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.

Bicycle Ride on Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail

I sold my 2006 Honda Accord EX-L V6 and bought a Lectric XPremium electric bicycle. I took my first ride on the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park Trail.

I sold my 2006 Honda Accord EX-L V6. The car had been sitting on the street or in my garage for a long time, and I was tired of the insurance expense and upkeep. After hours of reading reviews online, I bought a Lectric eBikes XPremium electric bicycle, which arrived earlier this week. I was excited to ride the bike but waited until the weekend to ride it. The bicycle had two batteries that needed to be charged; the tyres needed air, and I needed to read the manual.

The Lectric XPremium has a mid-drive motor which delivers power more intuitively to the rider, allowing the bike to tackle hills and take on more challenging terrain. The foldable frame design accommodates a dual battery system, doubling the range to 100 miles.

Motor: 800 Watts Mid-Drive Motor
Batteries: Two 48V lithium-ion batteries, with a 4-6 hour charge time and up to 100+ mile range.
Speed: Class 1, 2, or 3 eBike with PAS and Throttle abilities with a top speed of 28 mph.
Peddle Assist: Five levels of pedal assist and a half-twist throttle. A dynamic torque sensor measures how fast and how hard I'm pedalling to increase motor responsiveness.
Tires: Puncture-resistant Lectric 20" x 4" fat tires make for a smoother ride. Slime is installed to prevent flat tires.
Weight: Total bike weight is 75 lbs with the 7lb battery installed.
Rear Rack: Rear Rack holds up to 55 lbs and is equipped with mounting holes for accessories.
Shift Sensor: A shift sensor detects movement in the brakes and temporarily cuts the motor output to protect the drivetrain and keep the ride smooth & controlled.
Brakes: 160mm Hydraulic disc brakes provide a smoother braking experience and increased stopping power. They are also equipped with motor inhibitors.
Safety Lights: A headlight and rear brake light combination powered by the internal battery

17 September 2022 · FujiFilm X-T3 · XF27mmF2.8 R WR

On Saturday, after breakfast, I checked the air in the tyres, tested the brakes, adjusted the seat, put on a helmet, and, inspired by Jim Grey, headed toward the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail. This is my first time riding a bicycle outside the streets of my development. It was also my first time riding the Lectric eBikes XPremium for more than a few minutes. I wanted to be safe, so I planned my route to keep off busy roads as much as possible. My route took me through Van Horne Park, which sits in the borough of Rocky Hill on the very edge of Montgomery Township.

Spillways on the Delaware and Raritan Canal
17 September 2022 · FujiFilm X-T3 · XF27mmF2.8 R WR

I rode the Van Horne park trail to Washington Street and then nervously took Washington Street over the bridge to the Rocky Hill entrance to Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail. The canal is one of my favourite walking paths. I considered riding the canal into Kingston but wanted to try something different. Several winters ago, the Montgomery Friends of Open Space organised a walk from the canal lock in Griggstown to the canal lock in Kingston. It was a fun but cold walk. A quick look at Apple Maps showed that the Rocky Hill entrance to the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park trail was about an equal distance from the Griggstown Lock and the Kingston Lock. I choose to ride north along the canal toward Griggstown.

Delaware and Raritan Canal
17 September 2022 · FujiFilm X-T3 · XF27mmF2.8 R WR

The air was cool, but I soon warmed up with the effort involved in riding the bicycle. The XPremium has five power assist (PAS) levels, but I never needed to move beyond PAS level 2. With its mid-drive motor riding, the XPremium felt like riding a traditional bicycle. The fat tyre provided a comfortable ride on the compacted gravel pathway. I encountered many walkers, dog walkers and other cyclists. I was nervous each time I had to pass someone coming the other way or when I had to manoeuvre around walkers, but my confidence grew as I pedalled along.

Delaware and Raritan Canal
17 September 2022 · FujiFilm X-T3 · XF27mmF2.8 R WR

It takes me a long time to recover from hypoglycaemia, and I always feel drained after. I wanted to be sure my blood glucose stayed within range. I stopped to check my blood glucose level and popped some jelly beans. While the jelly beans shored up my blood glucose, I took photos of a man fly fishing his way along the canal. When I looked down to steady myself on the edge of the canal bank, I saw a frog hopping around near my shoes.

Delaware and Raritan Canal
17 September 2022 · FujiFilm X-T3 · XF27mmF2.8 R WR

I continued on the XPremium, eventually stopping at the Griggstown Spillway to rest and take more photographs.

Lectric eBikes XPremium
17 September 2022 · FujiFilm X-T3 · XF27mmF2.8 R WR

I enjoyed the sound of the rushing water for several minutes before looking at my watch. The trip had taken longer than I expected. It was time to get back home for lunch. On the way back, I remembered that the XPremium has a throttle. The canal towpath was clear, and I was more comfortable on the bicycle, so I used the throttle for a few minutes to boost my speed. The bike shot forward, getting almost 32 kilometres per hour. This feature was fun and might be helpful on hilly rides. I went back to pedalling.

17 September 2022 · FujiFilm X-T3 · XF27mmF2.8 R WR

I was tired but satisfied when I returned home. The bicycle ride was fun. I got exercise and got some photography as well. I think I understand why Jim Grey enjoys this so much.

Man fishing on the Delaware and Raritan Canal
17 September 2022 · FujiFilm X-T3 · XF27mmF2.8 R WR

Isolation Photo Project, Day 41

What a beautiful day it was today! The bright, sunny skies and warmer spring temperatures made everything feel much better. Even though I didn't get a chance to go outside for any hikes or walks in nearby parks, I'm still grateful for the gorgeous weather. Today was the first day of easing COVID-19 restrictions and although I was a bit apprehensive about being around people this is a positive sign for things to come.

I've been feeling like I've been spending way too much time on the couch lately, so I've been trying to find ways to get more exercise. I enjoyed the British interpretation of the classic alien invasion story, Even though I did spend most of the afternoon on the sofa watching "War of the Worlds" on EPIX.

I felt a bit uninspired with my photography lately. Still, this morning I decided to attach my Soligor Wide-Auto 35mm f/2.8 to the M42 adapter for the Fuji X-Mount, and it was so much fun practising my manual focusing skills. It's great to challenge myself and learn new things!

Bhavna had a great idea to fire up the grill, but we realized we had no burgers. So, we called Griggstown Farm Market to check availability, then drove over and picked up some delicious turkey burgers. On the way, we saw this beautiful, recently renovated home on River Road, and we just had to pull over and take a photo.

Overall, it was a great day full of optimism and positivity!

Submitted as part of the 100DaysToOffload project.