Open Road Press

Crossing the Delaware August 11

Yesterday was a wash-out. We decided another night north of Philly was in order given a very bleak weather forecast, which included the possibility of violent storms. We took advantage by resting and recovering while getting caught up on some computer work. When this morning arrived, we were eager to hit the road with an early start.

Today may have been one of our best days riding yet! The weather was cooler and travel was a potpourri of residential neighborhoods, bike paths, winding riverside roads, two lanes, one lane, wide shoulders, narrow shoulders, bridges, and one-way streets. It kept us alert and made us appreciate the variety, if not the beauty and splendor, of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We received many friendly honks, waves, and thumbs up from drivers, too. Folks asked about our ride and made comments about our “loads.” As we spun through a nice neighborhood, two young boys on bikes screamed out, “Awesome!” as we rode by and Debbie shouted that we were riding from Florida to Maine. It truly was a fun and memorable day!

Early on, we rode a bike path closer to Philadelphia before bailing out and heading further east and north. The Saturday morning crowd on the path suggested people in this area take their exercise and recreation seriously. We then traveled through suburbs that were loosely strung together, forming one large residential conglomeration. As we continued, we eventually escaped the suburbs and landed on more countrified roads, while returning to a bit more hill-climbing. A sighting of a doe with her young ones provided some roadside amazement and a photo op.

Soon we were into New Jersey. We crossed at New Hope into Lambertsville. Both small towns were filled with folks on weekend getaways. We walked our bicycles across a bridge over the Delaware River, a practice we would repeat several times as we bicycled along the Delaware for the remainder of the day. The river attracts water sport enthusiasts. Reclaimed school buses with the word “Tubing” splashed outside zoomed up and down Route 29, transporting people with their inner tubes back to the start of the downstream drift. Jet skiers and boaters alike reveled in the beauty of the day while skimming the surface of the broad Delaware.

We arrived close to nightfall at Easton, on the Pennsylvania side. An evening stroll through some of the downtown area followed carb-loading at a local Italian hole-in-the-wall. The food was excellent. There was a great sense of accomplishment. After eighty-seven miles, we had escaped the clutches of the Philadelphia suburbia and were now skirting New York City—amazing really when one considers the remote feel of the bicycling later in the day.

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