Jersey City Residents Explore Nature’s Gym

As the mercury rises so does our desire to emerge more frequently from our sedentary quarantine quarters. The summer is in full swing, but it is certainly a far cry from the season we recognize. And whether you need to stretch your legs, work off some of your sourdough recipe trials, or otherwise suffer a case of “fomo”, we will no longer aid and abet this loneliness and inevitably be drawn to more outdoor activities among our neighbors. But maybe returning to a gym may send the anxiety ants up your pants. That’s why we can always rely on Jersey City for running and biking opportunities to ease our nerves, pump your heart and always at a safe social distance.

 

You Can Feel Good

Jersey City’s initiatives and proposals have been realized to make the neighborhoods more friendly to road warriors whether strolling or rolling. The diet implemented to narrow popular vehicular streets including Grove, Grand, and Bergen to name a few, has widened the bicycle lanes providing both pedestrians and cyclists (and now outdoor seating) a wide berth. This has allowed for the public to enjoy their city as pedestrians or cyclists with less of a threat of traffic incidents within the community. JC Walks Pedestrian Enhancement Plan is making strides towards improving the earthbound experience for all both aesthetically and accessibility from The Heights to Greenville, from the Hackensack to the Hudson.

Jersey City Biking and Running
Bill Victori riding with his pup, Aegi. Photo by Leslie Victori.

 

Where To Now

It’s never too late to start and there’s nowhere wrong to go. Liberty State Park is a staple for anyone interested in scenery on their outdoor adventure. LSP is friendly for both runners and cyclists on either the expansive waterfront path, interweaving paved fitness trails or duck into the brush for a web of nature trails showing a more environmental side of the park hidden away from the cityscape.

Another familiar route starts just north of Morris Canal Park by the Colgate Clock and Exchange Place. This Hudson River saddled span affords its traveler nearly 4 miles of unobstructed river and NYC views when taken to the Hoboken Train Station.

This all goes without saying the inner-grid of Jersey City yields countless miles of exploration at various elevations. You can truly reach new heights when you head to The Heights.

Jersey City Biking and Running
Prepping for a run with a view in Liberty State Park. Photo by Leslie Victori.

Tips for Pavement Pounding:

  • Wear light and comfortable clothing with elastic or zipper pockets to hold personal effects (i.e. ID, phone, cc/cash, keys)
  • Double-knot lace a decent pair of sneakers to reduce unexpected breaks
  • Set a distance goal with a landmark you will strive for. Or set a time goal for how long you will explore the city. This will keep you motivated until the end. Eventually you can combine both for improved performance.
  • Set a playlist for your run cadence to help keep the pace:
    • 120-125 bpm (beats per minute) = light jog (e.g. “Stupid Love”, Lady Gaga)
    • 140-145 bpm = slow run (e.g. “Beat It”, Michael Jackson)
    • 150-155 bpm = light run (e.g. “Sex on Fire”, Kings of Leon)
    • 160-165 bpm = medium run (e.g. “Shake It Off”, Taylor Swift)
    • 170-175 bpm = fast run (e.g. “Sabotage”, Beastie Boys)

If at any point you feel you would like to use your running to meet people you can visit local running groups to join a MeetUp or FitnessSingles. When you want to bring your fitness to the next level and compete there are several sites that provide a calendar of events: RunningInTheUSA, JogRunRace, NYRR.

 

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Need a Bike?

Jersey City is incredibly friendly to those who haven’t quite yet made the transition from biped to  bipedaler. There are several local shops owned by locals that provide an array of services for cyclists from sales to rentals, from repairs to accessorizing:

The ubiquitous bike share system of Citi Bike has found a place for itself in Jersey City with 50 bicycle stations traceable through the app. They are available for hourly or one-way rides, but the discounts are reserved for membership or frequent riders.

 

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As soon as you get your gear and start rolling you’ll want to be familiar with Bike JC. Bike JC is a citizen-based advocacy organization whose goals include making the streets of Jersey City safe and inviting for everyone wanting to claim a piece of the lane by promoting traffic law enforcement, creating more bicycle lanes, appropriate bicycle rack placement, education, and group rides/events.

Bill Victori
Author: Bill Victori