NYC Bike Paths
Biking in the city can be intimidating to those not accustomed to maneuvering through lanes of cars, pedestrians, and other cyclists. It’s not for everyone, however the city is becoming more bike-friendly with designated bike paths and greenways popping up throughout the boroughs. I love taking my bike out and you’ll usually see me taking my bike to appointments when it’s not snowing or raining out. A few of my clients enjoy bringing their own bikes; it’s a great way to get around to see open open houses on a warm Sunday and we all get some exercise in at the same time. NYC Bike Month kicks off on May 1st, but since the weather is warming up, I thought I’d share a list of some non-scary NYC bike rides that young and old can enjoy. Please let me know if you know of others that I should add to the list.
With its scenic views and hilly terrain, the Central Park Drive provides cyclists with a relaxing ride or a challenging workout, depending on your interest. You’ll share the path with pedestrians and rollerbladers, but Central Park is car-free every weekend and on weekdays before 7am and after 7pm. The bike path is probably the best way to see the park’s landmarks and monuments all at once.
Hudson River Greenway
This bike path runs the entire length of Hudson River Park from Battery Place at the southern tip of Manhattan to West 59th Street, and continues up to the George Washington Bridge in Harlem. The Greenway is the most heavily used bike path in the United States, but the views of the Hudson River are well worth braving the crowds.
Bronx River Path
1 mile/3.6 miles/5 miles
This bike path runs along the Bronx River from the city’s northern limits up through Westchester. The path starts in Mount Vernon, where you can enjoy lush greenery and scenic bridges. The easiest way to get there is to take the Metro-North up to Mount Vernon West – be sure to purchase a bike permit beforehand – it’s only $5 and it’s good for life.
Open to the public starting on May 23, Governor’s Island offers five miles of flat-terrain biking through tree-lined trails, old army barracks, and amazing views of Lower Manhattan. The island is car-free and there is very little bike traffic, making this the perfect place for inexperienced riders or families with small children. If you own a bike, you can take it with you on the East River and Governor’s Island ferries, or you can rent one from Blazing Saddles on the island. One-hour bike rentals are free every weekday from 10am to noon!
Ocean Parkway Bike Path
On June 15, 1894, Brooklyn’s Ocean Parkway became home of the country’s first bike path. Inspired by the grand boulevards of Europe and designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, Ocean Parkway stretches over five miles from Brooklyn’s Prospect Park to Coney Island. The tree-lined path runs from Ocean Parkway and East 8th Street in Kensington, Brooklyn down to Surf Avenue in Coney Island.
Prospect Park Bike Path
Prospect Park is completely car-free on the weekends, and has designated times during weekdays when cars are not allowed. Nearby Ride Brooklyn offers bike rentals, and the park is home to many cycling events throughout the year. Riders of all levels and abilities will enjoy this 3.35-mile loop.
Astoria Park Bike Lanes
The bike lanes extend all the way from 20th Ave to Astoria Park South along the waterfront, which is split up between Ralph deMarco Park and Astoria Park proper. On the stretch between Ditmars Boulevard and 20th Avenue, it’s a shared lane (bladers, walkers/runners, cyclists) and is indicated as such.