Saturday, May 3, 2014

Revolutionary Road (re: Princeton's inaugural Ciclovia tomorrow 1-4PM)

Have you been wondering why the Ciclovia is happening on Quaker Road
tomorrow, and why Quaker Road is where the Ciclovia needs to happen ?

Before you say "that sounds loopy", let me ask a few more questions: have you
ever walked for a distance of 11.5 miles ?  Have you ever done this after the
second day of January, wearing badly-made shoes ? In the dead of night ?
Have you ever gone on such a walk, only to encounter, once you reach your
destination just after dawn, hundreds of men in red coats shooting at you ?

The above tries to depict the famous night march of Washington and the main
body of his army (roughly 6,000 soldiers) prior to the Battle of Princeton, and
why Quaker Road is so historically important, and has been preserved
for us to appreciate.

You can view a rough map of the route taken that cold night, at this link

As you bike (or skate, or walk, or roll) along Quaker Rd at the Ciclovia
tomorrow afternoon, you may notice the granite obelisks which trace
the route, and are now 100 years old. For those interested in this
episode of US history, scroll down on this page to see the location
of all 12 of these obelisk/markers.

Note also that Trenton owes its city status, and its importance in Colonial
days, to being on "the falls of the Delaware", or "the (water)fall line", a 900-
mile escarpment where the Piedmont meets the coastal plain. Map & info here.

Trenton (originally "Trent's town") grew up at the junction of the Delaware River
and Assunpink Creek. The latter meanders from its source near Clarksburg, NJ,
passing through Assunpink Wildlife Management Area and Mercer County Park,
where a flood-control dam (eh?) was built in 1975 to form Mercer Lake, flows under
Quakerbridge Road, and eventually to Trenton and the river. Bicyclists should
be aware of a plan in the works, the proposed "Capital-to-Coast Trail", which
partly follows the course of the creek.

References to "two-wheeled revolution" or "revolutionary ideas" in the context 
of bicycle advocacy or green transport, are easy to find, such as here or here.

But what isn't so easy is to actually do something - to soldier on … to show up,
which according to Woody Allen, is eighty-percent of success. By the way, there
exists a London-based collective named "Magnificent Revolution" which has been
running open-air cycle-in cinema as an alternative to drive-in cinema. Which
gives us some ideas about what we might want PBAC to try an organize next.


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