On the Manhattan Bridge, crossing from Brooklyn into Manhattan en route to Philadelphia.

I love Philly. I was happy to be assigned to spend a week there for work. Philly is a great city to bike around, and I was intent on bringing my bicycle with me for transportation and pleasure. Unfortunately, the Amtrak train to Philly prohibits bringing bikes on board. I made a petition to convince them otherwise, but alas, to no avail.

So, I decided to bike to Philadelphia.

Day 1: Brooklyn to Princeton, NJ (58 miles)

It was a chilly Saturday during the first weekend of March. Snow fell earlier in the week and still lined some streets. Fully suited in a ski jacket, pants and gloves - I looked ridiculous. But it felt good to greet the brisk air head on, and the occasional ray of sunlight was enough to keep my spirit up.

This was not a pretty ride. Crossing over this bridge heading from Jersey City to Newark was one of the scariest things I have done on a bicycle. The pedestrian walkway stopped abruptly on the other side of the bridge. So I was forced to sprint across a busy exit to a safe patch of grass and then bike along the highway in traffic. I used to love playing Frogger, though, so a part of me did enjoy it.

fig Playing Frogger in New Jersey.

But it was fun. I gained a new appreciation for and perspective on the several cities and small towns in New Jersey that I passed through.

Newark, NJ had some pretty cars.

fig Pink Cadillac in Newark, NJ.

Piscataway Township, NJ had a imposing church. fig Piscataway Township, NJ.

My bike rack broke just as I arrived in Princeton, NJ, but luckily there was a bike shop able to help me out.

Day 2: Princeton, NJ to Philadelphia (42u miles)

A short day. New York and Philadelphia are closer than you might think. If we had a decent, high-speed rail connecting the two cities, they would start to merge into one metropolis. As long as our transportation budget is dedicated to highways and auto-centric planning, however, this is a far out dream.

Finally, I reached Camden, NJ. Camden is on the other side of the Delaware river across from Philadelphia. The two cities are connected by the Ben Franklin Bridge, which is beautiful and was surprisingly empty when I crossed it.

fig Ben Franklin Bridge connecting Philadelphia and Camden, NJ.

Like I said, Philly has become a great biking city. The Schuykill river trail is fantastic and many of the roads have nice, wide bike lanes.

fig A complete street. Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, PA.

And of course, a Philly cheese steak to celebrate. fig