The New Jersey Project

I set out to ride unchartered teritory with the intent to get lost in New Jersey. I wanted to ride without the safety net of riding with someone familiar with New Jersey. The real goal is to find a way to travel from Delaware to Connecticut in a decent amount of time without using the NJ Turnpike or the GardenState Parkway.

On Friday August 28th I took a scheduled day off from work to spend with my wife for the last day of her summer break. We got on the Harleys at noon and crossed the Delaware Memorial Bridge into Jersey on Interstate 295. We hauled butt to Bordentown just south of Trenton. We got on Route 206 which goes from Trenton straight up through the middle of the state all the way north. To an idiot like me this looks like a good route on a map. While riding through the city of Trenton… not so good an idea. Diana asks me at a traffic light “Are we going to get shot?”. I reply “I think so.”

We finally get out of Trenton and into Princeton. Just north of Princeton it was getting warm and Diana wanted to stop for a rest, so we pulled into a Taco Bell at about 3:15pm. As we sat drinking a Strawberry Colada and cooling off in the air conditioned fast food joint I noticed the tree’s outside seemed to start blowing a little. I looked up to see dark menacing storm clouds coming our way fast. I wanted to hop on the bikes and stay ahead of the storm. I paced while Diana put her rain gear on.  We got on the road just in time for a major down pour. Once again I prove to be an idiot. We could be sitting in a cozy Taco Bell but instead we are pulling into the closest grocery store parking lot and running under the store canopy to escape torential downpours. Since Diana had her raingear on I sheepishly had to ask her to go out in the storm to my bike and retrieve mine for me. She makes me plead with her. I pull out the map and try to figure out where we are. The map gets soggy and I still don’t have a clue. I look over at Diana and she looks sad as if to say our fun day together has turned into a disaster. I say to myself “this is an adventure, someday we will look back on this ride fondly.”

The rain let up a tad and we remounted and headed west to try to get out from under the storm. I took us in a circle by accident before we ended up back on Route 206 heading south. I randomly took roads that seemed to head west from under the storm cloud. We found some nice backraods and the rain to sun ratio increased the further we went west. We finally found our way out of New Jersey and into New Hope, Pennsylvania… a place we have been before! We weren’t lost anymore, yeah!

We regrouped and grabbed a burger at McDonalds and decided to follow Rt 202 South all the way to Delaware because Diana didn’t want to combine highway with rain. Oh man did that take forever. I felt so inadaquit… I’m sure most everyone we ride with would have known a better way home, but no here I am stuck in traffic hours from home.

We finally got home around 9:00pm from our adventure. We may not have found the route we are looking for but we eliminated two possibilities. We familiarized ourselves with the lay of the land, did some highway, did some expressway, did some backroads, did some muggy hot riding, did some thunderstorms and did some showers and basicly had a day filled with a variety of experiences and spent next to nothing eating at gas stations and fast food places. Was it the romantic last day of summer vacation we planned on? Probably not. Was it a failure? Probably not. I think it was just part one of… The New Jersey Project!