New York City is known for its yellow cabs, subways and beautiful sky scraping buildings. Most people don’t even own a car in this highly-congested city. Not to worry, for those of you who plan on visiting and don’t want to rent a car there are alternatives to get from point A to point B. The more environmentally safe way to get around the city to see the sights and avoid the madness is by bike.
With the implementation of the bike-share program, unofficially known as Bloomberg’s Bikes, you can now zip through and around traffic in record time, leaving all those idle cars in the dust. There are bike racks and bike lanes all over the city. Almost all of the New York hotels are involved and promote the bike-share program and give discounted hotel rates.
For a rental fee of $9.95 a day, $25.00 for a week, or an annual pass of $95.00, you can take one of these blue bikes from 600 stations and take your commute by the horns on some of New York City’s best bike routes. There are countless trails and here are just a handful that will get the blood pumping and your sense of freedom soaring.
The Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn
For your first cycling experience you must ride the Brooklyn Bridge. With its dedicated bike path, you won’t have to worry about being hit by a wayward vehicle. It is, however, quite crowded with other cyclists and pedestrians, but the scenery is well worth it. The bridge is about a mile long, a nice distance to ride without getting too winded. If you’re going with the family, make your excursion complete with a picnic in the Brooklyn Bridge Park situated on the East River. The view is stunning.
Pelham Bay Park, Bronx
It’s hard to imagine, but the Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx is more than three times the size of Manhattan’s infamous Central Park. Imagine riding along the thirteen-mile shoreline of Long Island Sound and taking in a round of golf at one of two golf courses. Other sites include the Bartow-Pell Mansion and Orchard Beach. There are plenty of athletic fields to romp with the family or friends while taking in amazing views. This vast park is perfect for a day-long trek that can be relaxing and challenging.
Central Park, Manhattan
Of course, who can forget Central Park. This iconic landmark is a maze of gorgeous statuary, bridges, flora, and animals. The park has a six-mile bike path that will take you along its inner perimeter. If you’re not up to a lengthy ride, there are smaller paths within the park you can enjoy as well. You’ll also find plenty of benches to rest on and to soak in the surroundings. Whether you go alone or with the family, you’ll find it easy to spend the whole day in the park without realizing the time.
Waterfront Greenway, Manhattan
With thirty-two miles of the Greenway to travel, this is one bike route that’s perfect for the heartiest of cyclists. Most of the route has a dedicated bike path with only a few small detours onto little-traveled roads. The area has been cleaned up from its days of old buildings and broken-down docks and replaced with sprawling greenery. From here you can watch as people board cruise ships or kayak along the Hudson River. There are plenty of places to stop and visit too, such as the USS Intrepid’s WWII aircraft museum. You’ll never forget the view of the Statue of Liberty and the sailboats throughout the harbor.
With the new, affordable bike rentals and access from several points, riding a bike in New York City has become easier than ever. The hardest part will be deciding where to start, and where to go after that. Have your camera ready and your water bottle full and enjoy the city like never before.