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Ale Trail Adventure

My recent bicycle adventure from my home near Rocky Hill to Flounder Brewing in Hillsborough relied on the Delaware and Raritan Canal Park Trail.

One of the adventures I had imagined when I bought my Lectric XPremium was a bicycle ride to the Brick Farm Tavern for a pint of Troon Brewing ale. The Brick Farm Tavern is approximately 12 km from home. Apple Maps estimated that the ride would be almost 40 minutes. Regardless of the chosen route, the route included a busy roadway. The most scenic route is along Cherry Valley Road. But it’s also the least desirable route as the narrow roadway has no shoulder or bicycle lane. The next best route is along CR-518. CR-518 is wider and has bicycle lanes but has much more vehicular traffic. I was not comfortable with either route. once I realised how narrow and busy the country roads leading to the Brick Farm Tavern would be, I imagined a new goal. I would ride to Flounder Brewing in Hillsborough.

Flounder Brewing is just over 17 km from my home. Apple Maps only provided two routes with a one-way ride estimate of about one hour. I wanted to avoid busy roadways as much as possible. I followed a route using the Delaware and Raritan Canal Park Trail and residential roads. I chose this route because of my growing familiarity with riding on the Delaware and Raritan Canal Park Trail. My route took me to the Griggstown Causeway, where I encountered my first difficulty.

The Griggstown Causeway connects River Road (CR 533) in Montgomery Township to Canal Road in Franklin Township and crosses the Millstone River, D&R Canal Park and the Delaware and Raritan (D&R) Canal. The Griggstown Causeway is an important transportation route, allowing people to access different parts of the area while providing scenic views of the surrounding waterway.

The Causeway spans the Delaware and Raritan Canal, providing vehicle passage. There is no pedestrian footpath or bicycle lane. The Causeway merges with a one-lane bridge where it crosses the Millstone River. The bridge is quite narrow. The bridge was quite busy this day, with cars waiting in both directions. I was quite nervous about riding the bicycle across. I got off the bicycle and walked across the bridge.

Bicycle Ride, Delaware & Raritan Canal Park Trail, e-Bike, Griggstown
Griggstown · Sunday 14 May 2023 · FujiFilm X-T3 · XF27mmF2.8 R WR

After crossing the bridge, my ride continued through several residential neighbourhoods bordering Montgomery Township and Hillsborough Township. The route led me along some old farm roads in Hillsborough until I reached Amwell Road. Amwell Road is one of the busiest roads in Hillsborough Township.

As I approached the intersection, I signalled my intention to turn left using the proper hand signals. But guess what? A car nearly ran into me. It seemed like the driver had no clue about bicycle hand signals or maybe didn't care. Frustrated and concerned for my safety, I turned left onto Amwell Road and decided to pull over for a moment.

I didn't want to take any chances, so I walked my bicycle for a short distance until I reached Clerico Lane, the entrance to Flounder Brewing. It's a shame that even with proper signalling, some drivers are oblivious to the rules of the road and the safety of cyclists. But hey, I made it to my destination in one piece, ready to enjoy some well-deserved refreshments at Flounder.

I had casually mentioned to the crew at the Flounder tap room that I had ditched my car and got myself an electric bicycle. I had teased them that I'd make the trek from my home to the brewery one day. Well, when I walked in, all sweaty and exhausted, they were pretty excited. I wasted no time and made it clear that I had just "conquered" that ride and that I parched. As a reward, I treated myself to a refreshing glass of Bhavna's favourite brew, the witbier named "White Wedding."

Thousand Helmet, White Wedding Witbier, Flounder Brewing
White Wedding Witbier · Sunday 14 May 2023 · FujiFilm X-T3 · XF27mmF2.8 R WR

Not surprisingly, I enjoyed my first pint quickly and needed another. With a relaxed pace, I settled into Flounder Brewing's delightful outdoor area, slowly sipping my second pint. However, I had to watch the clock as time was ticking away. I wanted to reach home before the sun dipped below the horizon. But I couldn't resist indulging in one more pint before hopping back onto my trusty XPremium for the ride home.

Apple Maps provided the two routes I had looked at. Had I checked Google Maps instead, I would have seen a third possibility. Google Maps showed a route that continued on the Delaware and Raritan (D&R) Canal, past the Griggstown Causeway up to East Millstone Park. The final leg of that route still takes me along Amwell Road. While Amwell Road lacks a designated bicycle lane, it does have a sufficiently wide roadway for sharing with cars, ensuring that my presence on the bicycle would be easily noticeable to drivers. That’ll be my chosen route the next time.

Author: Khürt Williams

A human who works in information security and enjoys photography, Formula 1 and craft ale.

5 thoughts on “Ale Trail Adventure”

  1. Sounds like a great trip apart from that encounter. In Scotland, we don't have to worry too much about the sun in our eyes! I bet you used electric all the way back after 3 pints? I'm only saying this because I would! I find I get very lazy when during a long walk or bike ride I have a pint.

    1. I was surprisingly sober after three pints. I disabled the throttle on the e-bike several months ago. I don’t use it.

  2. @khurtwilliams Congrats on the ride!! Sorry to hear about your road/driver encounter. Sadly it seems that many who drive a car are unaware that cyclists are actually also humans with rights to the road equal to their own. No doubt route choice is important for safety.

    Also, something to consider, ride time! On a sunny morning or evening, you never want to be riding into the sunset or sunrise. Drivers coming up behind you will have the sun in their eyes.

    1. @Denny since my cataract surgery I usually wear sunglasses when I am outside. Thank you for the tip about the sun in the eyes.

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