole way.
Cue Sheet |
Bicycling Reports |
The hill going south down from the George Washington Bridge really is
pretty steep. Actually it's already plenty steep on Main St before
getting to main hill on Rt 505 South. I have heel brakes on both
skates, and I've practiced braking on steep hills a lot, so I made it down
OK. But I was very glad it was a quiet early morning with almost no
vehicle traffic on that section. If there had been significant
traffic, I think I would have taken off my skates and walked down the
Undercliff Ave / Rd made a nice skating alternative to Rt 505 / River
The river road thru Edgewater and Weehawken often had two
reasonable-width lanes in each direction. Often no shoulder,
sometimes no sidewalk either. When there was a shoulder it was often
well-paved, but many times there were loose rocks on it.
Hoboken: Sinatra Drive was newly paved, and the waterfront
park was nice with great views across to Manhattan
]. The Hoboken train station is not skate-friendly, including
crossing big cobblestones just to get there -- Hudson St seemed like a
better place to look for food. Those into bakery breaks might want
to wait for the Euro Cafe on the left side of Manila St going thru Jersey
Liberty State Park: A short section on dirt to get from
the south end of Jersey Ave into the northwest corner of the Park.
Easy for me that day, but would be messy on the day after some rain.
We turned Left onto the dirt path east as soon as we could, instead of
climbing up this little hill to pavement. I then got into a bit of
mud, but enjoyed skating right next to the marina with boats.
] But it would have been easier on my legs to get on good
pavement sooner -- like the parking lots near the marina.
The textured surface of Liberty Walk in Liberty State Park is
definitely skatable, though it gets tiring. But the views are so
] that I felt I just had to stay on it -- I found out that it
goes on for a long ways. No problem on a bike because just shift to
a lower gear, but on skates it would be nice to find a way to just be on
Liberty Walk for shorter distances near some of the best viewpoints (like
at each end), and skate on nice pavement the rest of the way through the
Bayonne: Our route thru Bayonne worked very nicely. Long
stretches of enjoyable pavement with little vehicle traffic on Caven Point
Rd, A Street, B Street. Garfield Ave was pretty rough, but not long.
Staten Island: Richmond Terrace was the toughest
combination of road surface difficulties and vehicle traffic on this
tour -- next time I'll take it easier on the climb over the arch of
Bayonne Bridge, and save my strength for the four miles on Richmond
Ferry: Getting into the Staten Island Ferry terminal
required Sharon to carry her bike up a flight of stairs into the waiting
room. We did not see any way to just ride onto the vehicle level
of the ferry. Then when it was time to get on the ferry boat, she
had to carry her bike back down a flight of stairs.
Manhattan: Sidewalk construction next to the ferry
terminal prevented us from getting to next to the water immediately.
Then the Hudson River Greenway had so few users on Thanksgiving Day,
that it was wonderful to skate and ride on it. So we just stayed
on it the whole way north to the George Washington Bridge. (The
most non-wonderful part was on that detour up the hill around 85th St
with care needed to avoid substantial ridges and stuff on the old
pavement/concrete surface). We didn't like the way the Greenway
marker signs were directing us to turn East on the streets (too much
cross traffic - entrance - exits) immediately at the end of Cherry Walk,
so we kept going north to around the Fairway market, and turned East
around 132nd St to get to 12th Ave.
Very challenging climb from the Little Red Lighthouse underneath the
George Washington Bridge up to Fort Washington Ave -- with one short
very steep section where I was barely still skating and Sharon just got
off her bike and walked.
Easy crossing the GWB on its south sidewalk, and then we were
finished. A satisfying adventure.