Most of us are, at least, vaguely aware of the rules about bike riding on the boardwalk in Ocean Grove. Bikers know that bicycles are banned on our boards except for 3 a.m. to 10 a.m. daily in season. We think that soon we will be able to ride our bikes whenever we want. For some, the best boardwalk bike ride is from OG all the way south to Spring Lake, while others look forward to riding through the Casino and continuing north along the Asbury boards. That’s a nice ride to take with a woman on a trike or with a couple of kids.
This afternoon I went to Asbury and walked my bike on the boards. As soon as I arrived on the north side of the casino, a sign was present that said bicycle riding was permitted only from 6 a.m. to noon daily. But no dates were mentioned. Three APPD officers walked by, and I asked them about it. They said that a new rule was implemented in the last few weeks that continued the bicycle restrictions all year long.
I visited the Brielle Cyclery (somebody tell the BF grammarian that cyclery is a real word) at 1200 Ocean Avenue, on the Asbury boardwalk, near McLoon’s. (Please don’t drink and bike—that is a BUI felony.) This is a large shop that offers rentals, sales and service. The young lady inside did not know the boardwalk biking rules, but she didn’t care because she said that most of the police do not stop bikers unless their riding became hazardous—except, she said, for one “older” officer who tends to be “grumpy.” We hear there is another APPD officer who tends to be sneezy.
Then I went back in the Grove and found two signs that gave mixed messages—one above and this one.
I went home and called the Neptune PD for more information regarding the actual ordinance. When I told the operator what I wanted, she said,”Hold on” and then I found myself listening to a message at the Mother Ship, which was closed. Then I approached a Neptune PD officer and asked him. He admitted that he did not know the rule, but that he had no intention of stopping any biker today since the boardwalk was not crowded. He guessed that biking was restricted only from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Finally I found the actual ordinance on-line. The truth is below:
“No person shall operate a bicycle, rollerblades or a skateboard in the following designated areas from May 1 to October 1, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m.
“On the Ocean Grove Boardwalk within the boundaries of the Township of Neptune between the boundaries of the City of Asbury Park and Borough of Bradley Beach.”
So, there it is. We can bike unfettered on our boardwalk come October 1, but don’t think you can breeze through into AP, because you might run into Officer Grumpy (to be distinguished from Officer Krupke).
So what is the moral of the story? It seems that our small laws (e.g. bike rules on the boards) can be ignored (like yard sale permits or hanging signs on poles) without risk of running afoul of the law. Yet many of us are uncomfortable violating the rules, so for those of you who are gutless weenies, just follow the rules and you will sleep well at night and set a good example for the children and for all those yahoos.com who pedal on our boards in the afternoon in season and who fail to signal when turning. —Paul Goldfinger
SOUNDTRACK BY QUEEN: