Bike JC's 2012 Ward Tour offers 15 miles of sights, fun, and exercise; festival to follow
Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 1:20 PM
By M.G. De Guzman / The Jersey Journal
The route for the Bike JC's 2012 Ward Tour.
A leisurely stroll through each of Jersey City's diverse neighborhoods is a rare opportunity, even for locals. The brownstones of the Historic Downtown are a popular sight, but what about the somber Bayview Cemetery on Garfield Avenue? Or the bustling businesses on John F. Kennedy Boulevard nearby? The transition between the adjacent areas often goes unnoticed.
This Sunday, Bike JC will provide the public with a chance to experience all that Jersey City has to offer in the 2012 Ward Tour, a 15 mile bike ride through all six districts of Jersey City.
Last year, hundreds of cyclists, including myself, flooded the main thoroughfares of Jersey City -- much to the chagrin of local drivers. Admittedly, it felt good to ride freely through normally busy streets without the fear of getting side-swiped by a car.
This integration of the cycling community into Jersey City's daily life is a part of Bike JC's goal. The annual ward tour is but one of the organization's methods to create safe and inviting streets by means of bicycle lane creation, bicycle rack placement, education outreach, and group rides.
While the tour accepts any cyclist over the age of 10, participants of all skill levels are still required to wear helmets. Yes, children are invited to participate.
Though 15 miles may seem daunting, everyone is encouraged to travel at their own pace. The tour should not be considered a race. I often found myself getting cut off by active senior citizens.
Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. at Exchange Place. Riding will commence at 11 a.m. Punctuality is particularly important for this event, as I learned this the hard way. Jersey City Police ride in before and behind the hundreds of cyclists in order close down the portion of the road that they occupy. Last year, I made it by a hair -- just before the police started to restore traffic flow behind us.
A suggested donation of $5 can also be made on the day of the event. Free t-shirts will be available with a donation of $20 at the Tour's End.
The Tour's End will also include a festival at Exchange Place featuring live music, beer, and Not Yo Mama's Craft fair vendors for those seeking to wind down from the urban excursion.