Sunday, May 20, 2018

Cycle around NYC

Cycling in NYC

Every year, on the 1st Sunday in May, Bike New York helps to kick off the warm weather with its annual tour: 40 miles, through the 5 boroughs, on car-free roads. The tour also kicks off many resolutions to cycle more. Reduced parking and threats of vehicle fees to enter parts of Manhattan and frustration with the MTA, which runs the public transit system, has also inspired many more to ride regularly and daily. For leisure and recreation, check out our favorite places and route to ride in New York City. Pick up a current bike map at any cycling store and mount up.

NOTE: There are many variations on the basic routes here. And this is only an introduction.

1. Circle (some of) Manhattan: start on the East Side, from the 59th Street Bridge, ride on the streets on 1st Ave. Take a left at East 62nd Street (or East 78th Street), and continue to the East River. Go up the ramp and ride along the East River (some parts may be currently under construction and will guide you through any detours). Come off at East 120 Street and ride to 2nd Ave. Make a left and then a right on West 119 St. From here, you should continue to make your way to the west side. Make a right onto St. Nicholas Ave. Make a left at West 125 St (sharing the road) to enter the Hudson River Greenway. Go to the right and continue all the way uptown to the George Washington Bridge (and the Little Red Lighthouse underneath). You can continue following the signs all the way over the bridge and back or turn around and follow the greenway all the way downtown, around the Battery and up the East Side. At East 37th Street, the signs will take you to 1st Avenue and you will end up back at the 59th Street Bridge.

Little Red Lighthouse, under the George Washington Bridge, Hudson River Greenway, near West 178th Street, Manhattan

2. Enjoy Queens and Manhattan: At Vernon Boulevard and 36th Avenue, take the Roosevelt Island Bridge to the island. Ride around and then take either the tram or the F train to Manhattan. Ride up 1st Avenue to East 78th Street (some parts before that may be under renovation). Take the pedestrian bridge and ride the John Finney Walk along the East River. Take the Wards Island Bridge right after East 102 Street and tour Randall's Island. Head back to Manhattan or be brave and continue back to Queens on the RFK (Triboro) Bridge.

3. Boogie on down to the Bronx: Ride along the bike lanes of Pelham Parkway from the Bronx Zoo to Pelham Park. Follow the bike signs all the way to City Island, refuel with seafood head back.

Bike sign near City Island, the Bronx

4. How Sweet it is in Brooklyn: Brooklyn is connects nicely with either Queens or Manhattan. Start where Jackson, 111th, 49th and 48th Avenues all converge into the Pulaski Bridge. Take it to Freeman Street, make a right. Go to Franklin, make a left. Franklin will turn into Kent and that will take you to the Williamsburg Bridge. Ride on into Manhattan. Or, skip the bridge, continue along Kent until it becomes Flushing Avenue. Stay on briefly, and then make left onto Vanderbilt. Follow that all the way to Prospect Park.

View of Williamsburg Bridge from the East River Bikeway, Manhattan

5. Staten Island: take the ferry from Manhattan. Come out and make a left onto Bay Street. You can follow that to School Road, make a right, and follow it briefly until it becomes Lily Pond Avenue. Follow that (under the Verrazano Bridge) and head to Father Capodanno Boulevard and tour the Lower New York Bay area

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 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted).