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The NYC Traveler Tips: Cycling in New York City

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

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. These are suggested routes and are not intended as exact directions. Carry a bike map and keep a smartphone with you with a maps app to help.

Cycling in New York City
Williamsburg Bridge, Brooklyn, New York

Below are a few of our favorite routes for cycling in New York City.

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 uptown 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.

Cycling in NYC
East Side, Manhattan, New York

New York City means all five boroughs: so here are more routes for cycling in New York City

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.

Cycling in NYC
Ed Koch-59th Street Bridge, Queens, New York

Yes, the Bronx is included in cycling in New York City!

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.

Cycling in NYC
Toward City Island, Bronx, New York

And even though Brooklyn was once called the 4th largest city in America, this borough is also part of cycling in New York City.

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. Along the way, stop for a little break at Domino Park to take in the great views of Manhattan before you head over 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.

Cycling in NYC
Domino Park, Brooklyn, New York

Finally, people forget that Staten Island is a borough and once you take the ferry for free, you're still cycling in New York City.

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.

Cycling in NYC
View of Verrazano Bridge from State Island

3. Go from Queens to Manhattan (or vice versa) via the scenic route, walking or by bicycle. Start at Vernon Avenue and 36th Avenue, in Queens. Explore Roosevelt Island (don't forget Lighthouse Park at the north end). When you're ready, take either the Roosevelt Island Tram or F train to continue your journey into Manhattan. An alternative route is to walk, ride or jog over the Ed Koch (Queensboro/59th Street) Bridge at Queens Plaza and Jackson Avenue. A good way to get a workout.

Cycling in NYC
Roosevelt Island, New York

Happy Travels!

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