When posting a ride for the New York Cycle Club, the ride leader is supposed to rate the rides based on the riding style (A, B, or C) and cruising speed we expect to maintain. I listed Sunday’s ride to Philadelphia as a B-ride, meaning that we would ride as a tight group but wouldn’t be pace-lining, cruising at about 17 MPH on flat terrain. However, I didn’t count on there being a really strong wind out of the north. That 10-15 MPH wind was at our backs the entire day and when it would gust to about 30 MPH, it was like a divine hand pushing us closer towards Philadelphia.
Five of us started pedaling from Bound Brook, New Jersey, at around 8:30 AM. At the beginning of the ride, we got a nice start, averaging close to 17 MPH. That was due to the fact that we were riding at 17-18 MPH and that we had open road ahead of us: there was no reason to slow down or stop. We made really great time to our first stop in Hopewell, twenty-three miles from the start, and continued at an accelerated pace towards the New Jersey-Pennsylvania border. We arrived in Washington Crossing, 35 miles from the start, at about 11:30 AM, where we encountered a dress rehearsal for a reenactment of Washington crossing the Delaware on Christmas night in 1776.
We didn’t have time to watch the whole thing, but we did stop to take a photo with a soldier.
We grabbed lunch in Yardley and even had time to each get a small four-ounce pour at the Vault Brewing, a personal favorite of one of our riders. Afterward, we sped through Pennsylvania, taking a different route than I did in July. Instead of riding through the industrial wasteland between the Delaware River and the Northeast Corridor railroad line, we rode along Trenton Avenue between Morrisville and Bensalem. It turns out that this particular road is designated as bike route PA-E and part of the East Coast Greenway. Over the twenty or so miles west of Yardley, we cruised at around 22 MPH. One guy in our group quipped, “I didn’t realize that this was a B22 ride to Philadelphia.”
Our hustle paid off, we arrived in Old City at around 2:45 PM. It was 15 minutes before our target time, and it gave us almost two hours in town before catching the ghetto train back to New York City.
We toasted our grand effort with a few beers at 2nd Story Brewing.
When our waitress asked me if I rode to Philadelphia from New York often, at first I said, “no, not often.” But then I realized that this might be a worthwhile ride to keep doing. As long as there’s enough daylight, a swell group of riders, and beer at the end, this really is the best way to get to Philadelphia.