Author Archives: Jason Hackett

25th New York City Century Bike Tour 2014 (September 7, 2014)

It’s a Ride of Passage

The NYC Century Bike Tour is your ride — as challenging or relaxing as you choose, but always fun and rewarding. All routes have been carefully designed with your safety and enjoyment in mind. No matter which route you choose, you will be fully supported by experienced marshals and mechanics along the route with plentiful food available at scenic rest stops. Plus, all riders will receive a commemorative t-shirt and water bottle on ride day. Choose from 35, 55, 75 and 100-mile rides.

The NYC Century Bike Tour is unlike any other bike tour you’ll find. That’s because the routes are designed to show riders the diversity of New York’s neighborhoods and how to navigate them safely. To illustrate bicyclists’ right to the streets, there are no street closings on the NYC Century — bicyclists ride with traffic and obey all traffic laws.

The tour is on September 7th, 2014. As always, you can rent your performance bike from Bike and Roll New York City. Stay tuned for more information on how to reserve your bike for this event. You can register for the 25th NYC Century Tour at their website.

Summer Streets NYC (August 2nd, 9th, and 16th, 2014)

On three consecutive Saturdays in August, nearly seven miles of New York City’s streets are opened to the public to play, run, walk and bike.

Summer Streets is an annual celebration of New York City’s most valuable public space—our streets. Summer Streets provides space for healthy recreation and encourages New Yorkers to use more sustainable forms of transportation. In 2013, more than 300,000 people took advantage of the open streets.

Summer Streets is modeled on other events from around the world including Ciclovía in Bogotá, Colombia and the Paris Plage in France. The event is part bike tour, part walking tour, part block party—a great time for exercise, people watching, or just enjoying summer mornings. Passersby are weclome to participate in arts and crafts workshops, listen to musical performances, learn to salsa dance, eat healthy snacks, climb a 25′ climbing wall, soar through the sky on a 160′ zipline and explore a 179 years voice tunnel.

map_800w-1Held between 7:00 am to 1:00 pm, Summer Streets extends from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, along Park Avenue and connecting streets, with easy access from all points in New York City, allowing participants to plan a trip as long or short as they wish. All activities at Summer Streets are free of charge, and designed for people of all ages and ability levels to share the streets respectfully.

Summer Streets is a project of the New York City Department of Transportation. With nearly 7 miles of open streets, 5 rest stops and a seven-block-long art installation in the Park Avenue Tunnel – there is plenty to explore at Summer Streets. And remember, everything at Summer Streets is free!

Bike and Roll New York City is a proud Local Programming Partner of Summer Streets. Even if you don’t have a bicycle of your own, get out and enjoy the festivities by renting a bike from any one of our numerous city-wide locations.

 

Bike and Hike the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge (August 10, 2014)

Ride with the NYC DOT to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge!

Sponsored by the NYC Department of Transportation

What to bring: Bike, lock, MetroCard (if taking the train back), sun block, snacks, and water.

What to expect: We will ride on a combination of bike lanes, city streets, and off-street paths (including the Jamaica Bay Greenway) to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. At the Refuge, the American Littoral Society will provide a -FREE- guided tour, lasting about an hour. After the ride, bike home on your own, or follow a ride marshal to the Broad Channel A train. Children welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult.

Where to go: Take the L to 105th St and exit on the J street side (or ride your bike!)

RSVP  |  Add to Calendar cal

About the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge—part of Gateway National Recreation Area—is one of the most significant bird sanctuaries in the Northeastern United States and one of the best places in New York City to observe migrating species. With more than 330 bird species—nearly half the species in the Northeast—sighted at the refuge over the last 25 years, it is a must-see for avian enthusiasts. Jamaica Bay also has miles of bike paths that connect you to beaches, historic sites, and natural areas. Learn more.

Our Top 10 Favorite Summer Activities in NYC

Summer is in full swing and we love all that New York City has to offer during these gorgeous summer days! We’ve rounded up our top 10 favorite activities for you to enjoy during your summer in NYC!

1. Shakespeare in the Park

This free annual event is held at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park and is one of New York City’s most popular summer traditions.  Take advantage of free Shakespeare and enjoy performances of Much Ado About Nothing and King Lear this summer.

 

 

2. Visit Bryant Park

This 9.603 acre park located between 5th and 6th avenues  at West 40th Street is full of fun summertime activities.  Bryant Park offers everything from a great lawn perfect for sunning to a reading room with hundreds of books.  Enjoy outdoor activities such as ping-pong, chess and backgammon as well as great eats from Bryant Park Grill and Bryant Park Cafe.

 

 

Free Movie Night in NYC Parks (Photo Credit: nycgo.com)

Free Movie Night in NYC Parks (Photo Credit: nycgo.com)

3. Watch Free Outdoor Movies

Many New York City parks offer free outdoor movies at night during the week showing recent hits such as American Hustle and classics like Jurrasic Park.  So bring a blanket, some snacks and enjoy your favorite films outside.

 

 

 

 

 

4. Have Fun at the Today Show Concerts

TODAY brings the most popular musical artists to Rockefeller Plaza for the Toyota Concert Series every summer.  Artists include Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, and more!

 

 

 

 

Central Park Zoo (Photo Credit: nycgo.com)

Central Park Zoo (Photo Credit: nycgo.com)

5. Visit the Central Park Zoo

The Central Park Zoo is a 6.5 acre zoo located in New York City’s most famous park! You’ll find 130 different species living in the zoo from Snow Leopards to Tropical Birds.

 

 

 

 

 

Coney Island (Photo Credit: nycgo.com)

Coney Island (Photo Credit: nycgo.com)

6. Visit Coney Island

The Coney Island neighborhood in Brooklyn is full of fun!  From amusement parks and games to great food, Coney Island is a great place to visit for an exciting summer day!  Not to mention that Coney Island is the birthplace of the hotdog!

 

 

 

 

 

7. Take a Circle Line boat ride around Manhattan

With plenty of cruise options to choose from, Circle Line is the only cruise line dedicated specifically to sightseeing.  Spend a sunny day viewing the NYC skyline by boat!

 

8. Have a laugh at Comedy Nite at Splitty

Thursday night is Comedy Nite at Splitty! Known as a “moveable feast”, visiting Splitty’s makes you feel like you’re in the “camper of your dreams”. Click here for the comedian line up for the week.

 

9. Take in the views at a Rooftop Bar

There’s nothing like enjoying a refreshing cocktail and gorgeous Manhattan views after a long day of sightseeing.   Check out this list of the top 80 Rooftop Bars in NYC!

 

 

 

Bike the Brooklyn Bridge and Waterfront (Photo Credit: Bike and Roll NYC)

Bike the Brooklyn Bridge and Waterfront (Photo Credit: Bike and Roll NYC)

10. And last but not least, take a guided tour with Bike and Roll NYC!

Bike along the NYC Waterfront and head uptown to Central Park or downtown to the Brooklyn Bridge. Explore the wonders of Central Park or take in the amazing views from the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges.  All tours are lead by licensed tour guides.

 

 

What are your favorite summer activities in the city?

 

 

The Epic Ride 2014 in Support of the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative (July 27, 2014)

The Epic Ride – Presented by Focus and SONY Action Cam

Join Brooklyn Greenway Initiative and partners for a 40-mile bike ride along the Brooklyn-Queens waterfronts.

Starting at Newtown Barge Playground, Greenpoint and finishing at Rockaway Beach, the route showcases the potential of a fully completed Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway combined with a completed Jamaica Bay Greenway.

Following the ride, join the after-party at the beach with food from the Rockaway food vendors and a swim in the ocean. Participants can make their own way back independently via the  A train or by bicycle.

Alternate starts are available at Owls Head Park (26-mile ride) and Floyd Bennett Field (14-mile ride).

Register here.

Bike and Roll NYC My Way Pass

Explore New York City like never before! Bike and Roll NYC’s My Way Pass gives you the freedom to explore Manhattan’s best sites by bike with a one-way boat ride with New York Water Taxi and the East River Ferry.

My Way Pass

Bike and Roll NYC’s My Way Pass gives you the freedom to explore Manhattan’s best sites by bike with a one-way boat ride with New York Water Taxi and the East River Ferry.

For just $54.00 per day, the convenient Bike and Roll NYC My Way Pass allows you to take unlimited one-way trips between our many New York city locations all day long.

Imagine this urban adventure…. You pick up a bike in Central Park and cruise past all the famous sites. Then a short ride over to the Hudson, drop off your bike at Pier 84, and visit the Intrepid Museum. Hop on a Water Taxi to Battery Park, grab a bike, and wind south along the Manhattan waterfront, taking an amazing ride over the Brooklyn Bridge. Relax with some pizza and ice cream in Brooklyn. Water taxi back to Manhattan, and ride north on the scenic, car-free Greenway to Pier 84. Drop off your bike and enjoy a short walk to the bright lights of Times Square. An amazing day!

Dad Rides Free Father’s Day 2014!

In celebration of Father’s Day, Dads ride free all day on June 15th!

Bring your children and enjoy a beautiful ride through Central Park or venture to Brooklyn and Bike the Brooklyn Bridge.  There’s a thousand ways to have fun in NYC, and Bike and Roll is happy to be a part of your Father’s Day!

Visit us at any of our open locations on June 15th for a free bike ride for Dad.

Central Park: Columbus Circle West, Central Park: Columbus Circle South, Central Park: Tavern on the Green, Pier 84, Battery Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Riverside Park

The New York City Waterfront, A World Class Bicycle Experience (Part Two)

repairtech

We are back with part two of my New York City Waterfront interview with co-founder of Bike and Roll, Darryll White.  In the second part of this interview, Darryll and I discuss the affects of Hurricane Sandy, how the waterfront is a destination with diverse experience options, and why biking is an important mode of transportation along the waterfront.

Liberty State Park

Liberty State Park

Q: Where is the Waterfront today?

The waterfront today has made incredible strides forward and is a fabulous place to visit, but I believe the current operative phrase could still be, “under construction”.  Hurricane Sandy hit the New York City waterfront very hard in October of 2012 and we are still trying to recover a year later.  Many beautiful waterfront parks such as The Battery, Riverside Park, East River Park along with Liberty State Park across the river, suffered damage that is still in the process of repair.

Additionally, South Street Seaport will undergo redevelopment beginning this fall, Governors Island is in the midst of new and significant construction, Staten Island is awaiting final approval of the New York Wheel*, Brooklyn Bridge Park continues towards completion and the Pier A project at Battery Park City is still underway.

The perception of the New York City waterfront as a destination is in a way “under construction” as well.  Even with its significant increase in visitors over the last decade, I think we’re just scratching the surface in terms of the waterfront’s potential as a destination.

Governors Island

Governors Island

Q: What is your overall vision for the New York City Waterfront as it relates to bicycle recreation and tourism?

I see the New York City waterfront as somewhat like an amusement park.  Once you’re there, you can pick and choose from a multitude of different things to do and can do so at your own pace.  The waterfront grants access and views to some of the top NYC icons.

There are also wonderful restaurants, museums and attractions located all along the waterfront such as Pier i Café, Chelsea Brewing Company, the Frying Pan, Boat Basin Café, Beekman Beer Garden, the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, the Irish Hunger Memorial, the National Museum of the American Indian, the NYC Police Museum and the Waterfront Museum.

Tour operators such as New York Water Taxi, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, Manhattan By Sail, and Helicopter Flight Services, to name a few along with our company, offer terrific tours and services to choose from.

As for how bikes fit in, I see a dual role. First, using a rental bike or your own bike to explore, or engaging one of our guided tours is simply a great way to spend a day. Additionally, the bike can also serve as transportation to and from the various waterfront destinations while connecting to boat transit at your leisure. With the absence of north-south mass transit along the waterfront, bikes and boats are by far the best way to navigate.

Today, much of the visitation to the waterfront is driven by interest in the individual destinations that reside along the rivers. In the future I look to people thinking more broadly about the waterfront as a whole, like they would with Times Square or Greenwich Village.

Q: What role do you see for Bike and Roll relative to the New York City Waterfront?

We will continue to build our products and events in connection with the waterfront while promoting it as a destination.  For instance, our “Bike the Brooklyn Bridge” product slogan was designed to represent the great day on a bicycle exploring the NYC waterfront that I described earlier in Part One of the interview. We promote this as one of our marquee products.  Our value added My Way Pass is a terrific feature that will enhance any biking experience along the waterfront and encourages our guests to get off their bikes en route and connect to all the waterfront has to offer – including the use of water transit to expand access and broaden the experience.

We are also advocates of the waterfront locally and in the tourism market.  We look forward to collaborating with our waterfront partners and neighbors in continuing efforts to market the waterfront as a destination. Bike and Roll also aims to bring further awareness to bicycling as a viable and primary means of transportation throughout the waterfront, as well as promoting cycling as a healthy, economical and fun way to enjoy one of New York City’s greatest resources.

The waterfront truly is an extraordinary destination.  I personally love going downtown to Battery Park and soaking in the stunning views.  Now it’s your turn to take a bike out to the waterfront and experience the beauty and all the many things to do for yourself!

Please feel free to share any comments about your own NYC waterfront experience.

* This interview was conducted in the late fall of 2013.  Since then, the New York Wheel has been approved!

 

The New York City Waterfront, A World Class Bicycle Experience (Part One)

By Nicole Mylonas

I sat down with Darryll White, co-founder of Bike and Roll, to discuss the New York City Waterfront.  In this two-part interview, you will learn about the incredible access that the waterfront grants to many New York City icons, what a great day along the waterfront looks like, why the waterfront is an important part of the NYC experience and how bicycling plays an important role.

Q: What motivated you to focus on the New York City Waterfront as a bicycling destination?

My first motivating factor was the NYC Greenway, which created the opportunity to offer a new, outstanding and safe bicycle experience in New York City.  Since the Greenway primarily resides along the waterfront it is natural for us to make the waterfront an area of focus.  A car free path goes a long way in terms of safety and the perception of safety.

While safety is foremost, our product experience is also very important. When I owned the Bike and Roll operation in San Francisco, our premiere and most successful product revolved around biking the scenic waterfront, across the Golden Gate Bridge and returning by ferryboat.  In New York City, the waterfront greenway allows for bicyclists to connect iconic sites such as the Brooklyn Bridge, the 9/11 Memorial, the Statue of Liberty, Governors Island, Staten Island Ferry, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and more, with proximate water-transit along the way .  Much like in San Francisco, people in NYC can bike the waterfront, ride on a famous bridge and return by boat.

Mayor Bloomberg’s vision, PlaNYC30, also motivated me to focus on the New York City waterfront as a bicycling destination.  The plan articulated a vision to connect the five boroughs and specifically mentioned use of water transit and increased use of bicycles.  By aligning our plan with that of the administration we were able to work in sync with an existing city initiative.

Q: How has the waterfront greenway helped change the perception of biking in New York City?

In the early 1990’s there was no bike path to speak of outside of Central Park and New York City was perceived by many as a dangerous place to ride. The addition of the waterfront greenway created a safe and significant network of paths to ride and as they say, if you build it, they will come.

The bike path also runs though many beautiful waterfront parks, which serve as a great place for residents and visitors alike to relax and enjoy the greenery, open sky and waterfront views while connecting with many great waterfront destinations. Thus, the Greenway has been integral in creating access to the waterfront.

The importance of the Greenway for biking in New York City cannot be overstated!

Q: Describe a great day on the New York City Waterfront.

Imagine a bike ride along the Hudson River, on a car-free Greenway, providing access to diverse neighborhoods, awesome iconic attractions, waterfront dining and connections to water transit that allow bikes easy access to all 5 boroughs of NYC.  A great day for me would be to create my own combination adventure on the fly, stopping as I pleased and exploring new spots along the way.  When hungry or when feeling like a change of pace, getting off the bike to sit somewhere and watch the world go by is a great option as well. There are so many terrific pit stops along the way.

Some of my favorite destinations include the picnic areas and the Boat Basin in Riverside Park, the Frying Pan and the Intrepid Museum in Hudson River Park, the Ice Cream Factory and Grimaldis in DUMBO the various concessions and skyline vantage points in Brooklyn Bridge Park, the bike path loop and Governors Beach Club on Governors Island and of course, the wooden plank bike path that crosses above the cars on the Brooklyn Bridge. 

Ferry connections can be made all along the bike path and I enjoy very much adding a boat trip, as it gets me off my saddle for a bit and also provides another vantage point, along with access to Governors Island and the NJ shoreline. NY Water Taxi and East River Ferry provide excellent and convenient service along both the Hudson and East Rivers.  For additional water tours I enjoy Manhattan by Sail and the Circle Line tours – both uptown and downtown.

After listening to that amazing description of a great day on the New York City Waterfront, I’m ready to hop on my bike right now!  The freedom of being able to hop on and hop off of the bike to enjoy museums, restaurants and parks sounds perfect.  I’m looking forward to more information as we continue this discussion in the near future.

(Read part two of this interview.)

 

Tips for Winter Cycling in New York City

Winter in New York City doesn’t mean you can’t integrate a cycling experience into your travel plans. What better way to see the City all decked out in its holiday splendor other than from the slow lane? Although it’s not high on most folk’s radar to cycle in the winter (except in sunny climes), it’s actually an invigorating way to stay in shape – and see the sites. But there are some preparations you should make. Just as sunscreen and cool clothing are to summer cycling, so are gloves, balaclavas, and toe covers to winter cycling – and the sunscreen on a bright, crisp New York winter day.

Velojoy also has a great Winter Cycling Guide

Velojoy also has a great Winter Cycling Guide

We found this great blog post on appreciating the cold weather season from the seat of your bike over at Downtown magazine. Although practically vintage now (it’s from 2011), not much has changed when it comes to cycling in the winter. Here’s a quick rundown of the key points, followed by the jump:

  1. Check the weather first, and avoid rain and freezing rain as it’s too hard to stay warm when you’re wet. Light snow can be spectacular but slippery.
  2. Start cold, not warm. Let your body warm up naturally as you begin your ride.
  3. Cover your extremeties – head, hands, feet, and eyes.
  4. Dress in layers to protect your core, arms, and legs, and choose lightweight items that are easy to remove and protect from wind chill.

Read the whole Downtown Magazine article here.