There are so many reasons to visit Bucks County: art, landscape, history, food, floating the river, and on and on. Conveniently most of these can be intertwined in a single trip and one of the ideal, even idyllic, ways of making that trip is by bike. The winding country backroads and covered bridges are best traveled at a savoring pace and not closed up and zooming. Fortunately, we are just coming into the perfect season for biking in Bucks (fall!) and this blog is a brief introduction to the experience…
First, we are going to look at road biking and not mountain biking, which is a subject for another article. In talking about riding on the road, it is impossible not to acknowledge some element of risk and any discussion of risk must begin with Route 32, also known as River Road.
This is a beautiful two-lane road that runs, roughly, from Morrisville in Lower Bucks County to Kintersville in Upper Bucks County, paralleling the Delaware River for most of the of its 39-mile stretch. It is a cyclist’s dream, but even a serious cyclist should consider an early morning ride to avoid the traffic, particularly on the weekends.
There is, thankfully, an alternative in the Delaware Canal Towpath that echoes most of Route 32. It is well maintained and can be easily accessed with parking at a number of spots. It is also less than a 2-minute bike ride from the Yardley SEPTA station. I very much recommend this course for the novice road cyclist until you are more comfortable with traffic with the added appeal that it is flat. You don’t need an off-road bike to ride it, but I would suggest at least 28mm tires. There are a number of spots for lunch or dinner along the way so it can make a very pleasant day trip without draining all your energy. More info can be found on the Bike Bucks County Facebook page.
Don’t forget, if you do hop on the Towpath portion, to share the trail with joggers and walkers, fellow bikers. We’re all using it more than ever these days!
However, Bucks offers so much more if you shift away from the river. There are spider webs of lightly traveled, shaded roads that pass beautiful farmland and quaint country stores. But as you leave the river valley, you do pick up some rolling hills, and while there are few that present a serious grade, there are also few with a long flat stretch. They are well worth the work.
As stated, this is a short intro and not a presentation of detailed routes which you can certainly find through apps like Strava, Map My Ride and Ride with GPS, but perhaps can stir your appetite with my local tip: Pidcock Creek Road with a right turn on to Covered Bridge Road. Look it up, try it out, venture!