Princeton Bike Ride With Mayor Lempert And PBAC A Huge Success!

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Mayor Lempert welcomes participants at the start of the first annual “Mayor’s Fall Bike Ride” at Community Park South, Princeton October 27, 2013. (click to expand.)

Last Sunday, a group of around 40 cyclists gathered at Community Park South for an extraordinarily pleasant cycle trip through the parks and green spaces of Princeton. The ride was the idea of Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert, and co-organized with the help of the  Pedestrian and Bicycling Advisory Committee and Princeton Police.

Turnout was strong on a beautiful, sunny fall afternoon, as riders of all ages gathered for the family-paced ride. (Note- a grainy, shaky video is also available at the bottom of the page!)

Riders gather for the 'Ride of the Fall Leaves' in Community Park South. (click to expand.)

Riders gather for the ‘Ride of the Fall Leaves’ in Community Park South. (click to expand.)

After a couple of tours of the park, the group crossed Route 206 under the watchful eyes of Princeton’s local police, who stopped car traffic for a moment to let the cyclists pass. Thanks to the Police!!

Steve Cochrane, Princeton's new School Board Superintendent (front right) makes light work of a gentle hill in Mountain Lakes Park. (click to expand.)

Steve Cochrane, Princeton’s new School Board Superintendent (front right) makes light work of a hill in Mountain Lakes Park. (click to expand.)

Once across Route 206, the riders entered the beautiful surroundings of the Billy Johnson Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve. This 77 acre park includes beautiful forest surrounding a lake that was formerly used to supply the town with ice. In the center of the park stands Mountain Lakes House, a historic home that is now mostly used for wedding parties:

Mayor Lempert welcomes riders at the half-way point of the cycle ride, at Mountain Lakes House where hot cider was available. (click to expand.)

Mayor Lempert welcomes riders at the half-way point of the cycle ride, at Mountain Lakes House, where hot cider was available. (click to expand.)

At Mountain Lakes House, hot cider, cookies and doughnuts were provided (thanks again to the PBAC members for organizing!). The riders took 20 or 30 minutes to relax:

Steve Cochrane (at left in blue and red jersey) chats to Princeton neighbors over hot cider in Mountain Lakes House. (click to expand.)

Steve Cochrane (at left in blue and red jersey) chats to Princeton neighbors over hot cider in Mountain Lakes House. (click to expand.)

Joining the party was Steve Cochrane, who will become Princeton School Board Superintendent this coming January. In addition to being an experienced educator, Mr Cochrane is also a competitive team cyclist, riding with the Mid Atlantic Masters Bicycle Organization (MAMBO Kings). Sounds like a guy we can trust to make sure appropriate attention is paid to making safe routes for kids to cycle to school! (as we know- more and more kids are getting driven to school these days).

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View of the the lake from Mountain Lakes House. Perfect leef-peeping conditions! (click to expand.)

Before the riders set off for the return journey to town, Steve Kruse, Chair of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee held a raffle for some free t-shirts for some lucky participants! PBAC organized the event, and are responsible for guiding municipal efforts to improve cycling and walking networks. They have open public meetings on the third Thursday of every month, they have a blog here and you can get added to their email list by contacting Steve at pjpbac@gmail.com. Mayor Lempert congratulated the PBAC team for their recent success in gaining official Bronze Bike Friendly Community Certification for Princeton!

Mayor Lempert and Steve Kruse, Chair of PBAC offer t-shirts to raffle winners at Mountain Lakes House. Find out more about PBAC here. (click to expand.)

Mayor Lempert and Steve Kruse, Chair of PBAC offer t-shirts to raffle winners at Mountain Lakes House. Find out more about PBAC here. (click to expand.)

All in all, it was a really fun day out! It’s great that the Mayor is committed to making cycling something inclusive and normative in Princeton! For many people opting for a lifestyle with less car use, cycling is a key method of transportation as well as recreation. As Gil Penalosa put it “Cycling and walking are almost the same: both produce no toxic gases, both are silent, healthy and sustainable. Cycling is just like a more efficient form of walking”. Cycling also fits well with the Mayor’s goals of promoting sustainability and healthy living. Everybody seemed to have a good time, leaving us to wonder how soon before we can do it again?

P.S. More photos are available at the new ‘Bike Princeton’ Facebook page here.

Did you take part in the Mayor’s Bike Ride? Was it fun? What do you think should be done differently if we do it again? Leave your thoughts using the box below.

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This entry was posted in Alternative Transportation, Biking, Community, Events, People, Princeton, Trails and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Princeton Bike Ride With Mayor Lempert And PBAC A Huge Success!

  1. Thanks to the following for helping to make the inaugural “Ride of the Falling Leaves” (this btw being a reference to the annual Giro di Lombardia pro race near Lake Como [*]) a memorable diversion for those of us who avoided raking any leaves at all last Sunday:

    Adam, Alan, Andrea, Andrew, Antonio, Caitlyn, Caroline, Dan, David, David C, Deanna, Dinni, El, Ella, Eve, Heidi, Jill, John, Julie, Kate C, Kate N, Katie, Laurie, Les, Liz, Lou, Marci, Mike, Monica, Nick, Nina, Peter F, Peter K, Phyllis, Rob, Sam, Shane, Steve C, Tori, Will, Terhune Orchards, and Mother Nature. Apologies if I didn’t capture your name. And now …. where is my Belhaven ?

    [*] http://www.podiumcafe.com/2009/10/15/1086935/riding-to-madonna-del-ghisallo

  2. Pingback: Six Princeton Things We’re Thankful For This Holiday. | walkableprinceton

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