A bicycle ride over 4 covered bridges in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to 1 firehouse roast beef dinner

A bike ride in New Jersey and Pennsylvania with a food destination in mind.

Turn left! Turn left!

I always say a bike ride is better with a destination or theme in mind. Or that it’s all about the food. Our latest two-state ride did both.

After stumbling across the Stockton Fire Department‘s pancake breakfast years ago, we’ve been talking about going to its roast beef dinner. When the post card announcing this spring’s date arrived in the mail, it went on the calendar. No more stalling.

Stockton is along the Delaware River, and we’ve ridden both the D&R Canal on the Jersey side and the D&L Trail on the Pennsylvania side. (We picked up lunch here on our bike ride to watch polo last fall, for example.) This time, though, we weren’t going to take it easy with a flat ride. Instead we picked out a ride posted on Ride With GPS that took us into the hills on both sides of the Delaware River.

Early on, we crossed New Jersey’s only covered bridge, the one-lane Green Sergeant with wooden planks for the floor as well as wooden sides and top. (Traffic going the other way takes a flat modern bridge.)

But we then turned onto Upper Creek Road, and the name change told you what was coming — a climb, even if we still got to follow the creek for a while.

How steep was the climb? At one point, I was in my easiest gear, standing straight up on the pedals and slowly propelling myself forward. Thankfully it was a very short stretch.

So left, then right to just before this covered bridge, when we turned left onto the access path to the Delaware Canal (part of the D&L Trail). We cycled behind Tinicum Park, where we watched polo last year.

But mostly we were biking along the ridge, then swooping down into Frenchtown and walking our bikes across the bridge over the Delaware. What’s that? A fire department to the north is having a pancake breakfast. But it ends in 30 minutes. And we’re saving our appetite for that roast beef.

A cool canal remnant:

We crossed the canal on our third covered bridge of the day, and now we were headed into the hills of Bucks County.

Some long ups, but not horribly steep, some fast descents on bumpy roads (not fun). Taking our chances on a road closed to traffic; fortunately, whatever construction was being done looked to have been just completed. A creekbed studded with shale stones, and banks too. And this intriguing sign (don’t think our neighbors, and especially the township, would approve).

And our fourth covered bridge. Bucks County still has 12, so we hit a quarter of them within 20 miles.

Then the pedestrian bridge over much of the Delaware to Bull’s Island Recreation Area. The latest incarnation of the bridge was built by the same company that built the Brooklyn Bridge. Oh, camping is no longer allowed here (try Tinicum Park in Pennsylvania).

Finally it’s roast beef time! This is served family style, eight to a table. Salad, mashed potatoes, corn and lima beans — and thinly sliced roast beef. Seconds too. Thirds too, if we had wanted them. And then a hodge-podge of desserts (no seconds).

It was all about the roast beef … but then came cake. Or brownies. Or cupcakes. Or…

Just $16. And you may end up with tablemates as intrigued by our ride as we had.

With a bike ride of almost 35 miles, we definitely earned our meal!

Author: alliumstozinnias

A gardener (along with the Brit) who has discovered there is more than hybrid tomatoes. And a cyclist.

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