Bayonne Or Bust: This Time, Bayonne

I tried the Bayonne bike ride again, and this time made it with no flats. I took the ferry over to Jersey City, rode down through Jersey City and Bayonne, over the Bayonne Bridge, through Staten Island to the ferry, with a stop for lunch with Mom and Dad, and then back home. The route map overstates the mileage (because there’s no way to put a break in the route for the two ferry trips) on the one hand, but understates it on the other because I didn’t put it all the backtracking (finding the entrance to the bridge was a challenge) and photo detours. Actual riding distance was 32.5 miles over three hours.

New Jersey is much maligned, in part, because the parts you see from New York City are marshes and industrial wasteland; driving into Elizabeth over the Goethals Bridge always reminded me of the Descent Into Mordor. But it’s also beautiful — the Kill Van Kull, the marshes, and an uncommon view of the Statue Of Liberty. Bayonne is also a nice old town with a real downtown and some charming old storefronts. And a Times Square completely free of tourists and chain stores.

And the Bayonne Bridge itself is beautiful, a very distinctive arch that has graced the covers of many Port Richmond High School yearbooks — my high school is almost underneath the bridge — with a separate walkway. I took a few nostalgia shots in Staten Island — PRHS, Ralph’s Ices, my old neighborhood park — and then sat on the Brooklyn side of the Staten Island Ferry going home.

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