Author Topic: New York - Virgina Beach  (Read 13235 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Maxto99

New York - Virgina Beach
« on: September 24, 2014, 10:12:38 am »
Hi everyone,

Apologies for the ignorance - first time poster and a newbie to cycling in the States (I hail from the UK).

Visiting NYC in March and then planning on cycling down to relatives in Norfolk, Virginia. I've tried to do what research I can, but outside of really rough routes and google maps, I'm struggling.

Planning on doing it in 5 days:

Day 1 - NYC to King of Prussia/Conshohocken
Day 2 - KoP to Aberdeen, MD
Day 3 - Aberdeen to DC, (avoiding Baltimore)
Day 4 - DC to Richmond
Day 5 - Richmond to Virginia Beach

Averages about 100 miles a day. Any thoughts/suggestions? Finding suggested stopping places/routes online is proving pretty difficult - open to anything at this stage!


Offline CMajernik

Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2014, 10:45:36 am »
Don't know if you looked at our Atlantic Coast Route but there's 2 maps that can give you routing. Atlantic Coast #2 shows routing from NYC to Conshohocken. Atlantic Coast #3 shows routing from DC to Richmond. Click on the following link, then click on the word Detail after numbers 2 and 3 which gives you a idea of where the route goes. The NYC routing doesn't start in the city - we recommend that you take a train to Summit, NJ, then begin riding from there.

You can also get in touch with the bicycle coordinators for the states in which you will be traveling through and need routing. Many have online resources as well as printed materials. Nearly every state publishes a bicycle map of some sort that they will send out for free and the coordinators often have more information they can distribute for no charge as well. And while the maps aren't as detailed as ours, they generally offer suggested roads for cycling through their state. Here is a link to the contact information for all of the bicycle coordinators:

For more tips and ideas on how to create your own route, see this blog post on the topic:
Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x218, 406/721-8754 fax

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes


  • Guest
Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2014, 10:52:15 am »
A couple of things:

1. Have you taken a look at Section 3 of ACA's Atlantic Coast Route?:

Conshohocken is near KoP, and the route goes through D.C. with an option to avoid Baltimore and then on to Richmond. Section 4 continues south and comes somewhat close to VA Beach.

2. The only way to actually ride your bike from NYC to NJ is via the George Washington Bridge, which is up north in Manhattan. All other bridges are off limits to bikes. That can be a very difficult part of the world to navigate by bike if you don't have experience. New Jersey is the most densely populated of the 50 states and northeast New Jersey is the most densely populated part of the state. Making it all the way to KoP in 100 miles seems like it would be tough, but if you have a route mapped out I am willing to look at it.

Fortunately, there are several train options out of NYC. You can easily get as far south as Trenton, NJ via New Jersey Transit. You can also get as far west as High Bridge, NJ. Section 2 of ACA's Atlantic Coast Route has a NYC spur that utilizes a train line between Summit, NJ and NYC. There are also ferry options between Manhattan and places like Hoboken. Without local knowledge and experience, I highly recommend taking some form of Public transportation out of the NYC area.

Every year my local club does a ride from New Hope, PA, which is on ACA's Atlantic Coast Route, to Brooklyn via Manhattan that goes into Hoboken, NJ and reaches Manhattan via a ferry ride across the Hudson River. The ride is held the Sunday before Labor Day. To do during a weekday would be suicide since, among other things, it goes through the Port of Elizabeth & Newark, which is usually non-stop speeding truck traffic. (The Port is empty on Labor Day weekend.) There is a way to take a train beyond that point, however. Still, that would leave you with some miles to get to New Hope.

Finally, March can be iffy depending on the type of winter we have been having. It could be decent or it could snow, especially if you are talking about early March.

Have I confused you enough?

Offline PeteJack

Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2014, 02:16:59 pm »
I urge you to use ACA maps as much as possible. They are like Sustrans maps only better because: they list eating places and accommodation, are more compact and worse because: they are completely misleading as to the severity of climbs, the contours on ACA maps are pretty vague. Usually the climbs are much less severe than ACA maps indicate. Sometimes the profile provided makes a route look like the side of a house in actual fact you are still waiting for the steep bit to start when you get to the top. Do make sure you check the addenda to the maps before you set off. On the Sierra Cascades route I ended up riding 30 miles for breakfast because a cafe shown on the map was closed, the addenda said so but I hadn't read them.


  • Guest
Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2014, 03:30:00 pm »
Something else occurred to me. If I recall correctly, the NYC spur of the Atlantic Coast Route passes through or near Somerville, NJ. You could take New Jersey Transit's Raritan Valley Line to Somerville and pick up the route there. (The same line serves High Bridge, which I mentioned earlier. However, it only goes out that far on weekdays.) While some midday service leaves from Penn Station in Manhattan, most of the Raritan Valley Line trains originate in Newark, NJ. You can get to Newark from Manhattan easily using the PATH train from the World Trade Center station, where there is an elevator to take you down from street level. There are some restriction on when you can take a bike on a NJT train. I think the same is true for PATH. If you want to take a train out of the city, I can give you links to the rules.

Offline BrianW

Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2014, 12:30:11 pm »
+1 on taking the train to Trenton an starting from there. From Trenton you can easily head up the Delaware a bit, mostly on a bike path or nice secondary road, and connect with the ACA route at Lambertville/New Hope. Probably about 15 miles from the Trenton train station to New Hope, maybe less.

I agree: March can be iffy weather wise. Could be nice, or nasty. Be prepared to be flexible.

Offline staehpj1

Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2014, 12:37:40 pm »
A good portion of that route will be quite hilly.  Factor that in when planning daily mileage.  100 mile days are fairly ambitious over the terrain in question.

I have not ridden the AC route for that section, but can give a strong recommendation for AC routes and maps in general.

Offline BrianW

Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2014, 12:44:59 pm »
100 miles a day does seem optimistic, and the area in general does ted to rolling hills. Doing a 100-mile century ride every day or a week, while carrying your gear (even for lightweight credit card touring) is a lot. Also don't forget the daylight hours will still be relatively short.

It's definitely a doable trip, but if suffers cutting some corners, like taking the train to Trenton, etc.

Offline John Nelson

Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2014, 09:04:15 pm »
100 miles a day in June is challenging, but doable for a strong rider. But 100 miles a day in March is really difficult because of the limited daylight available. Furthermore, 100 miles a day almost certainly means 80 miles some days and 120 miles other days. I would only advise this if you'll be staying in prearranged motels. Setting up and tearing down camp every day will use up too much valuable daylight.


  • Guest
Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2014, 01:43:11 pm »
But 100 miles a day in March is really difficult because of the limited daylight available.

Good point that slipped my mind. On March 31, 2015, sunrise in NYC will be at 6:42. Sunset at 7:20. Seems like a lot of time, but to make the most of it you would have to ride at dawn and dusk, which are dangerous times. Also, you are talking about riding through some areas with heavy traffic, like NYC/N. Jersey and King of Prussia/Philly suburbs, during the busiest times of the day. Traffic and lights in urban/developed suburban areas will slow progress.

Offline canalligators

Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2014, 01:18:02 pm »
There are two other routes that you might consider.
  • Take the ferry to Sandy Hook NJ then go west to connect with AC Atlantic Coast.  You could connect anywhere south of Lambertville.  You could also connect with the Delaware and Raritan Canal trail somewhere near Princeton and take it to AC in Trenton.
  • The second idea is to ride down the actual coast.  Take the ferry to Sandy Hook, ride near the coast of New Jersey, take the ferry across Delaware Bay from Cape May.  Then ride across Delaware and take the Tangier Island ferry to Reedville VA, and find a backroad route to AC near Richmond.
These would take some research, but could be fine routes - especially the second one, which is on my radar.


  • Guest
Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2014, 10:58:13 am »
These would take some research, but could be fine routes - especially the second one, which is on my radar.

Note that the former private drawbridge that carried U.S. 9 across Great Egg Inlet is no more. You either have to go way inland to NJ 50/U.S. 40 in Mays Landing or get back to the coast proper at somewhere like Ocean City, which is preferable to the bike-unfriendly Atlantic City. There is a bike path that runs from the Pleasantville area to Somers Point. With the rebuild of the 9th St. causeway (NJ 52), you can now bicycle that route into Ocean City. The better route, however, is to take NJ 152 from the north end of Somers Point towards Margate, make a right at the light after the first bridge and then take the bridge into the north end of Ocean City. That's the route the 7,000+ participant MS City to Shore ride takes. It's better because to access NJ 52 you have to navigate a busy area at the south end of Somers Point.

Offline litespeed

Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2014, 06:18:22 pm »
I have bicycle toured up the east coast  to NY and NH from my home here in Florida numerous times. Here is my route. It's a lot easier and quicker than yours.

Take the ferry from Manhattan to Atlantic Highlands NJ or the train (non-rush-hour) to Long Branch. Then just go down US9 to Cape May. It can be done in two days even with the detour through Egg Harbor City and Mays Landing. It's a fairly good bicycling road with plenty of services. I use the campground in Bayville, just south of Toms River and right on 9, and the one near downtown in Cape May.

Take the ferry from Cape May to Lewes and continue to the Chesapeake Bridge Tunnel. Motels enroute in Ocean City MD and Onley VA. and camping in Pocomoke State Park. Call ahead an hour or so for the free ride across the bridge in a maintenance pickup truck. This puts you right in Norfolk.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 06:26:46 pm by litespeed »


  • Guest
Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2014, 08:21:44 am »
Then just go down US9 to Cape May.

Except that U.S. 9 across the Great Egg Inlet is off limits to bikes. As I think I have noted before, U.S. 9 now combines with the Garden State Parkway at the south end of Somers Point. The causeway and drawbridge that used to carry U.S. 9 over the inlet is no more. You either have to cross Corson's Inlet from Ocean City to Strathmere or go way inland/out of your way to May's Landing to get across the river.

Offline litespeed

Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2014, 08:47:00 am »
As I pointed out in my posting I know about having to detour in the Mullica River area. The detour really doesn't add that much time or distance. The only problem is that the roads between New Gretna and Egg Harbor City are poorly marked but I had no real problem, at least heading northward. The traffic on this detour is very light, almost nonexistent. It can even be a bit eerie.

Before they built the new bridge for the Garden State Parkway I used to simply ride the shoulder of the Parkway for the 2 1/2 miles where it is one with US9. I was passed by police cars, both state troopers and local cops, while doing this. They paid me no mind at all. If the new bridge is finished you should be able to do this once more unless there are signs forbidding bicycles.