Known for riding off the front of group rides only to be caught in the first mile, CJ got back on a road bike and realized he must win the Donut Derby at least once in his life. Regularly pledging he's "not a climber," he can be found as a regular attendee of Trexlertown's Thursday Night Training Criterium or sitting on the couch watching Paris-Roubaix reruns. CJ has been a constant rider of the Hell of Hunterdon in New Jersey and races the Tour of the Battenkill before going into seasonal hiding on cross-country ski trails.

Stops We Love: Stockton Farm Market

Stops We Love: Stockton Farm Market

(2015) With the start of fall recently appearing, I have declared that coffee shop stops are allowed again. It’s always been a difficult decision whether to include coffee with a hammer-fest of a ride. It’s also hard to justify hot coffee when the temperature is also hot. But when the weather shows its autumn colors, coffee shops – decent coffee shops especially – should show up on the ride itinerary. Luckily, between Bucks and Hunterdon Counties, there are numerous establishments a group ride can select as a mid-point destination. Today my ride partner, Dillon, and I decided on Stockton Farm Market in Stockton, New Jersey.

In a string of beautiful newly minted fall mornings, Sunday fell in line offering a crisp morning roll out. There was a bit of debate as to the necessity for warmers, but it was all given up on and we struck the pavement with summer riding gear.

The leaves are still green in Bucks County, but they are beginning to show slight variances of change. Still ahead are the smells of burning leaves, the powder of ground fallen leaves on the shoulder, and the sound of chainsaws in some far-off estate. For now, though, the mornings are refreshing; the afternoons are comfy.

Today must’ve been an event in Hunterdon County. No sooner did we cross into New Jersey via Bull’s Island Pedestrian Bridge did we see numerous riders making use of route 29 and its wide shoulder. This is how we accessed Stockton safely. Coming from the south is no longer an option as route 29 between Stockton and Lambertville is unforgiving in both surface and space. There is no shoulder to speak of. There is also no patience by way of motorist. Finally, there’s nowhere to go if an emergency arises. Therefore, our ride’s zenith stopped in Stockton where good coffee is found.

Stockton is a fun active town. Aside from the Farm Market, the D&R Canal passes through the town. One can ride a remarkable distance with the aid of old train stations as stopping points. It is a beautifully flat and well-maintained trail that can double as an access route instead of pounding the pavement along the Delaware River. There are a couple of restaurants worth visiting such as Via Ponte. There’s also a quality beer store nearby called Phil’s. But on the weekends, the Farm Market is bustling with activity.

The Market itself offers variety in ways of crepes, waffles, smoothies, butchery, spices, and so much more. It could be very easy to eat more calories at this stop than the actual planned ride. Today we sat outside with other cyclists and played with the multiple dogs that were tethered to the trees. It was so darned relaxing.

Regarding the coffee, it has a coffee shop that offers La Colombe roasted coffee. If one visits enough, get a frequent buyer card to obtain a free coffee eventually. The coffee shop offers bold, medium, and decaf coffee. There was a neatly located specials drink menu that mentioned Nutella but it would be considered for another day.

 The coffee counter with its La Colombe coffee. The line was rather remarkable today. But it moved quite quickly.

The coffee counter with its La Colombe coffee. The line was rather remarkable today. But it moved quite quickly.

Back to that whole event suspicion, we sat at a table outside the Market and watched at the minimum fifteen riders pass by. Couple that with the six riders next to our table and it’s obvious cycling helps support this river town.

What’s best about this centrally-located market is that when one is finished his coffee, there are multiple directions to ride: One can walk the bike back into Pennsylvania via the Center Bridge, one can turn northeast as we did and access the sleepy hamlets of Hunterdon County, one can also point it toward Flemington which is where the table next to us had originated their group ride, one could head north and reach Frenchtown, or one could bravely head south in time trial mode to access Lambertville and points farther below.

For those who love to find gravel roads, there are at least five in the immediate area to tackle.

If one is interested in adopting a dog, Lulu’s Rescue brings their dogs to Stockton Farm Market every Saturday morning to win over hearts. It might be difficult to ride home with a dog, but coming back to claim one is always a possibility. Riding to a Market only to return for a dog and another cup of coffee? That’s a hard day to beat.

Stockton Farm Market is a great place to stop for a waffle/ crepe and a cup of coffee. Cyclists will certainly fit in, so no one should worry about the awkward cyclist waddle. They also have public bathrooms, which always come in handy. Definitely check out the coffee at the Farm Market. But also be sure to strike up a conversation with the rider at the table next. Who knows, both could be heading the same direction after those last sips.

 

 

Stockton Farm Market is open Friday 3 – 7pm, Saturday 9 – 4, and Sunday 10 – 4.

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