Crossing the Delaware and enjoying new bikes

Over the years I’ve taken vacations, but never with my bike. Last weekend I attended a family wedding in Pennsylvania and all of my family told me the biking out there would be awesome. I contemplated packing up the car with my bike and driving from Chicago to Pennsylvania OR packing my bike for the plane ride. In the end, I opted for a vacation even from my own bike(s) and decided simply to take my chances renting bikes. The weather predicted for the weekend was iffy (at best) but the weekend weather turned out wonderfully — picture perfect for the wedding and a couple of bike rides on terrain that I normally wouldn’t experience if I’d been riding my own bicycle.

Typically I ride a road bike with narrower tires and a more forward position. For bike commuting and recreational riding around Chicago and the Midwest, my bikes suit me well. I do have a project bike in the works that would position me in a more upright position, but I rarely take any bike off-road.

But my weekend getaway introduced me to a few new bikes and to riding along crushed stone trails.
Meet my hybrid rental:

New Hope Cyclery rents these Trek hybrids from their store for hourly, 1/2 day and daily rental periods and suggested riding the Delaware and Raritan Canal Trail, which is mostly crushed stone

I took their advice and crossed over to the New Jersey side of the Delaware River, rode down to Washington Crossing State Park and crossed the Delaware River again to ride back up the tow path on the Pennsylvania side – to complete the roundtrip loop.

No bike riding across the bridge!

Paying tribute to Washington at Washington Crossing State Park

Having fun on the bike rentals (no- that’s not me poppin’ that wheelie!)

The next day I ventured upstream to Frenchtown, NJ, to rent a tandem bike from Cycle Corner (advertised on the local area visitor map).

Upon entering Frenchtown, I felt like I was in bicycle heaven. Everyone seemed to be out on bikes – whether they be visitors or locals. Bikes and bicycle riders decorated the town.

The shop guy happily showed off and adjusted the Electra Tandem Bike – cruising in smokin’ red style!


Riding along the trail on a bicycle built for two:


I did ride in the rear for this outing, but took a turn in the captain’s seat. Getting going was a bit wobbly at first but was fun once I got going… then I had to stop again (not the easiest especially with the rider in back).

The end result of this vacation getaway? SMILES all the way.

For me it’s always fun to get away and enjoy new adventures. I’m grateful for the vacation from my own bikes and even more so for the opportunity to ride different bikes! (For this bike trip I did take my own helmet and gloves so that I knew I’d be comfortable riding with my own gear; I just had to sign a waiver to turn down the shop’s helmet.) A while back Miriam visited Chicago and explored the bike rentals from Bike and Roll.

What bike travel adventures do you have to share?


  1. Chris

    I remember my first bicycle vacation! It was a couple years ago, and I had just got my folding bike and was looking for somewhere to test it out…I went to Portland OR, and rode absolutely everywhere. I had a blast, and I was also really glad to be on my own bike, instead of a rental.

  2. Jesus Christ

    Love it!

  3. fig

    I grew up walking distance from this trail, and it’s so nice to see that its still a great place to ride.
    Thanks for the story!

  4. Mir.I.Am

    Love it Elizabeth! Bike rentals are everywhere and totally worth it for a commuter cyclist on vacay… to stave off the two-wheel withdrawl! FUN TANDEM TIME!

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