Pedal Through the Concrete Jungle: An Insider’s Guide to Seeing New York City on Two Wheels
Pedal Through the Concrete Jungle: An Insider's Guide to Seeing New York City on Two Wheels - The Best Bike Routes for Seeing the Sights
When it comes to seeing the best of New York City, getting around by bike allows you to cover more ground while avoiding the headaches of traffic and crowded public transit. Pedaling past all the top landmarks and attractions is a breeze when you know the most scenic, safe, and efficient bike routes.
One of the most popular and beautiful paths is the Hudson River Greenway, which runs along Manhattan's west side past highlights like the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Chelsea Piers, the High Line, and Riverside Park. It's a nearly uninterrupted path from the George Washington Bridge down to Battery Park, providing stunning views of the Hudson River and New Jersey skyline as you cruise along.
For east side sights, try the East River Greenway, which starts at the South Street Seaport and takes you up past the Brooklyn Bridge, through Chinatown and the Lower East Side, before connecting to the Hudson River Greenway at 125th Street. You'll pedal by landmarks like the Manhattan Bridge, the United Nations headquarters, and Carl Schurz Park.
Central Park is also a must for any cycling tour of NYC. It has a 6 mile loop drive that is closed to cars during certain times. Pedaling through the Ramble, past Bethesda Fountain, and around the Central Park Zoo makes for an idyllic urban escape surrounded by nature.
If you want to cross between boroughs, the iconic Brooklyn Bridge has a dedicated bike lane separated from car traffic by a barrier, while the Queensboro Bridge and Williamsburg Bridge also allow bicycles. Just be prepared for some inclines!
For a longer adventure, the Shore Parkway Greenway hugs the southern Brooklyn shoreline with views of New York Harbor, taking you from Bay Ridge to Coney Island. Or bike over the George Washington Bridge for a ride along the Hudson River in New Jersey.
What else is in this post?
- Pedal Through the Concrete Jungle: An Insider's Guide to Seeing New York City on Two Wheels - The Best Bike Routes for Seeing the Sights
- Pedal Through the Concrete Jungle: An Insider's Guide to Seeing New York City on Two Wheels - Bike Lanes Galore: Safety First in the Big Apple
- Pedal Through the Concrete Jungle: An Insider's Guide to Seeing New York City on Two Wheels - CitiBike 101: How to Rent and Ride
Pedal Through the Concrete Jungle: An Insider's Guide to Seeing New York City on Two Wheels - Bike Lanes Galore: Safety First in the Big Apple
While New York's streets may seem daunting, the city has made great strides in recent years to increase bike infrastructure and improve cyclist safety. An expanding network of clearly marked bike lanes makes navigating busy thoroughfares much less intimidating, especially for novice urban riders. And awareness initiatives are helping promote a culture of cycling throughout the five boroughs.
With over 1,000 miles of bike lanes citywide, cyclists have more room to ride thanks to protected paths separated from cars by physical barriers, painted lanes, and shared roadway markings. This infrastructure keeps riders feeling secure by designating space specifically for bicycles on the streets.
Key bike highways like the Hudson River and East River Greenways almost completely avoid vehicle crossings. Roads through Central Park prohibit cars during certain times of day. And bridges like the Brooklyn and Manhattan are outfitted with protected bike paths to safely cross the East River.
Neighborhoods like the Upper West Side, Williamsburg, and Long Island City have become very bike friendly with the addition of plenty of dedicated lanes. Large swaths of Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn are part of the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative aimed at creating greener, more connected cycling routes through these dense commercial cores.
The city's Department of Transportation's "Green Wave" program times traffic lights along major bike corridors for continuous movement without stopping. And intersection treatments like bike boxes allow cyclists to wait safely ahead of cars at red lights in their own designated area.
Outreach initiatives like Bike New York's education programs teach cycling skills and rules of the road. Events like the Five Boro Bike Tour attract over 30,000 riders every May. And CitiBike's ever-growing network of docking stations makes bike share an integral part of New York City transit.
Pedal Through the Concrete Jungle: An Insider's Guide to Seeing New York City on Two Wheels - CitiBike 101: How to Rent and Ride
CitiBike has become as ubiquitous with New York City as yellow cabs and Broadway marquees. The bright blue shared bikes are a convenient and affordable way to get around town that both locals and visitors have embraced wholeheartedly. With over 800 stations and 14,000 bikes across Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Jersey City, it's easier than ever to take CitiBike for a spin anywhere from Central Park to Coney Island.
The process of renting a CitiBike is designed to be quick and user-friendly. Find a station using the CitiBike app or look for a kiosk on the street. Insert your credit card and select the type of pass you want - choices range from a single ride for $3.50 to an Unlimited Monthly pass for $189. You'll get a five digit code to unlock your bike. Grab a helmet at the station if you need one. And always do a quick safety check that your bike is in good working condition before riding off.
One of the best things about CitiBike is its flexibility. Journeys can be as short as a 15 minute crosstown hop or as long as you want - the first 45 minutes of any trip are included with your pass so take your time exploring. No reservations or returns to a specific dock are required, just find any station when you're done.
To maximize sightseeing, we recommend taking routes along bike lanes and greenways by the water or through parks where you can enjoy views and avoid traffic. The CitiBike app includes suggested routes to popular destinations that use bike friendly streets. And be sure to stop for photo ops when something catches your eye!
Riding across the iconic bridges like the Brooklyn and Manhattan is a must. They provide thrilling vantage points of the NYC skyline. Cruising through Central Park offers prime people watching and lush lawns to relax on. And pedaling along the beachside bike baths in Rockaway and Coney Island is an easy summer escape from the concrete jungle.
CitiBikers will often tell you biking is the best way to experience NYC's vibrant neighborhoods. Grab tacos in Sunset Park then bike over to murals in Bushwick. Stop for pie in Greenpoint before rolling through Long Island City to see street art and shiny new high rises. Wander from gallery to gardens between Upper East and West Sides. The possibilities are endless.
While learning the streets takes time, CitiBike's coverage and density makes it so convenient to park and walk when you get turned around. Stations are never more than a few blocks apart in most areas. And the CitiBike app includes a detailed map to help you navigate or reroute. Zooming around on two wheels makes even far flung corners of the city feel connected and accessible.