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 a decade.
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.
Check out Photo Highlights
CAN I REGISTER ON THE DAY OF THE RIDE?
Yes! Just stop by the Start/Finish area on Saturday, September 25 from 12-5PM, or on the day of the ride from 7-10AM. The on-site registration fee for adults is $100 or $80 for riders under the age of 15.
On-site registration is first-come, first-served and both cash and card are accepted. Please note: there is no ATM at Huddy Park (though there are a few convenient options nearby), so come prepared with your method of payment and a government-issued photo ID.
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MATERIALS FOR MY RIDE?
You should receive a confirmation email immediately after you’ve registered. Final details will be sent on the Friday before the event. For the Twin Lights Ride, bibs and bike plates will be distributed at check-in on the day of the ride. Check-in starts at 7AM in Huddy Park in Highlands, NJ (301 Shore Drive). For start times, click here.
Check-in will also be available the day before the ride (Saturday, September 25) from 12PM-5PM at Huddy Park.
IS THE ROUTE CLOSED TO CARS?
No. The route is open to traffic. Riders are expected to obey all traffic laws.
Please note that the entire 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. Being part of the event does not put you above the rules of the road.
HOW HILLY IS THE RIDE?
The elevation gains for each route will be shared on the Routes and Services page soon. Please make sure to check back frequently.
CAN I SWITCH ROUTES DURING THE RIDE?
Yes. There are certain points on each route where you’ll have to 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.
WILL THERE BE REPAIR STATIONS ALONG THE ROUTE?
We’ll have repair stations at the start (thank you, Kranky Cycles!), rest areas, and roving bike repair vans along the route (thank you, Trek!). Labor is free to address minor issues, but there is a charge for parts.
However, don’t wait until the last minute to determine 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?
- Face mask
- Helmet. (And you gotta wear it. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.)
- 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 so you can stock up on cool Bike New York gear and get some grub at the Finish Festival.
- Spare tube and patch kit. Bike repair along the route is free, but there is a charge for parts.
ARE MASKS REQUIRED?
You are not required to wear a mask while riding. However, masks are mandatory, regardless of vaccination status, at the Start Area, Finish Festival, and Rest Areas when you’re not eating or drinking.
Additionally, Sandy Hook requires the use of masks in certain outdoor areas. If you’re riding the 15-mile route, you must mask up when stopping along the multi-use path within Sandy Hook.
Finally, those taking the Sea Streak ferry to Highlands, NJ, must wear masks while boarding, when inside the cabin, and while disembarking unless you are eating or drinking.
WHAT ABOUT BAD WEATHER?
All Bike New York rides are rain or shine unless otherwise noted. In the event of severe or potentially dangerous weather, we’ll be in touch regarding contingency plans.
WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE REGISTRATION FEE?
Your registration fee covers entry to the ride, a cue sheet, access to services and amenities along the route (such as rest areas and SAG support), a commemorative T-shirt at the Finish Festival, as well as a Finisher medal. We also provide a complimentary breakfast before the ride.
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 fund our free bike education programs. In 2020 alone, we taught bike skills to more than 28,000 kids and adults throughout New York City.
HOW DO I GET TO HIGHLANDS, NEW JERSEY?
Visit the Getting There page for up-to-date information.
WHERE CAN I PURCHASE FERRY TICKETS?
Location: Battery Maritime Building, Slip 5 (10 South Street)
**This is a different location than 2019**
PLEASE NOTE: 100- and 75-mile riders MUST take the 6:00 AM ferry in order to arrive on time to Highlands.
Round-trip ferry tickets are $60, cash only, available on a first-come, first-served basis, and will sell out quickly. Ferry ticket sales are non-refundable and non-transferable.
These ferries are chartered exclusively for 2021 Twin Lights Ride participants.
CAN I GET A REFUND FOR MY RIDE ENTRY OR GIVE/SELL MY REGISTRATION TO SOMEONE ELSE?
No. Entries are non-refundable and non-transferable. If you cannot attend for any reason, email email@example.com to request that your registration fee be converted into a tax-deductible charitable donation.
CAN I GET A REFUND FOR MY FERRY TICKET?
No. Ferry ticket purchases are non-refundable and non-transferable.
CAN I REGISTER FOR THE RIDE THE DAY OF?
Yes, cash-only day-of registration will be available.
MY CHILD WILL BE WITH ME IN A TRAILER OR CHILD SEAT. DOES SHE HAVE TO BE REGISTERED?
Yes. Each person participating in the event must be registered. Youth entries are available at a lower price. Children under the age of 3 are not allowed on Bike New York rides.
ARE THERE AGE RESTRICTIONS?
Youths ages 3 to 9 must ride with an adult on a tandem bike, in a child’s seat, on a tag-along bike, or in a bike trailer. Youths ages 10 to 17 may ride their own bikes, but must remain in close proximity to the adult with whom they were registered.
WHEN SHOULD I ARRIVE AT CHECK-IN?
Check-in is available at Huddy Park in Highlands, NJ (301 Shore Drive). If you are checking in on the morning of the ride, it is recommended that you give yourself at least 30 minutes prior to your route’s closing time to ensure you have ample opportunity to get through the check-in lines, receive your route cue sheet, use the restroom, and grab a complimentary breakfast. Please account for travel time, parking, and potential lines when planning your trip. Reference our Getting There page for travel information.
WHEN DOES THE RIDE START?
- 100 Miles: 7:30am – 8:00am
- 75 Miles: 8:00am – 8:30am
- 55 Miles: 8:30am – 9:30am
- 30 Miles: 9:15am – 10:15am
- 15 Miles: 9:45am – 10:15am
HOW LONG DOES THE RIDE TAKE?
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 vehicles trailing the back of the pack. The Finish Festival closes at 5:30PM, so be mindful of your pace and ride accordingly.
CAN I RIDE MY E-BIKE ON THE TWIN LIGHTS RIDE?
Yes; New Jersey passed legislation allowing the use of low-speed electric bikes (pedal-assist) on public streets. You can find out more about the new law here.
ARE THERE BIKE RENTALS AVAILABLE?
Yes! Please visit our Bike Rental page for additional information.
CAN I GET THE ROUTE CUE SHEET AHEAD OF TIME?
No. Cue sheets will be given out on the morning of the ride, ten minutes before the beginning of the start window for each route. This allows us to make any necessary last-minute adjustments to the route and ensures that people start the ride at the right time—when rest areas are open and SAG vehicles are in position.
AM I REQUIRED TO HAVE A BELL ON MY BIKE?
According to New Jersey State law, all bikes are required to have bells.
IS THERE A PLACE TO DROP OFF MY BAG?
No. You must take your bag with you on the ride.
ARE THERE ANY BAG RESTRICTIONS?
IS LUNCH INCLUDED AT THE END?
No. However, you will be able to purchase food from local vendors at the Finish Festival. Bring cash and an appetite!
WILL T-SHIRTS AND MEDALS BE GIVEN OUT?
Yes, t-shirts and Finisher medals will be given out at the end of the ride at the information tent at the Finish Festival.
IS THERE A LOST AND FOUND?
Check at the information tent at the Finish Festival to see if your lost item has been found. If not, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org two days after the event to see if we found it. Lost and found items that remain unclaimed after two weeks will be repurposed, donated, or discarded.
I'M A BIKE NEW YORK MEMBER! HOW DO I RECEIVE MY 15% DISCOUNT?
HOW LONG IS THE FERRY RIDE?
About 45 minutes long. Please note we cannot hold a ferry past its departure time.
I HAVEN’T BOUGHT A FERRY TICKET. CAN I DO IT THE DAY OF THE RIDE?
Yes, roundtrip tickets are $60, cash only. Exact change is MUCH preferred. Only a small amount of change can be provided.
WHERE CAN I BUY COFFEE NEAR THE START?
There is a Starbucks at 110 Pearl Street (corner of Pearl and Hanover – Hanover is a little bit north of BMB – take Broad Street up to Water Street and go up to Hanover Square). There is also one at 99 Wall Street. Both open at 7AM. Coffee is also available at the Start Area or for purchase on the ferry.
I’M WAITING FOR MY FRIEND/FAMILY MEMBER, AND I DON’T KNOW IF THEY’LL MAKE THE FERRY IN TIME. CAN I TAKE THE 8:00AM FERRY INSTEAD OF THE 6:00AM FERRY?
Yes, you may wait for the 8:00AM ferry but this may impact which route you can ride if you were planning to ride the 75- or 100-mile route.
DO I NEED MY TICKET TO COME BACK ON THE FERRY?
No, just be sure to keep the wristband we give you when you check in. It will serve as your ticket.
WHICH FERRY SHOULD I TAKE BACK TO NEW YORK?
Be sure to keep the wristband we gave you in the morning. There will be a ferry leaving Highlands at 2:30, 4:30 and 6:30PM. You must take the return ferry in which you signed up for. Bike New York cannot guarantee space on an additional ferry if you missed your chosen departure time.
I BOUGHT A FERRY TICKET, BUT I’M NOT ON THE LIST. WHAT DO I DO?
Please pay the day-of price for a ticket and then email email@example.com. We will check Monday the day after the ride to see if the payment was processed for your ticket. If you did pay, we will refund you.
HOW DO I GET TO THE START FROM THE FERRY TERMINAL?
There will be staff and signs to guide you, but walk through the parking lot to Shore Drive, then turn left. Huddy Park and the check in area will be on your left. It is about a one-minute ride.
Feeling nostalgic? Check out the 2019 Twin Lights Ride video below.
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.
We’ve teamed up with our official healthcare partner, NYU Langone, to create training resources you can use for any bike challenge you might be taking on.
Learn more about the Sports Health services at NYU Langone or schedule an appointment with one of our experts.
Warm Up and Cool Down
With a proper warm up and cool down
Step 1: Slowly build mileage.
The old saying “slow and steady wins the race” is a safe and conservative way to gradually increase your fitness routine, which will keep you from hitting the wall.
The chart below demonstrates a good progression to follow while you’re ramping up your routine.
Let’s say you currently average three 30-minute rides to and from work each week. You can start with a fourth ride on the weekend dedicated to progressing the mileage. Then add some stretching and cross training to avoid tightness that can be caused by extra time in that seated position.
On your longer weekend rides, shoot to incorporate some more hilly sections to your rides.
Step 2: Balance your body.
Getting your body ride-ready isn’t just something you do while you’re pedaling! There are all kinds of exercises you can do off your bike to help keep you fit and ready for the hills, bridges, and miles in the saddle. While cycling, the body tends to hold a similar position over an extended time, so some muscles remain in a shortened and tight position while others are in a lengthened or weakened position. Over time, imbalanced muscles can contribute to compensation patterns and overuse injuries.
To keep everything balanced and working to its full ability—or to even increase that ability—add some mobility drills to the beginning of your workout to ensure you are getting both a good warm up and getting the range of motion your body needs to move at its best. Check out our recommendations in the gallery below.
Cat + Cow
Try 10 repetitions of the following before each workout!
- Start with feet together.
- Step one foot out far in front of you, and bend the back knee down towards the floor as you raise the arms up to the ceiling.
- Push off the back leg and swing the back in up and in front of you.
- Repeat with the other leg. This is one repetition.
Cat + Cow:
- Get on your hands and knees with wrists under your shoulders and knees in line with hips.
- Arch your low back as shown in the left image.
- Then round your back as shown in right image.
- Repeat 10 times.
- Begin lying on your back, belly button pulled in towards spine and feet flat, heels pulled in towards hips.
- Exhale and squeeze the gluteal (butt muscles) to lift the hips just until the thighs, hips, and shoulders are all in one straight line.
- Hold for a count of 3 seconds.
- Progress to single leg bridges when this becomes too easy.
As the name suggests, this technique involves rolling the muscles of the thigh, back of leg, hips, and lower leg over a hard foam roller.
- Begin at the start of a muscle rather than the belly (i.e. for the hamstring, start just above the knee or just under the buttocks, rather than in the middle of the back of your leg).
- Roll slowly over the muscle from beginning to end, but not over the knee joint.
- Remember to breathe!
Step 3: Crosstrain.
It may seem counterintuitive, but stepping out of the clips can actually help you perform better while you’re in ’em. We recommend also working in some resistance training 2-3 days per week, as this will help improve that power during the power phase of the pedal stroke. This requires strength of the core, gluteal muscles, quads, and calves. Resistance training is a great way to build muscular efficiency and strength to help you conquer those climbs.
Below are some examples of exercises that have a nice carryover to cycling performance. Start with just 1-2 sets per exercise if you have less experience with resistance training, then build as you get stronger.
Single Leg Squat with Trunk Rotation
Lateral Band Walks
Prone Superman with Shoulder External Rotation
Plank with Hip Extension
Single Leg Squat with Trunk Rotation:
- Stand on one leg.
- Engage the lower abdominals and keep your pelvis level.
- While maintaining a level pelvis, perform a shallow squat.
- Slightly rotate your shoulders toward your stance side at the same time you perform the squat.
- Return to the start position.
- Repeat 10 times, then switch legs.
- Start with your right foot on a step 4-6 inches high.
- Hold dumbbells at shoulder height.
- As you step up on the right leg, drive the left knee up and press the weight up to the sky.
- Next, rotate your body 90 degrees to the left. To step down. Repeat 10 times, then switch legs.
Lateral Band Walks:
- Begin by tying a resistance band around your thighs.
- Perform a mini-squat, keeping your knees in line with your second toe.
- Hold the mini squat position as you step out to the right side with your right foot.
- Be sure to keep your toes facing forward, and push to the right side with your heel, not the toe.
- Bring your left foot to meet the right, this is one repetition.
- Do 10 repetitions.
- Advanced version: Make the band tighter and put it around your ankles.
- Start on your hands and knees, placing your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
- Draw your belly button up towards your spine and extend your opposite arm and leg out as pictured.
- Return to the start position.
- Repeat, but this time with the alternate leg and arm.
- This is considered one repetition. Repeat 10 times.
Prone Superman with Shoulder External Rotation:
- Lay on your stomach with your shoulders and elbows at 90-degree angles and your thumbs pointing up towards the ceiling.
- Keeping your pelvis and legs on the ground, lift your chest off the ground while maintaining your arms aligned with your trunk.
- Hold this position for 2-3 seconds, then return to starting position. Repeat 10 times.
Plank with Hip Extension:
- Start in a plank position with your shoulders directly over the elbows and hands, draw your belly button in towards your spine, and maintain a flat back.
- Continue checking each cue listed in the above bullet (like shifting eyes from mirror to rearview mirror and back while driving).
- Lift one leg slowly while you maintain abdominal contraction. Repeat on each leg 5 times.
The Sports Health experts at NYU Langone offer state-of-the-art diagnostics for athletes, including Health & Fitness evaluations, Cycle evaluations, VO2 + Lactate analysis, and Nutrition consultations. As our official partner, they are offering all participants exclusive concierge access to their multidisciplinary team—whether you want to improve your performance for race day, have a nagging orthopedic injury, or just need an annual checkup. Fill out an appointment request form below and one of their experts will be in touch to create a customized plan just for you!
Developed by Heather Milton, MS, RCEP, CSCS, Exercise Physiologist Supervisor and Sports Health expert at NYU Langone.