The Trans NJ Trail (most of it anyways)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by duoderf, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. duoderf

    duoderf Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    118
    Location:
    MD, where the traffic grows from
    I did about 3/4 of it between yesterday and today. I had to be in NJ to do some work on my rental house since my old tenant moved out and the new one is getting ready to move in, then I have a work thing up here on thursday morning. SO I did most of the stuff on the house over the weekend, gonna finish tomorrow and stop by Dave's house for a little while while I'm down there. I took the KLR with me because I knew I would have 2 or 3 days to do nothing but ride and I have had the TNJT gps file sitting in my 550 for almost 2 years now and I never had a chance to use it.

    I'm staying at my parents house because of 2 reasons, it has air conditioning, and furniture (and free food) versus my house which smells like paint, is hot as balls, and has nothing in it except a small step ladder. My parents house, which is dead center of the state, and within a mile of the TNJT is also the perfect start point to start and end each day from, it also means I dont need to carry camping gear and all the associated equipment and clothes to stay out for multiple days.

    This is the general route of the TNJT, it has changed a bunch since this map was created, but it is a good idea of where it goes. The northern half is a 50/50 mix of hard packed improved dirt roads and pavement. The southern half is a 50/50 mix of loose sand and deer trails with pavement crossings thrown in.
    https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl...w.tedski.net/garmin/tnjt.kml&ie=UTF8&om=1&z=8

    Day 1 - South

    Started the day and picked up the trail right by my parents house, and went through some local areas I was very familiar with. I even found the spot where I wrecked and abandoned my old celica back in 1997 near Assunpink lake. I didnt see the car so my assumption is that someone claimed it. Anyway found the trail pretty easy at first, although I found some sections that were impassable, I still managed to make it to the next flag and keep moving on. For a little while it was hard packed improved roads, right up until the end of section 113 in Jackson. Jackson was pretty damn impressive because it was hot like Africa, and while taking a break thinking about how hot it was, I look to the right and see a friggin giraffe. WTF, then a pair of zebra walk by. Holy shit, I was in Africa, in NJ!

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    Continue past that, and right away it turns to deer trails and loose sand. I have 80/20 street tires so my day was not easy and I had to fight the bike the whole way through it, never did get stuck (yet), but I had a few zero speed bike drops. I also rained so there was a ton of water, and more than a few water crossings, and lots and lots of mud.

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    Anyway, I head further south, and the trails were not hard, but would have been much easier if I had knobbies on the bike rather than my skinko 705s that are street biased, it showed me how much effort I had to put in to keep the bike heading straight. Also there were entire sections of whoops that slowed me down to 10-15mph. Here are 2 videos I took with the gopro on my helmet to show the trail.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifYxvxrhL5I&feature=youtu.be

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLZ30uiwyvk&feature=youtu.be

    Then I came to a section that was completely engulfed by a lake. I could see on the GPS that the road skirted the edge of the lake, and I could see where right in front of me the road went into the lake, and I had not intention of riding down a road that was covered in water, that I could not see where it came out of the water, and I was by myself. Instead I went down a road in a different direction that lead to pavement, which according to my gps woul take me to a place that I could pick up the trail again. This decision would later come back to haunt me.

    So I ride down this full size vehicle width path that turns into a single track. The single track then goes down a hill that was pure sand, and steep enough that my speedometer showed me moving at 10 MPH down hill with the rear wheel locked. The hill was only 100 feet long, but it would prove impossible to go back up, and I tried a number of times. A 1/4 mile down this single track I come to a foot bridge. It really wast a foot bridge, it was... you will see the video, it was crap. I turned around and spent 20 minutes trying furiously to go up or around this hill, and not happening. I got stuck on every attempt and had to muscle the bike free each time. Finally I decide that the bridge was the only way out. At the end of the video, my exact words were "well that was sketchy as fuck" then I lay my head down on the seat for a second.
    If you watch one video from this post this is it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fr6JtTdPcwM

    Made it through the bridge and wandered into the woos some more, and eventually after a little pavement, made it back to the trail. The TNJT quickly turned back to single track and for the most part I was fine, until it started getting really wet, when this happened.

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    It took half an hour and a hell of a lot of digging with a stick to get free. I dont know how it happened, the bike just sunk, I went over the handle bars, landed on my back, and the bike stayed upright. That was a sign to call it quits. I did enough and it was almost time to grab food so I went on my merry way back to my parents house.


    Day 2 - North

    Heading north was super easy. I set my GPS to most direct route, went almost to the top of the state and followed the GPS all the way home. It was all improved roads or pavement, very relaxing, I just laid back and had fun zooming back south to get back in time for dinner. I managed to get some crappy helmet cam video and took a few decent shots with my cell phone. And I managed to find a mother fucking white castle, but I just had a sandwich so I wasn't hungry, but damn those baby hamburgers tasted good.

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOxT9MOB5G4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACQ-kbSogV4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEjIeg-Ghdg

    Thats it. A nice pair of days riding, hard stuff on the first day, easy on the second, no drama, no schedule, no expectations except having a good time, which I did.
    #1
  2. jimhaleyscomet

    jimhaleyscomet Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    124
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Very cool seeing your experience via photo, text, and video. My son and I just rode a Northern "loop" of the TNJT and are working on ride reports.
    #2
  3. Rutabaga

    Rutabaga Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Southeast Lower Carolina
    Nice ride. Lucky dismount if you did not get a face full of windshield.
    #3
  4. Travrsx

    Travrsx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Nice ride report! I really want to do this ride, or at least a section of it, but I don't have a GPS (besides an iPhone). I'll have to get one eventually. I think my TW would take the sandy stuff pretty well.

    Yes, that bridge was sketchy as fuck!!!
    #4
  5. duoderf

    duoderf Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    118
    Location:
    MD, where the traffic grows from
    The flip over the handle bars was super slow motion. The bike was moving, not really fast, then it just stopped and both wheels dug in, I went straight to the one side and sort of rolled over the handle bar and didnt even leg go until my feet hit the ground. It was one of those I wish I had it on video from a 3rd person view moments
    #5
  6. Ron_G

    Ron_G n00b

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9
    Hey, you're in my neighborhood. I'm in Hillsborough. PM me if your around and want to get out and ride some.

    Ron
    #6
  7. duoderf

    duoderf Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    118
    Location:
    MD, where the traffic grows from
    Hillsborough MD or Hillborough NJ? I live in Maryland now, I was just up there to work on my rental house and did some riding in between.
    #7
  8. Rip Roarin

    Rip Roarin n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2016
    Oddometer:
    2
    Can anyone tell me the start of the trail up in North Jersey sussex nj?
    #8
  9. Miamiman323

    Miamiman323 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Northern New Jersey
    You leave Highpoint and cross over 23 and take Ridge Rd (super tight but paved) south towards Deckertown Tnpk.
    #9