Topeak Rack on a Radmini

The Radpower rear rack is frequently (and currently) out of stock. It’s a bit hard to find concrete information on what other brands of racks fit on the Radmini, let alone photos of them installed. Some commenters have recommended Topeak racks, but there’s several versions to choose from. I tried the Topeak Explorer.

Here are some photos of the Explorer on a 2019 Radmini. Short version: it fits. There are at least three different holes near the dropouts that the rack can be installed on, resulting in three different heights. The highest hole put the rack closest to the seat but too high above the wheel for my tastes. Using one of the holes that the derailleur guard attaches to (the matching hole on the other side is unused) didn’t work because part of the rack stay rubbed against the bike frame and the rack couldn’t be leveled. I settled on attaching the rear stay to the same hole that the rear fender attaches to. The bolts that came with the Topeak rack are long enough that the rack and the fender can be attached together.

The Radmini’s taillight cable is long enough that, after snipping four zipties that hold it to the frame, it’s possible to attach the taillight to the rack without needing an extension cable.

The Topeak Explorer rack also has a spring-loaded hinged bar on the rack that can hold down a jacket or other light things. It also works with the Topeak MTX QuickTrack system. It A rack without the spring, but otherwise identical, is available for a few dollars less.

So far, the rack and bag (Topeak Trunk Bag MTX EX) are tight and rattle-free.

The Rack: Topeak Explorer (Non-Disc) (W/ Spring)

The Bag: MTX Trunkbag EX.

More Volkswagen x Trek Bikes

Those 90s Trek VW bikes keep showing up. Who knew you could get a bike jersey and other swag, too? An unused ’97 purple bike with paperwork is up on Facebook Marketplace now [edit: or not – possibly sold?].

The original VW saddle – Nice embroidery!
You could be the first person to ride this!
Swag!

More on the VW/Trek collab is here and here, but contact the seller directly [edit: looks like it might have been sold] if you want this one. Seller is asking $750 and it’s in Pompton Plains, New Jersey. Perfect for the Volkswagen or Trek aficionado.

Friendship Ghost Town New Jersey

Speaking of ghost towns, Friendship is one of many abandoned towns in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. It was founded around the 1860s as a cranberry farming town. Cranberry packing finally ended around 1960 or so, and at least some people were still living here into the 1970s. The cranberry bogs are still here.

Coincidentally I visited here about a week after controlled burning by the New Jersey Forest Fire Service, so it was much easier to see many of the old building foundations.

House cellar exposed by the burning.
Jeep at a ghost town
Jeep Cherokee was there.
ebike at ghost town
Radmini was there, too.
cranberry bog
Old cranberry bog on Shane Branch at Friendship.
Foundation of the former cranberry packing house?
Foundation ruins
More foundations.

New Bridge, Old Bridge

On the first warmish day in a while, I took the Radmini to check out a new river crossing. Beginning on the Delaware and Raritan Canal at Scudder Falls in New Jersey, I rode up the brand new ramp to the 10 feet wide multi-use path on the new Scudder Falls Bridge, which carries I-295 over the Delaware River to Pennsyvlania. The first span of this bridge opened in July 2019. The old bridge (which had opened in 1961) was then demolished and construction began on the second span, which was completed a year later. The shared pedestrian/bicyclist path then opened this past November.

6.72 miles

The overpass was busy with with other bikers, walkers, and a few dogs. Coming off the bridge into Pennsylvania, I turned north up the Delaware Canal towpath to Washington’s Crossing. I crossed back into New Jersey on the old and narrow Washington’s Crossing bridge. The piers that support this bridge date back to 1831, while the superstructure was built in 1904. Each car lane is only 7.5 feet wide (so, 2.5 feet narrower than the bike/walk path on the new bridge). After that, it was a quick ride up the D&R canal to my starting point.

Wide enough to ride your bike

Radmini on the bridge
The Delaware Canal in Pennsylvania
Walk your bike
A narrow bridge
Looking downstream. Is that a new bridge in the distance?

Johnson Trolley Line, South and North

From 1901 to 1940, the Johnson “Fast Line” electric trolley (a.k.a. the Trenton-Princeton Traction Company) carried passengers from Trenton to Princeton.

So far, only about three miles of the former 15-mile-long route has been turned into a bike and walk path. The trail is currently split into two sections, bisected by Interstate 295, with no good way to get over it on foot or bike. Perhaps in the future the two segments will be connected.

The southernmost section is riddled with large holes and uneven surfaces, with wetlands and woods on either side. Even though warehouses and parking lots are nearby, it feels more wild. Traveling north, the trail becomes more civilized before petering out near the athletic fields of Rider University and the highway.

North of the interstate, the trail runs through suburbs before entering Lawrenceville. Here, it crosses, but is not part of, the Lawrence-Hopewell trail. At the end of the Johnson trail is the former office of the Johnson Ferry, which has been restored (with reproduction signage).

Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve, Princeton

Source: TCM

With an elevation of about 200 feet, it’s not much of a mountain, but the lakes were created over a century ago to produce ice. In 1914, you could buy 100 pounds of ice for 30 cents from the Princeton Ice Company.

Most of the trails are for hikers only, but there are paved multi-use paths around the edge of the park, a road leading up to Palmer Lake, and a single unpaved trail for bikes that crosses over the outflow for the lake.

Blue Trail to the J. Seward Johnson Jr. Boardwalk. Source: TCM

E-Biking Carnegie Lake to Rocky Hill

Photos from a ride a couple months ago. The lake was created in 1906 by Andrew Carnegie so that the Princeton University crew team would have a place to practice their rowing. It is parallel to but separate from the Delaware & Raritan Canal. The Lake Carnegie Historic District, like the canal, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

D&R Canal trail near Carnegie Lake, NJ. Source: TCM
Restored Bridgetender’s House foundation along the D&R Canal near Rocky Hill, NJ. Source: TCM
Source: TCM
Canal near Rocky Hill, NJ. Source: TCM
Carnegie Lake. Source: TCM