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Sunday, September 29, 2024

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Named after the iconic Navesink Twin Lights up the hill from Huddy Park in Highlands, New Jersey, this ride has been a favorite of local cyclists, New Yorkers, and visitors from around the country for more than two decades.

Five routes ranging from 15 to 100 miles take you along the Jersey shore, over undulating hills, and past quaint farms to our finish festival where local restaurants come out to serve up their best to hungry riders—it’s the greatest way to wind down your summer riding season.

The Routes

Note: the entire route is on streets that are open to motorized traffic. Cyclists must obey all traffic laws. This includes obeying all traffic signals, yielding as required, and sharing the road with cars. Being part of the event does not put you above the rules of the road.

 

Click on this link for a complete listing of NJ Bicycle Laws.

ROUTE OVERVIEW MAP

Click here for an overview of the ride.

Note: Routes and elevations are subject to change up until ride day.

15 Miles

Perfect for families and newer riders; we’ll provide more detail as we get closer to ride day.

Elevation gain: 150 ft

Start time: 9:45AM-10:15AM

30 Miles

This route includes stunning ocean views as riders travel along the Jersey Shore through Sea Bright before rolling through Monmouth County communities south and west of Highlands including Oceanport and Middletown.

Elevation gain: 1,100 ft

Start time: 9:15AM-10:15AM

55 Miles

The 30-mile route plus an extra 25-mile southern loop around U.S. Weapons Station Earle through Farmingdale and Colts Neck.

Elevation gain: 2,000 ft

Start time: 8:30AM-9:30AM

75 Miles

The 55-mile route plus an extra 20-mile southeastern loop along the coastal communities of Spring Lake, Sea Girt, and Brielle. Goes near Asbury Park, but unfortunately does not include Bruce Springsteen.

Elevation gain: 2,200 ft

Start time: 8:00-8:30AM

100 Miles

The 75-mile route plus an extra 25-mile loop west around the Turkey Swamp Wildlife Area near Freehold.

Elevation gain: 3,000 ft

Start time: 7:30AM-8:00AM

Note: Check-in starts at 6:30AM; however, the route does not open until 7:30AM. This gives our volunteers and staff enough time to be ready to assist you at our rest stops and on the route.

 

Our bike repair partner Trek has some great pointers for you to get ready to ride, whether you’re heading out for a spin around the neighborhood, or prepping for one of our larger events.

Trek’s How To videos show you how to:

  • Do a pre-ride check
  • Pump up your bike tires
  • Pack for a bike ride
  • Fix a flat
  • Clean and lube your bike chain

We suggest you prep your equipment ahead of time:

  • Charge your navigation device
  • If you have cleats, check and adjust them as needed

Visit your local Trek store for a free pre-event inspection and to purchase any gear you’ll need for your next ride.

Make sure to bring these items with you on ride day:

  • Pump or CO2 inflator
  • Tire levers
  • Inner tube(s) that fit your bike tires

Even if you don’t feel comfortable making repairs, if you have the correct parts/tools at hand it will be much easier for a mechanic to fix your bike.

Here are some ride-day repair guidelines for your bike (and you).

Services that can be performed at the event:

  • Adjust tire pressure
  • Align and adjust brakes
  • Tune and adjust shifting
  • Torque all fasteners / adjust components (example: adjust seat height)
  • Flat tire repair – replace inner tubes

Please note: Trek’s teams will have additional parts at repair stations to address a wider variety of issues, but those parts may not be compatible with your bike, so make sure your bike is fully functioning. 

Services that CANNOT be performed at the event:

  • Broken spokes / wheel replacement
  • Hydraulic brake service
  • E-bike system service (requires a computer and dedicated software)
WHEN YOU RENT A BIKE WITH UNLIMITED BIKING, THE OFFICIAL RENTAL PARTNER OF BIKE NEW YORK, PROCEEDS HELP FUND OUR BIKE EDUCATION PROGRAM!

Riders renting a bicycle with Unlimited Biking will pick up their bike at the Start and drop off their bike at the Finish. No need to transport your rental to and from the ride!

 

Unlimited Biking is offering all registered riders the option of transporting their bike between NYC and Highlands. For $49 round-trip, they’ll pick up your bike at their Central Park location (56 W. 56th St) and shuttle it to the Start/Finish area in Huddy Park. After your ride, drop your bike off with UB for swift transport back up to the city. Contact Unlimited Biking for more information, or click below to reserve your spot.

Is there ferry service?

Yes! Roundtrip ferries take you (and your bike) from Pier 11 in Manhattan to Highlands, NJ on the morning of the ride and back to NYC afterwards.

Ferry tickets will be available for purchase at a later date.

We’ll provide more details in early summer.

Can I rent a bike? Is there a bike shuttle again this year?

Yes! And now for the best part:  When you rent a bike with our official rental partner, Unlimited Biking, proceeds help fund our bike education, community outreach, and advocacy programming.

You’ll pick up your bike at the Start and drop it off at the Finish. No need to transport your rental to and from the ride!

Unlimited Biking is also offering all registered riders the option of transporting their bicycle between NYC and Highlands. For $49 (round trip), Unlimited Biking will shuttle your bike to the pickup/dropoff area across the street from Huddy Park. After your ride, simply drop your bike off with Unlimited Biking for swift transport back to the city. 

Check out rental and bike shuttle options here.

When can I check in? What is the latest I can get there on ride day?

Check-in is available on Saturday and Sunday.

Details to come in June!

Are breakfast and lunch included?

Breakfast (starting at 6:30AM) is included with your registration.

Lunch is not included, but there will be food trucks and local restaurants at the end, so bring cash or card and of course, your appetite!

What kind of bikes are permitted? Can I ride an e-bike?

We welcome any human-powered pedaled bike (road, mountain, fixed gear, recumbent, unicycle, tandem, tricycle, etc.) on our rides. 

New Jersey passed legislation in 2019 allowing the use of low-speed electric bikes (pedal-assist) on public streets. You can find out more about the law here.

Throttle-powered e-bikes are not allowed on any Bike New York events.

Is the route closed to cars? Is it entirely on paved streets?

The route is on streets that are open to motorized traffic (with the exception of the Sandy Hook Multi-Use Path on the 15-mile route). 

Cyclists must obey all traffic laws. This includes obeying all traffic signals, yielding as required, and sharing the roads with vehicles. 

See a complete listing of NJ bicycle laws.

There are no dirt paths on the route, though there may be some gravel at rest stops.

What is the elevation for each route?

  • 100 miles:  3,071 feet
  • 75 miles:  2,389 feet
  • 55 miles:  1,887 feet  
  • 30 miles:  1,038 feet
  • 15 miles:  111 feet

All elevation gains are approximate and subject to change.

Can I switch routes after I've started?

Yes. There are certain points on each route at which you may decide whether to continue on your chosen route or switch to a different route. These splits are indicated on your cue sheet and will be marked with signs. Follow the signs for your chosen route. You may switch only to a route of lesser distance to ensure you have access to all route amenities.

Will there be repair stations along the route?

We’ll have repair stations at the start, rest areas, and roving bike repair vans along the route. Labor is free for minor issues, but there is a charge for parts.

Don’t wait until the last minute to find out whether your bike is road-ready! We highly recommend that you get your bike tuned up before the ride. Most bike shops offer this service for a reasonable fee, depending on the extent of the necessary tweaks/repairs.

What should I bring with me?

  • A bike helmet. (And you gotta wear it. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.)
  • New Jersey State law requires that all cyclists have and use a bike bell.
  • Photo ID so you can check in and get your cue sheet.
  • Water bottle(s)—you’ll be able to refill them at the start and at every rest area.
  • Cash/credit card so you can stock up on cool Bike New York gear, and buy a meal from our food truck vendors at the finish!
  • We strongly recommend that you bring an extra inner tube and a patch kit, and check your bike before the Tour. Here’s some info to help. Bike repair along the route is free, but there’s a charge for parts.
  • Sunscreen – apply early and often!
  • We provide snacks and hydration at all rest stops, but if you have dietary restrictions, please bring snacks that you can use to fuel your ride.

Will the ride be canceled if it rains?

All Bike New York rides are rain or shine. In the event of severe or potentially dangerous weather, we’ll be in touch regarding contingency plans.

What's included in my registration fee?

Your registration fee covers: 

  • Entry to the ride
  • Complimentary breakfast at the start
  • Cue sheet (printed turn-by-turn directions)
  • GPS files for download – these will be included in our final details email a few days before the ride
  • Access to services and amenities along the route (rest areas and SAG support)
  • Commemorative T-shirt
  • Finisher medal

Please note:  Local food vendors will be at the Finish Festival, but your post-ride meal is not covered by the cost of entry.

Where do proceeds from the ride go?

Bike New York is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and all proceeds from our events help fund our free bike education, community outreach, and advocacy programs. In 2022 alone, we taught bike riding and bike safety skills to more than 30,000 kids and adults throughout New York City.

Will my rider kit be mailed to me?

No, all rider kits will be distributed at check-in – more details to come in June!

 

Please bring your confirmation email (on your phone or printed out) and your government-issued photo ID to receive your riding materials.
Rider kits will not be provided for riders who are not present.

I need to cancel; what are my options?

Entries are non-refundable and non-deferrable, but you may transfer your entry to another person. Here’s how:

  1. Log into your EnMotive account.
  2. On your account page, click Registrations on the left side and find your 2024 TWIN LIGHTS RIDE registration.
  3. Click the three dots.
  4. Select Transfer Registration.
  5. Please enter the Enmotive account email address of the person to whom you would like to transfer your registration.
  6. Click Transfer Registration; this will send an email to that person notifying them of the transfer, with instructions on how to accept the transfer.
  7. There is a $10 transfer fee to be paid by the transferee.
  8. The transfer will only be valid for 48 hours, so be sure they accept quickly!

If you prefer to donate your registration fees to Bike New York (with our deep gratitide for your support), please email info@bike.nyc to request that your registration fee be converted into a tax-deductible charitable donation.

If you purchased the EnMotive Protection Plan during registration and need to cancel your entry, please email protectionplan@enmotive.com for assistance.

Are there age restrictions? Do I have to register my child?

Youth ages 3-17 are welcome to participate provided they are registered and ride with a parent or guardian, adhering to these guidelines:

  • Ages 3-9 must ride with an adult on a tandem bike, in a child’s seat on a tagalong bike, or in a bike trailer.
  • Ages 10-17 may ride their own bikes, but must remain in close proximity to the adult with whom they were registered.
  • Children under 3 are not allowed to participate in the event.

Please note: All participants, including children in child seats, on tagalongs, or in bike trailers, must be registered. Youth entries, for ages 15 and below, are available at a lower price.

How long will it take me to finish the ride?

That’s up to you! You can ride at your own pace and stop at rest areas for as long as you like, provided you remain in front of the SAG (Support and Gear) vehicles trailing the back of the pack. The Finish Festival closes at 6:00PM, so be mindful of your pace and ride accordingly.

Will my ride be timed?

No, but you may use the timing feature in your GPS app to track your time.

Can I get the cue sheet ahead of time? Will GPS files be provided?

Cue sheets will be given out on the morning of the ride, ten minutes before the beginning of the start time for each route. This allows us to ensure that people start the ride when rest areas are open and SAG vehicles are in position.

Can I check my bag at the start?

No. You must take your bag with you on the ride. 

Are there any bag restrictions?

No.

Feeling nostalgic? Check out the 2022 Twin Lights Ride video below.

 




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Highlands has a long and interesting history. Henry Hudson noticed the Highlands as he sailed the Half Moon into the area in 1609, claiming the area for the Dutch. But he wasn’t the first European to comment on the high hills—Verrazano of Florence had been there nearly 100 years earlier.


Hudson explored the hills and traded with the local Lenape Indian natives. The Lenape called the area Navesink, which meant “a place of good fishing.” Today the river bears that name, and the local shellfishing industry supplies much of the local catch in the nearby restaurants.

 

The Dutch who first settled the area never really established settlements in the Highlands. When the British began exploring the area and discussing possible real estate deals with the Lenape, the Dutch threatened to build a fort to keep them out. In 1664, when the British took over the Dutch settlements, they renamed the area “Portland” after a town in England with a similar formation.

 

The first European to settle in the area was Richard Hartshorne, who built his home there in 1678.

 

Sandy Hook, across Sandy Hook Bay from Highlands, is one of the most famous navigational landmarks on the eastern seaboard. Its strategic position figures prominently in the military history of the region.

 

During the Revolutionary War, both British and Colonial armies were operating in New Jersey. Many loyalists in Monmouth County went to Sandy Hook when the British fleet arrived in 1776. They built fortifications and held the Hook for the remainder of the war. The Highlands had its own Revolutionary War hero, Captain Joseph Huddy, a member of the Continental Militia. He was captured by the British and hung in 1782, near the spot of the small park in Highlands which bears his name today.

 

The Twin Lights lighthouse in Highlands was completed in 1862. This is the first structure many immigrants to America saw as they approached New York Harbor. The Twin Lights was the first U.S. lighthouse to use the French Fresnel lens to reach some 22 miles out to sea. Around the turn of the twentieth century, Marconi used the Twin Lights for one of his early tests of wireless telegraphy.

 

Highlands has been a tourist destination since the first hotel was built there in 1796. In the 19th century, sailing ships and then steamships brought visitors to enjoy the sea air. One of its most well-known summer residents was Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel. She trained in the challenging currents beneath the Highlands bridge.

 

Highlands was incorporated as a town in 1900 and continues to host visitors seeking fresh seaside air. Now, of course, year-round residents can commute to New York City on a 45-minute ferry trip across the Harbor. In addition to the nearby beaches and National Recreation Area, residents and visitors alike enjoy the active nightlife and numerous seafood restaurants in the area.