Commuting by Bike in NJ

NJ has the most people per square mile and probably the most cars, too. Plus, New Jersey traffic People are surprised when they learn that TowpathGuy commutes regularly by bicycle. How can he do this and survive? Simple, the Towpath.

If you live work at or near Rutgers or UMDNJ in New Brunswick or on the Busch campus in Piscataway, at or near the municipal complex in the Middlebush section of Somerset, in the office park on Davidson Avenue, in Bound Brook, South Bound Brook or Highland Park, you are near one of the northern entrances to the towpath -- see Towpath Access. If your commute includes any time on Easton Avenue, then you might even finding that your bike on the towpath is faster than you car during the morning rush hour.

Commuting by bike is healthy and saves gas, which at $4.00/gallon can add up pretty quickly. TowpathGuy has a 6 mile (10 km) ride each way from his house to his office on Busch campus. This takes about 25 minutes. He rides with traffic only on DeMott Lane and the short stretch of Landing Lane between the towpath and River Road. The towpath and the campus roads are the bulk of the ride.

Most days TowpathGuys sees only one or two other bike riders, but plenty of runners and dog walkers. Some of the fellow bike rides are fellow commuters. There are several of us from Busch Campus using the towpath. Some go even further, e.g., on to Bound Brook. Last week, TowpathGuy rode up DeMott with a commuter who rides from Hoes Lane near Centennial Drive in Piscataway to Franklin Park every day. He used the towpath for part of his ride.

Tips for Bike Commuters

  1. In the summer leave early and ride slow -- it's cooler that way.
  2. Keep a change of clothes at work or carry them with you.
  3. Carry your stuff on a bike rack rather than a backpack. It lowers your center of mass and leaves your back free for the cooling wind.
  4. Use tough tires and innertubes. A flat can wreck your day. Keep light weight tires or an extra set of wheels for your weekend adventures.
  5. Solve your work problems while you ride! No cars means you have time to think.