New York City is without a doubt one of the most amazing cities on the planet! It is easy to think that it is all about shopping and towering buildings, however, it doesn't take much looking around to find that there is a diverse range of outdoor attractions to be explored and what better way than to do it on bike! Due to the large amount of parks, suburban streets and trails (yes, trails!), aim for a hybrid bike as they are great for covering distance on paved surfaces, but also great on trails and paths!
Central Park is an 843-acres of trees, gardens, sceptres and statues famous the world over. The park is maintained by the Central Park Conservancy that was founded in 1980 with a vision to restore the Park to its former glory. The Park is divided into four quadrant's - The Great Lawn, North End, South End and The Reservoir. There are many things to see such as memorial statues, tremendous playgrounds (many), Belvedere Castle, The Ball players’ house where you can break on your ride for some great food. Ponds and lakes are aplenty, such as Bank Rock Bay which is surrounded by tree's laden with amber coloured leaves in the autumn, or Azalea Pond which was restored in 2004 and is now a popular point for the local (and visiting) bird watchers. You can check out a little bit of history at the Blockhouse, which is the oldest building remaining in the park, originally built as a fort in 1814 to defend against the British. The places to go and the things to see in Central park are endless as you navigate over 6.1 miles of bikeways. No permits are required but there are certain laws and rules to be obeyed, such as no cycling on pedestrian walkways, travelling counter clockwise around the park and all persons under 14 years of age must wear a helmet.
Photo credit: centralparknyc.org
The Grand Concourse: The Bronx
The Grand Concourse (originally the Grand Boulevard and Concourse) is a 6km long road constructed to connect Manhattan to the northern Bronx. The boulevard exists from 161st street to 138th street, and has the Colonial and Renaissance architecture. Construction of the Concourse was started in 1894, and nation's largest collection of Art Deco and Art Moderne apartment buildings, as well as C based on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, which makes for amazing cyclist viewing. Some of the big attractions that can be visited are the Yankee Stadium, which offers guided tours in the off season, and the Bronx Walk of Fame, which starts at 161st street and proudly displays the names of prominent personalities that came from the Bronx.
Brooklyn offers a number of options for cyclists, and the most notable attraction is Brooklyn Bridge! An amazing structure to see and also to travel across in the open air! Not only is this historic structure beautiful, but so are the views of Manhattan and Brooklyn. There are numerous viewing platforms to pull over for photographs and to soak up the atmosphere. Once off the bridge, head on down to Brooklyn Bridge Park, where you will find the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway (with further greenway currently being designed), offering landscaped bikeways that give cyclists stunning views as well as access to other areas of the park. The Greenway will deliver you to East River State Park, Flushing Avenue, and the Waterfront Museum. If you get hungry along the way, the Red Hook Food Vendors will be at the ready to supply any cyclist with food and drink. If you are still hungry for more exploring on two wheels in Brooklyn, look no further than Prospect Park, where you can see 150 years of history in a 585 acre oasis. With in Prospect Park you can see the Battlefields where The Battle of Long Island took place.
Greenwich Village (also known as "West Village", or "The Village") is the neighbourhood that surrounds Washington Square Park. The park is identified by the Washington Arch that marks the entrance to the park and was named in honour of George Washington. Wheel through this park and onto Hudson river, or down any of the pretty side streets that take your fancy in Greenwich Village. Roll down the cobble stoned, wisteria and ivy draped streets of Washington mews, taking a trip a trip down memory lane, where a thriving art community used to dwell. The area used to be a large industrial park, but now is home to many of the students that attend New York University
Jump aboard the St. George Ferry with your bicycle in tow and get ready for a magnificent ride over to Staten Island! The service runs 24 hours a day and free! You will enjoy 25 minutes of amazing views of the city, Governors Island and the Statue of Liberty. Once on Staten Island you can enjoy the St George Esplanade which offers panoramic views of New York Harbour and leads you onto the memorial named Postcards, dedicated to those lost on 9/11 from Staten Island.
So, when your plane touches down in NYC, head on over to Bike and Roll to hire yourself a Bike for the day and enjoy New York City, in a way most of us had never imagined! Despite claims of the concrete jungle, there is actually more open space and fresh air in NYC than you would have first imagined.
David Bryant is a keen traveller and bicycle enthusiast who manages to trek globally on a yearly holiday basis. He continually searches for bicycles for sale [http://99bikes.com.au/] to keep up to date with the latest trends and technology to stay ahead of the game.