Some frequently asked questions:
2019 WARD TOUR REGISTRATION OPENING SOON!
What is the time and date of the 2019 Ward Tour?
The Ward Tour will take place on June 2, 2019. There will be TWO riding groups this year; the first takes off at 11:00 sharp, so be sure to come early to get your number and avoid the last-minute rush at registration which can result in missing the start!
Where is the event located?
The Ward Tour starts at City Hall, located at 280 Grove street in downtown Jersey City and finishes in and around Lutze Biergarten on the Hudson River waterfront at Second Street. It includes all of Jersey City's unique neighborhoods in every ward.
What's this about two different routes this year?
We will offer one route that's roughly the same as last year's, riding about 15 miles within Jersey City, while another group will leave earlier, ride somewhat faster, and visit Bayonne and Hoboken as well, covering about 25 miles. That longer route will leave City Hall first, at 11 a.m., then the second group will leave closer to 11:15.
How do I get to the Ward Tour using public transportation?
The closest PATH station to the start at City Hall is at Grove street, just a few blocks away. Both the WTC and 33rd Street PATH lines stop there. PATH map and timetable
If you are coming by light rail, the Harismus Cove, Harborside, and Exchange Place stations are all within an easy bike ride away. Light rail map
I'll need to drive to the event. Is there parking available?
We suggest public transportation to the start. There are a few parking lots near the start at City Hall where you could park as well.
How much does it cost to ride in the Ward Tour?
It's free! We strive to encourage as many people as possible to join the ride and we don't want the cost of entry to be a barrier to participating in the event. That said, we do have a suggested donation of $5 and gladly accept donations online or at the registration tables.
What should I bring with me?
Some suggestions: sunglasses, a water bottle, a hat if you'd like to keep the sun/rain off your head, a snack, a light-weight lock if you have one (we will have free bike valet parking for those without locks), and a small amount of cash for refreshments from the vendors at the finish. If you plan on purchasing beer at the festival please remember to bring a valid ID.
Is there a place for me to store a bag or backpack while I ride?
Due to the large number of participants, we can't provide this service this year. Please consider packing lightly so that you can carry whatever you bring with you on the ride.
Are people from outside of Jersey City allowed to participate?
Of course! We love introducing more people to all of the interesting, diverse, lively, and historic neighborhoods of Jersey City.
Am I required to wear a helmet?
New Jersey State law requires anyone under the age of 17 to wear a bicycle helmet. In addition we ask all participants over 17 years of age to also wear a helmet. Please contact us with questions or concerns in the event that you are over 17 and the helmet requirement would rule out your ability to participate due to financial and/or religious factors. We would like everyone to be able to participate so we will try to work with you to make sure you or your group are able to ride in the tour.
What is the age limit for riders?
The age limit for riding a bike in the Ward Tour is 12 years and olde for the 15-mile route. Younger children are allowed to ride with an adult in a pull-wagon, on a child's bike seat, etc. For the special longer route, the minimum age is 16. All ages are welcome at the Finish Line Festival though!
Is the Finish Line Festival family friendly?
Yes! There will be activities available for all ages.
Are the roads closed to traffic?
Yes, the route has rolling closures which means that traffic is not allowed on the road until the riders pass.
How challenging is the course? Are there a lot of hills?
The shorter course within JC is about 15 miles long. The riding pace is conversational. Most of of the course is slightly rolling to flat. However, there are a few steady uphill sections, and one steeper but very short hill in Lincoln Park just before the halfway rest point where the ride takes a short water and shade break. People with a wide range of athletic abilities should be able to complete this course.The longer course that includes loops into Bayonne and Hoboken is about 25 miles. The extra miles are generally flat. HOWEVER, the early group that rides this course will move faster (with the front averaging around 12 mph), and will take fewer breaks, so the higher speed plus the extra 10 miles will result in a more challenging ride. You MUST be sure that you can complete such a ride before registering for the longer course. If you lag behind in this group, marshals and police will direct you to wait for the second group and finish on the shorter course.
What if I am unable to complete the ride?
If you run into mechanical issues on the course, we'll have bike mechanics along the route to help fix minor problems so that you can continue on the ride.
In the event you feel unwell or sustain an injury, Jersey City Medical Center will be providing the ride with EMTs on bicycles in addition to a rescue wagon, and can treat you immediately as well as help you determine whether it's safe for you to continue on.
Grove Street Bicycles will be providing a truck to transport your bike in the event you are not able to ride the rest of the way to the finish, and the Jersey City Police will be providing a passenger van to ferry you back as well.
Will there be beer after?
Yes! If you plan on purchasing alcohol be sure to remember to bring a valid ID.
What if I don't have a bike to ride?
Eventually we'd like to have a bike lending and/or rental area at the start of future ward tours but we don't have that available for this year's tour.
Is there same-day registration?
There is limited morning-of registration. If you are unable to register online for some reason, please be sure to show up at 9:00 since the lines for anyone who hasn't registered online become very long and we don't want you to miss the start of the tour! Also, since the tour is free, and run by a volunteer staff, we ask everyone to please register online instead if at all possible since it cuts down on the amount of work volunteers need to do in a very short time frame at the start of the ride.
I noticed there's no rain date. If it's raining does that automatically mean the event will be canceled?
No! The Ward Tour is now officially rain-or-shine. It will still be held the event of rain, unless there are safety issues such as lightning storms, very high winds, hail, etc. If the weather is severe enough that the tour absolutely must be canceled we will alert riders via email and on social media asap.