Triple Beach Bum Ride II
Canceled: From NOAA: "A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 9 am. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 82. South wind 8 to 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms."
Though 30% chance, there's the likelihood of heavy rain, flooding, and thunderstorms. This does not bode well for a happy face beach bum ride, so we'll keep our wheels indoors and dry, and plan a reschedule.
We'll be catching the 9:01 AM North Jersey Coast train to Matawan. We meet up, a little before, in the Amtrak Waiting Area, in Penn Station, at 31 and 8th Avenue, near the escalators. The NJ Transit ticket machines are nearby.
Once in Matawan, we explore old and forgotten beach resorts your great grandparents would have visited, such as Keyport, Union Beach, Keansburg, or where an uncle might have garrisoned, such as the firing range of the U.S. military at Sandy Hook. Ride is almost entirely along the tranquil Henry Hudson Rail Trail. Lunch can fare anywhere from Jersey Joe's classic NJ roadside, at Monmouth Beach, to Zoe's Vintage Kitchen, a precious little gem of a place, reputed to have the best Linzer French Toast in the Atlantic Highlands (that is, if we get there before they close at 2:30 PM! ).. NOTE: There is absolutely no tree cover at Sandy Hook, so bring lots of water to cool off and sun block to tone down. And we can always bail out at Fort Hancock or Highlands for the Seastreak ferry back, though it will cost you. And, even better, we can beach at Keansburg and spend much of the afternoon floundering around the Water Park. But probably not because we need the mileage, and it's all so lovely, scenic, and flat anyway!
Total mileage, round trip: 40 miles
For your downloading pleasure, a Bikely cue, elevation and map. (Download this to your phone or print out a copy.
And here's a run down of possible beach destinations --
Beach #1: Keyport (really off Matawan Creek), but near Tacos No Problem and Lockport Pies -- pizza pies that is, with every imaginable combination..(Cornucopia Restaurant, also nearby, with delicious home baked goodies, was recommend by one of our trippers.)
Beach #2: Union Beach, off a hairpin turn on a peaceful residential road -- quiet and secluded. So secluded, in fact, there are no restaurants, except for Union Beach Pizza by the Henry Hudson Trail.
Beach #3: Keansburg Water Park.. Half day passes, and all the chlorinated water you can ingest for free. But there's Barb's Big Burritos nearby, a boardwalk, and a Tiki Bar all within walking distance.(Is this Beach Bum or what?)
Beach #4: Monmouth Beach, your very typical county beach, with bathrooms, etc., but across the road is family-run Jersey Joe's (need we say more?), known for its Italian sausage sandwiches.
Beach #5: Off the Henry Hudson Trail at the very tip of the Highlands is Popamora Point Beach: Quiet, cool, and secluded. A favorite among the locals. There's Zoe's, which closes at 2:30, in one direction, and a Cuban or Mexican, or pier-side restaurant with views of Sandy Hook across the bay in the other.
Beach #6. Ocean frontage, alongside Plum Island, in Sandy Hook. Right over the bridge from the Highlands. Perfect Jersey Shore ocean. But, alas, no eateries.
We ride out and back on Henry Hudson Trails, and there are ferries to NYC from Atlantic Highlands and Fort Hancock. 40 miles round trip, leisurely pace; and suitable for children 14 and up, with parents.
Return schedule --
From Matawan: every half hour on the hour. (We'll plan for the 4:30.)
Seastreak From Sandy Hook via Seastreak: 3:45PM, 5:45PM, 7:45PM
Seastreak From Highlands, 3:30PM, 5:30PM and 7:30 PM.
Seastreak ferry cruise fare one-way to Manhattan (Pier 11 or East 34th St.) is $35 with bike charge