Story by George W. Forman

With the arrival of the nice weather and warm temperatures we’ve had this week, it was a great opportunity to head out on my first bike ride of the season. So after a little maintenance on the tires and chain, I hopped on my trusty 21-speed hybrid bike that I’ve had for over 20 years and took a little warm-up ride to see what’s up in my neighborhood.

Although biking is great exercise, it’s also sometimes more convenient to use a bike when you’re going to certain places or events.  You could have opened a bicycle store with the amount of bikes that were chained to some of the railings and fences at Monmouth Park when American Pharoah ran in the Haskell, mine included. If you lived close by, that was the way to go. My favorite place to ride is along the oceanfront in Long Branch, by Pier Village, and all the way down to Brighton Avenue in West End. It’s a great place to be on a beautiful afternoon, with the beach, a cooling breeze, and places to stop to get refreshed. And if you’re lucky, you might even see a wedding or two on the beach.

Pier Village - Photo by George W. Forman

My other favorite spot is along the one-mile path around Franklin Lake in West Long Branch. It’s great for both biking and walking, and is fairly peaceful unless you’re there on a fall afternoon when you might catch Shore Regional’s marching band rehearsing. It takes a while for me to get there, and I was hoping that with the opening of the road through Fort Monmouth, I could have a shortcut, but bikes aren’t allowed through the Fort. My longest ride so far was for a good cause, in 1996, on an MS bike tour that went down the coast. 92.7 WOBM was one of the sponsors. I made it from Sandy Hook to Spring Lake and back (in time to get to the station for an afternoon show) and learned a few new routes along the way.

Franklin Lake - Photo by George W. Forman

This summer I would love to take some new rides in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. If there’s a Saturday where I could bring the bike down with me, and take a ride after my show, do you have some suggestions for any of your favorite places?

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