Biking in Princeton
By Taylor Smith
Photography by Andrew Wilkinson
According to The League of American Bicyclists, Princeton is categorized as a bicycle-friendly community. Students certainly use biking as a means of transport, along with local residents who can be found riding the town’s many roadways, trails, and canal pathways. Biking is a great way for visitors to explore Princeton’s most historic sites or to simply enjoy a summer afternoon.
38 Spring Street
Kopp’s Cycle was established in 1891 by E.C. Kopp and claims the title of the oldest continually operating bike shop in the United States. The shop was originally located on Nassau Street. Since then, it has been housed on Chambers Street, John Street, and Witherspoon Street. Kopp’s is currently located on Spring Street. During the 1960s, the new owners pioneered the import of Italian racing bicycles, leading the shop to become a hub for East Coast bicycle racing throughout the 1970s. Albert Einstein was a regular, as was Brooke Shields. The shop will always be a frequent stop for Princeton University students who bring their well-worn bikes for maintenance and repair.
53 E Broad Street
Sourland Cycles held their grand opening on April 11, 2015. The attractive store boasts triathlon bikes, road bikes, mountain bikes, electric bikes, and hybrid bikes. Sourland is committed to women’s cycling. They carry the LIV brand from GIANT, the only major bike manufacturer that has developed a complete line of bikes for women. Sourland Cycles is actually a GIANT partner store, the only one in the region. GIANT is the largest maker of quality handmade bikes in the world. The store offers bike pick-up and delivery service, along with 24-hour roadside emergency assistance.
249 Nassau Street
Conveniently located on Nassau Street, Jay’s Cycles is the oldest family-owned bike store in Princeton. They are also New Jersey’s largest Trek bike dealer. Jay’s offers rentals, which are perfect for around-town use or a day on the canal towpath. All rentals include a helmet and lock at no extra cost. Looking to trade in your old bike? Jay’s can help. They regularly buy used bicycles, allowing customers to put money toward the purchase of a new bike. Rear car trunk racks and most hitch racks sold at Jay’s are installed free of charge.
1761 Princeton Avenue
34 Main Street
Knapp’s Cyclery is an elite bicycle retail and service shop with locations in Lawrenceville and Cranbury. Knapp’s originally opened in 1944 in downtown Trenton. Pete Garnich purchased the store and moved it to Lawrenceville in 1998. Monday Night Road Rides depart weekly at 6pm from the Lawrenceville location, April through September. The group typically rides anywhere from 25 to 28 miles and anyone is welcome to join. Knapp’s offers an assortment of mountain bikes, road bikes, and triathlon bikes, along with specialized kids bikes like the Hotrock, which are considered to be the best on the market. Knapp’s also sells its own line of cycling gear including windproof vests, racing jerseys, jackets, and cycling caps.