The idea of biking around New York City—a place not exactly known for tranquility in traffic—is an intimidating one, unless you know how to navigate. For your next summer adventure: five of the best bike routes for a fresh perspective on NYC.
By Michaela Rollings
EAST RIVER GREENWAY
In the summer, there’s nothing better than being waterside. The Greenway runs along the East River from Battery Park up to Harlem, with a 2.5-mile gap through Midtown (where the designated bike path disappears). We suggest starting your ride in Battery Park, cruising down to the South Street Seaport Smorgasburg (Ramen burger, anyone?) and riding up along Chinatown and the Lower East Side. The bike path stops in Gramercy: end the ride there (it nets out to an ideal thirty minutes) or resume after the break and head all the way uptown.
To get to Williamsburg, don’t trust the L train: all you have to do is grab a Citi Bike at the corner of Broome and Forsythe on the Lower East Side and hop on the bike lane that carries you over Williamsburg Bridge. Once you’re in Brooklyn, take a quick ride along the East River path, which has five miles (and counting) of trail. If you time your ride right, you can even stop into brunch hot-spot Buttermilk Channel and try their infamous chicken and waffles—the perfect indulgence after a cycle.
Prospect Park is a green, herbaceous breath of fresh air. Located at the intersection of Park Slope and Prospect Heights in central Brooklyn, the park plays host to days of institutions and activities (libraries, gardens, museums, and a lake!). To get to Prospect Park via Citi Bike, ride over the Brooklyn Bridge into Boerum Hill, where you can dock your bike at the Atlantic/Fort Greene stop. Citi Bike hubs are scarce further into Brooklyn, but the park is just a few blocks down Flatbush Avenue. Pedestrians can stop to refuel on juice, cookies, smoothies and more at Sun In Bloom—one of New York’s best-kept vegan secrets—while the ambitious athlete might enjoy a jog around the park’s loop before riding back to Manhattan.
HUDSON RIVER GREENWAY
This west side route is one of the longest continual paths in Manhattan, running from the west side of the Battery up to the Little Red Lighthouse near the GW Bridge. If you’ve got the stamina, continue your ride to Hudson Heights and visit the Cloisters, uptown’s storied museum housed in a refurbished monastery.
On August 1st, 8th and 15th, the city sets aside seven miles of open streets from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you’re not ready to head out into bridges, parks or greenways just yet, Summer Streets should be your training wheels (pun intended): The route this August starts in Foley Square at Duane and Centre streets downtown and continues up Lafayette/Park Avenue until 72nd Street—and not a single car in the way.