It’s clear that bicycling culture is growing and improvements along the East Coast Greenway are attracting riders. This past Sunday, 75 riders showed up to enjoy a spin from Fort Lee Historic Park near the George Washington Bridge to Statue of Liberty Park and back. The year before, 30 people had participated in this Hudson River expedition along our East Coast Greenway alternate route.
For me, it was an earlier than usual Sunday morning. After watching most of Saturday Night Live,
my body was a little hesitant to obey the 6:50am alarm. But once I was on the ride, it was thanking me for the experience. At 7:30am, I rode across town (including a lovely morning view of Central Park) and then took the 1 train up to 181st Street. From there, I rode across the GW Bridge – which is always such an amazing vista – and joined the crew of cyclists.
The cyclists ranged in age from 20-somethings to seniors in their 70s (and maybe even 80s). The ride began as a steep downward ride on River Road, descending from the initial Palisades rock to the western shore of the Hudson. Once along the Hudson, our trip was mostly on a lovely waterfront greenway along parks and new residential communities (a big shift from the industrial scene many riders remembered from a couple decades ago). The views of Manhattan from the waterfront were spectacular.
The ride was organized by the NJ State Committee of East Coast Greenway Alliance (ECGA) volunteers. I appreciate their work to make it happen and enjoyed meeting so many of our ECGA members. The larger number of riders proved a challenge to keep all 75 participants together. This learning experience will help guide the coordination of smooth future rides with volunteers empowered by cue sheets that break up the riders into teams of ~10 and lead the ride as a long caravan.
I’m so glad to see ridership increasing and helping our membership grow to a number that can support the buildout of the East Coast Greenway in the years ahead. And I can’t wait to do more rides and walks in every other state along our route from Maine to Florida!
Well done, NJ State Committee! Let’s keep up the momentum and get over 100 people at the ride next Fall
-Dennis Markatos-Soriano, Executive Director