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  • Writer's pictureAl S.

Shaking It Down - Bordentown, NJ back to Baltimore, MD.



The trip from Bordentown, NJ back to Baltimore, MD followed the Delaware River down to Philadelphia and Wilmington, DE. I then cut across the rolling hills of northern Maryland to get to my home in Baltimore. The biggest challenges were finding a safe way across the Delaware and Susquehana Rivers.



 


May 2, 2021

Mileage: 81.7 miles

Odometer End: 1942.2 miles

Bordentown, NJ to Newark, DE




My bike getting ready to cross the Delaware River.

Part of the purpose of this first leg of the ride was to shake down the bike and all of my gear. I have ridden on enough tours to have a pretty good idea of what I needed to take. Regardless, I wanted to spend a week on the road and pay close attention to things that I might need to have with me, or things that I did not need to carry.


The gear list was already pretty close to complete. After a few days on the road, I realized that I needed to add a soap dish and deodorant to the kit. I hadn't given it much consideration, but many campgrounds have showers, but do not provide soap. Also, I knew that I needed an additional water bottle and the bike needed some tuning for the brakes and derailleurs. Otherwise, it seemed like my packing list was in pretty good order. The only things I did not use in my pack were the first aid kit and spare tire. (Of course, not using those was a good thing and I had no intention of getting rid of them).


I hopped on the East Coast Greenway and rode down the NJ side of the Delaware River to the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge. The above picture is from the NJ side of the bridge looking over toward Philadelphia. I selected this bridge to cross the Delaware because it had a sidewalk separate from the traffic lanes. I was able to cross over to Pennsylvania with no problems.


I rode south through Philly and then into Delaware. I rode further than I wanted today, but there is no safe place to stop once you are on the south side of Philly. I spent the evening in Newark, DE.



 

May 3, 2021

Mileage: 32.8 miles

Odometer End: 1975.0 miles

Newark, DE to Susquehana State Park in Maryland


Welcome to Maryland!

I waited out a bit of rain in the morning and did not get on the road until noon. I try not to ride on roads in the rain because of the reduced visibility. I don't want to ride in conditions that might cause drivers to not see me... despite my bright tail lights.


The East Coast Greenway runs down Rt 40 through Maryland and crosses the Susquehana River at Perryville. There are no sidewalks or bike lanes on this route across the Susquehana. The bridge is 4 lanes of traffic and the only provision for bicycles is a flashing light with a "Bicycles on Bridge" warning. I decided this was too risky and did not want to take the chance with that volume of traffic.


My campsite at Susquehana State Park in Maryland.

As an alternative, I went a bit west and crossed the Susquehana River at the Conowingo Dam. If I ever do this ride again, I would probably go west out of Philadelphia and head over to York, PA. I could then hop on the very nice rail trail that runs from York all the way to Cockeysville, MD.


I stopped for the evening at Susquehana State Park just on the south side of the Conowingo Dam. I enjoyed a pleasant evening in the almost-deserted campground.



 

May 4, 2021

Mileage: 54.4 miles

Odometer End: 2029.5 miles

Susquehana State Park in Maryland to my home in Baltimore City





The Moncton Station on the Torrey C. Brown rail trail.

There were some difficult roads around Jarrettsville, MD... no shoulders, cars driving fast, and no alternative routes to avoid the area. Fortunately, I was able to get through the area without incident.


I followed the route of the East Coast Greenway and I really question their route selection through this area. It seems they could have made other choices that would have been safer for cyclists.



The bike after it arrived safely back home.

I was home and having lunch by 2pm. I took the bike into the shop for a full tune up the next day.



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