The Surprising Psychology of Driver Interaction with Cyclists

 

Pop quiz. Do you wear a helmet when you ride? Spandex or normal clothes? Are you female or male?

Though they may seem unrelated, your answers to those questions affect how much deference motorists give you when you set off down the street on a bicycle. That’s according to a number of studies outlined by Sam Ollinger on Network blog Bike San Diego.

A classic post from Traffic author Tom Vanderbilt on How We Drive, detailing the findings from a UK study on helmet use and motorist behavior, serves as the starting point:

In his study (published as “Drivers overtaking bicyclists: Objective data on the effects of riding position, helmet use, vehicle type and apparent gender,” in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention), [Ian] Walker outfitted a bike with a device that measured the distance of passing cars. He found, among other things, that drivers tended to pass more closely when he was wearing a helmet than when not (he was struck by vehicles twice, both while wearing a helmet).

New research has identified similar effects. Ollinger writes:

In a Florida DOT commissioned study [pdf] published last month, researchers reached a very similar conclusion. Although the study didn’t specifically address helmet usage, the researchers found that their data was consistent with Walker’s conclusions when it came to how closely drivers passed bicyclists based on the bicyclist’s gender and attire. The study found that on average, drivers passed cyclists more closely when cyclists were dressed in “bicycle attire” and if the cyclist was male. The study was unable to determine the reasons on this passing behavior and the authors of the study speculated that, “it [was] possible that motorists perceived less risk passing riders who were in [a] bicycle outfit.”

 

The gender factor, at least, appears to be noticeable to the general public. In fact, it has a name: the Mary Poppins Effect.

All of which raises the question, what’s a cyclist to do?

Ollinger says: “I suppose effective measures that can be made as a result of the Florida study would be to encourage cyclists to ride in casual clothing rather than bicycle-specific attire.” As for helmet usage, a cyclist is still probably safer with a protective shield over his or her skull, but it does seem to offer support for those who choose to go helmetless.

From StreetsBlog.org

Posted: 26 Oct 2011 07:57 AM PDT

Discover the North Fork

When I woke up on Sunday the sky was iron.  Clouds were everywhere, waves of gray and white, not a speck of blue to be seen.

“Oh no,” I thought to myself.  I was accompanying our North Fork tour, a 23-mile ride designed to introduce bicyclists to the scenic North Fork of Long Island.  One of the riders had sent me an email earlier in the week asking if the ride was rain or shine.  “It’s supposed to be a beautiful day,” I wrote back.  Confident in the predictions made by NY1 and weather.com, I refused to admit the possibility of rain and continued prepping for the ride.

Although I had ridden the route three times before (twice engineering the ride and once with a group), I was looking forward to this last tour of the season.  It was going to be a big group and everyone had been incredibly accepting of LIRR’s cancellation of its Mattituck train and were flexible about having to take the jitney or drive out.  A nice ride with a nice group . . . what could be nicer?

We were all on bikes and ready to go by 12:15 on Sunday.  One of our guests told me that her iPhone predicted sun by 1pm.

Making our way out of Mattituck, across 48 and onto Oregon Rd. was much easier than I had expected with a group this size.  Everyone was about the same skill level and all were attentive and cooperative.  We didn’t have any spandex jackrabbits who were more interested in clocking mileage than seeing the sites we’d selected.

We stopped at Sherwood House Winery first, handed out our locavore picnics, and settled at the tables scattered around the fire pit.  The merlot grapes hadn’t been harvested yet, so the vines still looked full and robust.  I’ll admit I’m a little bit of a wine snob.  I lived in northern California where the quality of wines one finds in the supermarket is better than the what one usually finds on the North Fork.  But I had tried Sherwood House’s cabernet franc, liked it, and given the delightful atmosphere of the French-style outdoor tasting room, it earned a place on our tour.

Leaving Sherwood House Winery after lunch on the North Fork tour.

The guests tried a steel-aged chardonnay and a merlot.  A few bought wine, which was carefully tucked into the bed of our sag truck.  Now that everyone had eaten, drank a little, and enjoyed the view over the vines, it was time to move on.  Plus, the sun was starting to peek out.  The iPhone weather app was on the money.

The next part of our route led past bucolic farms, potato fields, even a vast expanse of sunflowers.  Hurricane Irene had taken her toll on the sunflowers.  All their giant heads were bowed, but their faded beauty was still recognizable.  We crossed 48 again (at that point a divided highway) and rode along the wide shoulder at a healthy clip everyone could manage.

Catapano’s Goat Farm was our second stop.  I remember when Catapano’s was a tiny place with just a few goats.  I watched it grow until it outgrew it’s first location and relocated to where it is now.

There is a small shop with a large selection of goat milk products and a vast array of flavored (and plain) goat cheeses.  My favorite is the lemon-pepper (which gets consistent raves from our guests) and I never leave there without a chunk or two of the goat fudge, the taste of which falls somewhere between chocolate and dulce de leche.  Yum.    

We bought a couple of different cheeses as a snack for later, let everyone who wanted to say “hi” to the goats, got back on our bikes, and moved on.

The North Fork of Long Island, unlike the South Fork, was carved out by a glacier during the last ice age.  The North Fork is undulating and rocky, with lots of inlets and covers.  The South Fork, in contrast, is sandy and flat.

We rode for a few miles on these gently undulating hills until we reach Horton’s Lighthouse.  The lighthouse sits back from a cliff facing Long Island Sound and the southern shore of Connecticut.  The views are beautiful.  There’s a long staircase that goes down to a lovely beach full of pebbles and giant boulders that I’ve been climbing since I was a kid.  Several guests went down the long wooden staircase, enjoyed the view, collected some rocks, and headed back up when they were ready.

Horton's Lighthouse overlooking Long Island Sound

A few wandered over to the lighthouse, closed for the season, but beautiful in the way all lighthouses are beautiful.  A beacon shows one where to go (or not to go) and therefore offers reassurance.  Maybe that’s what makes them all beautiful; maybe it’s their proximity to water.  In any event, this lighthouse, too, is beautiful.

Mounted up again, we started going south, crossing the fork.  It was autumn, after all, so we stopped at Krupski’s farmstand, which was so loaded with pumpkins it looked like an orange wonderland.  It was the perfect photo op and we took lots of pictures of guests with pumpkins, gourds, and squashes.

A little further down the road we stopped at Pugliese Vineyards.  We pulled out the goat cheese and the extra baguettes from our picnic supplier.  Everyone was ready for a snack and the goat cheese was so delicious that it disappeared remarkably quickly.  Those guests who wanted to tasted a few more wines and purchased a few more bottles.  We sat at tables next to a pond occupied by giant koi with a great blue heron posing at its edge.

I liked that this particular tour group was interested in the history behind the Cutchogue Historic Buildings, our next stop.  The fact that Parker Wickham, the first large landowner in the area in the 17th century and whose house stands to this day in the common, still has descendants in the area fascinates me.  The North Fork feels more like New England than New York.  Peter Wickham’s house would fit in perfectly in Salem, Mass.

An autumn Sunday at Kimogener Point.

The next part of our ride took us to Peconic Bay, the south side of the North Fork.  We stopped at a spot overlooking Robin’s Island, with beaches in front of us, salt marsh behind us.  It was the golden hour and everything was bathed in beautiful light.  Everyone just sort of stood, chatting, enjoying the view, the weather, the fact that this was the perfect way to spend an autumn Sunday.

On our way again, we continued along Peconic Bay, passing one field filled with more Canada geese than I’d ever seen before.  We made our way to the Mattituck train station, and suggested to our guests that they take a stroll along quaint Love Lane before biking the last mile or so to where the jitney would pick up those who were riding it and where the others had left their cars.  It would be a few hours until they got back to the city.  Having a snack in hand seemed like a good idea.

Everyone said they’d had a wonderful time.  Several wanted to try our tours in New York City.  As always, our tour of Central Park seemed to have the greatest appeal, but many were intrigued by the idea of riding across the Brooklyn Bridge and exploring Brooklyn’s neighborhoods.

As far as the North Fork tour goes, we may be done for this season, but we’ve got April and May dates already loaded for next spring and even have a few bookings for them.  Spring will be a different experience, but it will be just as wonderful.

Autumn in New York

There are days when having to hop on a bike for work is an incomparable perk.  I got to do it yesterday and I get to do it again today.

Let’s back up a little.  It’s mid-October, the midst of Autumn, we’re in the Northeast, and there have been years when searching for gloves before leaving the house is part of this time of the season.

But I’m looking out at a clear blue sky with temperatures nudging 70.  Yes, I am worried about climate change, but today I’m focusing on a ride through Central Park and upper Manhattan as the leaves start to change.

There’s something about exploring the city on a bike.  We’re looking for something special to offer our customers this fall — something that will let them take advantage of the weather, the smaller number of tourists, and all the bike paths and bike lanes at our disposal.

First Central Park . . .  The big loop in Central Park takes you all the way north past the Conservatory Gardens and the Haarlem Meer, then up the big hill past the North Woods (where a search for screech owls at dusk can end with threatening growls from raccoons).  I stop at the Conservatory Gardens (still lovely despite the fact that their spring and summer blooms are gone) and walk my bike past the Haarlem Meer where a flock of Canada geese are resting on their migration south.

Then on to St. John the Divine.  I lock my bike up and go inside.  The soaring space never fails to amaze me.  I could be in any of the great cathedrals of Europe, but instead I’m here in New York.

It’s just a short hop to Columbia where I wander into the quad, find a bench, and watch the students hurrying to and fro as I perform a quick electronic check of emails, texts, and messages.  It’s a beautiful scene of very formal architecture with lots of columns set against so many young people dressed in casual clothes and enjoying casual conversation.

The bike lanes take me over to Riverside Park and Grant’s Tomb, another imposing edifice with columns and a dome.  It’s open to the public most days and I go inside.  Although this native New Yorker has actually been to the Empire State Building (when visiting friends insist) and the Statue of Liberty (via a field trip), I’ve never been inside Grant’s Tomb.  The mosaics are beautiful and there’s a sense of timelessness appropriate to the memory of a war hero and president.  A park ranger is giving a talk and I listen in for a while.

Familiarity with the soccer fields in the area (I am an American with kids, after all) means I know how easy it is to get to the Greenway bike path.  The sky is still blue, the water is still warm, and the slight headwind is refreshing rather than forcing me to shift down.

There are sailboats with their shrouds clanging against their metal masts, one of my favorite sounds in the world.  I’m in the middle of New York City, but I can hear it.  Ships are heading up the Hudson; a barge is heading down.  Most of the bike traffic seems to be heading in the opposite direction from me and the riders are aware and polite.

Oops.  Got to run.  I’m off to meet a co-worker in Central Park.  Another ride awaits.

 

The Manhattan Commute . . . on a Bike!

I admit it. I was a chicken. The guys in the warehouse tuned up my bike over the summer while my kids were at camp. When my bike was ready, it was the perfect opportunity to start riding to work, but I took the less-than-courageous route. From the Upper West Side I rode to the bike path on the Hudson River Greenway, then rode down to 34th St. and then up to the office at 36th between 7th and Broadway. What would have been a 50+-block ride on Manhattan’s streets became a breeze along the river with just a few blocks of streets to get to and from it.
Then the kids came home from camp and school started. While my older daughter takes the bus to middle school, my younger one needs to be taken to her school situated a bit more than a mile from our home. She wanted to scooter; I wanted to ride. We had to figure out how to do this.
Thanks to the good works of the current NYC administration, there is a nearby bike lane that dumps us into Central Park. My little one scooters on the sidewalk as I slowly bike next to her on the bike lane. Once we’re in the park, we travel together on the runners/bike lane down to the lake and up the hill. One small path through the edge of the park and school is right across the street. I drop her on the steps and then I’m back on my bicycle and off to work.
At that point, riding all the way over to the river would be silly, time-consuming and extremely inefficient, so I take the bike lane on Broadway. At 8:30 in the morning the pedestrians are reasonably awake and aware and Times Square’s quotient of tourists is few. It’s easy enough to weave among them, use a loud voice to remind several that they’re blocking/crossing/walking-in-the-middle-of a bike lane, and get to the office in just a few minutes.
Let me confess that I hate the subway during rush hour. I’ll do anything to avoid it. When I don’t ride, I walk all the way to work from home (more than three miles) just to miss the crush of commuters. I can’t stand that descent into stinky hell. (Who exactly is peeing in the subway?) So the morning ride is a wonderful start to my work day.
It was much harder for me to get used to the ride home. I tried using the Greenway bike path for a while, but it felt very out-of-the-way at the end of a workday and was over-populated by Spandex-clad speedsters who got out of work much earlier than I and were intent on getting their workout in regardless of who else was on the bike path.
I view 8th Ave. as the price I have to pay to get to the bike lane on Central Park West. I work at a bike company, so everyone rides in this office and everyone has an opinion about 8th Ave. around the Port Authority: they all abhor it. It is a little spooky and I did find that the adrenaline rush from the fear I felt riding those blocks up to Columbus Circle the first few times was enough to keep me up for hours past my bedtime.
But if I ride slowly and don’t let the pedestrians using the bike lane as an extra sidewalk and forcing me into lanes of traffic get to me, it’s not bad. And once I get to Central Park West, it’s a breeze . . . the trucks up there are mostly for movies, the pedestrians seem to be more aware, and the car doors don’t open as much. Of course this is my perception and could just be because I’m close to home, I’m about to see my kids, and I’m next to Central Park.
It was cold this morning as I rode and I didn’t have a jacket, much less gloves. By the time I got to the office I realized that my biking days for the season were numbered (snow, salt, and sand are not in my cycling vocabulary). And even now as I look at the darkening sky, I just want the rain to hold off long enough so that I can ride home. Who knew I’d ever look forward to biking on the streets of New York?

Recycle Your Electronic Waste and Go Cycling as a Reward

 

Old computers cluttering your closets? Did you upgrade to a flat-screen a while ago and now you’re tired of using the old TV as extra counter-space? As a responsible recycler, you can’t just throw these old electronics in the trash. Come to Brooklyn Bridge Park this Sunday, October 2, rain or shine, 10am – 4pm. The Lower East Side Ecology Center will be at Pier 1 accepting every type of household electronics.

To reward you for your green conscience, Bike and Roll is happy to offer you a 50% discount on a bike rental on Sunday. Have you checked out the bike path that goes all the way down to Sunset Park? It’s a beautiful ride along the river and harbor with magnificent views of Governors Island, the Statue of Liberty, and downtown Manhattan.

Can’t ride on Sunday? You’ll get a $5-off coupon for any future rental or tour.

Get more information about Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Electronic Waste Recycling Day

Bike and Roll NYC Teams Up with NYC Century Bike Tour

 

Bike and Roll NYC Teams Up With NYC Century Bike Tour
to Provide Bikes and Support to Participants – Just Show Up on Sept. 18th, Your Bike is Waiting for You!

DETAILS: Anyone planning on participating in the NYC Century on Sept. 18th has a convenient option – rent a bike from Bike and Roll NYC and a bike will be waiting for you at either of the five route’s two starting points. Whether you’re planning to ride the 15-, 35-, 55-, 75-, or 100-mile route through the streets of New York City, Bike and Roll NYC’s support is behind you.

In addition to the convenience of not having to get a bike to either Start (in Central Park or Prospect Park), every renter gets a bike fit to their height, a helmet, and mechanical support.

“The NYC Century supports Transportation Alternatives, which supports bike lanes in New York City,” said Chris Wogas, President of Bike and Roll NYC. “This is one of the best ways I know to show everyone that biking around New York City is a great activity. This tour has something for everyone – from families to the most hard-core cyclist. We’re proud to be a part of it.”

More than 5,000 cyclists expected to participate in the event, many from outside the city. Knowing that a well-tuned bike will be waiting for you at the start means travelers have one less thing to worry about. Bikes are simply returned to Bike and Roll NYC at the Start when riders are finished with the tour.

Bike and Roll NYC has built its reputation on the quality of its bikes and the dedication of its mechanics – renting from them for this event means peace of mind.

Several different bikes are available for the day:

Comfort Bike: $69; Performance Bike: $79; Road Bike: $89 (Transportation Alternatives members get $5 off)

Go to bikeandrollnyc.com or call 212-260-0400 for details on bikes and additional info on equipment for kids.

On Two Wheels with Water as a Companion

 

(by Jane Margolies, New York Times)

View slideshow

WHEN I told my local bicycle mechanic that I was thinking about circling the city by following the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, he shrugged off my reservations about the unfinished route, which I’d heard was still dicey in parts.

“It’s Manhattan,” he said. “It’s an island. What are you going to do, get lost?”
Yet there I was on a recent Sunday morning, turning right at East 63rd Street, only to find that I’d started down the car ramp onto the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive.
Though the Greenway does encompass some city streets, mostly it snakes for more than 28 miles along rivers, under bridges and through parks. My companion for the ride was the recently released 2011 NYC Cycling Map (available atbike shops or by calling the city’s 311 information line), depicting the Greenway mostly as an enticing thick green line along much of the coast, with dotted lines indicating sections to come. (Full disclosure: I recently worked as a freelance editor on the city’s new plan for waterfront development; the Greenway was mapped out years earlier.)
Cycling the route is on the whole satisfying and at times exhilarating — a boon for bikers like me who get bored going round and round Central Park. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t bumps in the road.

WEST SIDE From the West 103rd Street entrance to Riverside Park, it was a quick trip down a hill and under an overpass to reach the Hudson River. There, signs for the NYC Greenway — racetrack-shaped and green, with a five-leafed ivy motif — greeted me.

The Department of City Planning included a route around Manhattan in its 1993 master plan for 350 miles of recreation and commuting paths in all five boroughs. In 2002 Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg pledged to have the Manhattan loop built, and the city began stitching together existing pedestrian walkways, esplanades and city streets into a single route — in some areas paving connections and in others simply planting signs pointing the way.

Hanging a left so that I’d be circling Manhattan counterclockwise, I quickly reached a new segment. Cantilevered over the water, the path between West 90th and West 83rd Streets has a jaunty boardwalk feel. Before it was built, cyclists had to veer inland up a steep hill and reconnect near 79th Street. Now the path continues uninterrupted for more than 10 glorious miles close to the river, from the George Washington Bridge to the Battery.

Although I’d timed my departure to avoid the crowds later in the day, already cyclists — along with joggers, in-line skaters and stroller pushers — were out in force. At a cafe around West 70th Street, servers were opening table umbrellas for the day.

Here in Riverside Park South, the bike lane runs under the elevated West Side Highway. Still, cyclists have a good view of the rusted remains of the 69th Street Transfer Bridge, one of the relics from the city’s industrial past that you can see as you pedal. Out on the water a blue-and-white tugboat pushed a barge.

But keep your eyes on the path: Travelers streaming off a cruise ship rolled suitcases across the route at West 48th Street. Ten blocks later, a parked white bike, with back baskets overflowing with dried flowers, was a sobering memorial to a cyclist who was killed by a truck there in 2006.

Approaching Battery Park City after being separated from the water by basketball and tennis courts, I made a few turns near Stuyvesant High School and continued south, again right along the water. Hello, Statue of Liberty!

EAST SIDE When you get to Battery Park, the trick is figuring out which way the Greenway goes — now you see the signs for it, now you don’t. But once I was on the path bordering the East River, there were fewer cyclists than on the West Side, and no wonder. Although it’s thrilling to pass under the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges, the Greenway here is a disjointed affair.

At East 35th Street the path heads inland, skirting the United Nations on busy First Avenue. Several blocks later I got caught up in the flow of traffic and found myself on that F. D. R. Drive ramp. My mistake was not spotting the pedestrian bridge over the highway, leading back to the Greenway.

The map says it’s a clear shot to the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, at 125th Street. But repairs on the path in the East 70s meant that I had to tack back and forth across the F. D. R. Drive on pedestrian bridges. And for now the Greenway turns at 120th Street, so once again it is back onto city thoroughfares.

HARLEM AND THE HARLEM RIVER The Greenway continues west in Harlem — some blocks are lined with lovely old brownstones — then north on St. Nicholas Avenue. I crossed West 125th Street as noon church bells rang.

There’s no waterfront along this part of the Waterfront Greenway, but there’s plenty of greenery along St. Nicholas Park. Still, when I finally reached the Harlem River, after riding along Edgecombe Avenue and crossing over Harlem River Drive, it felt good to be back by the water again.

The view along this least-traveled part of the path isn’t fetching: high-rises and highway on the Bronx side. But fishermen with propped-up rods give this area a homey feel, while rowing crews gliding by add a sporty vibe. And because there’s practically no one else around, you can finally cut loose.

In fact, this area was called the Harlem River Speedway at the beginning of the 20th century, a straightaway for horse and carriage racing. Today cherry and crabapple trees beautify the West 180s. The yellow and green Peter Jay Sharp Boathouse occupies a pier at the tiny Swindler Cove Park (at Dyckman Street and 10th Avenue, in Inwood), with its winding paths and tidy rows of potatoes, lettuce and fava beans tended by students at the school next door.

DYCKMAN STREET CONNECTION This nerve-racking stretch of storefronts and double-parked cars connects the Greenway on the East Side with the trail along the Hudson. Eudes Espino, co-manager of Tread Bike Shop on Dyckman Street, said that at least once a day a cyclist wandered in to ask how to get back onto the Greenway. By the end of the year, work will have begun on a ramp to the Hudson River part of the path, according to the Parks Department. For now, head up Riverside Drive, then lug your bike up stairs to reach the path along the Henry Hudson Parkway.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE AREA To your right, the Hudson River is a silvery ribbon far below, glinting through the trees. At Inspiration Point, a 1925 overlook modeled on a Greek temple, cyclists stop and gaze at the George Washington Bridge. Soon you’re swooping down to the foot of the bridge, with the Little Red Lighthouse tucked at its feet. From here to Riverbank State Park, the Greenway runs through what feels like a big block party on weekends. Volleyball nets are unfurled. Barbecues sizzle. The scene is more pastoral along Cherry Walk, from West 125th to West 100th streets, where the path weaves between trees that were beautifully in bloom for me.

Nearing West 100th Street, a cyclist in front of me swerved to avoid broken glass. I did too. But several yards later, at the exact spot where I’d started my journey four and a half hours earlier, Dr. Edward Fishkin sat on a patch of grass next to his red Cannondale bike, expertly fixing a flat.

The medical director of Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center and a cyclist for 25 years, Dr. Fishkin bikes up to 250 miles a week, and the occasional flat just comes with the territory. He rarely experiences flats on the Greenway, however, Dr. Fishkin said, adding, “Compared to what riding was like in the city 20 years ago, this is phenomenal.”

New Highbridge Park – Easy Access to Hudson River Park Greenway, Harlem Greenway, and the Only Mountain Biking in Manhattan!

Everyone is aware of NYC’s efforts to promote bicycling in the city – lots more bike lanes, expanded Greenways, less traffic in the parks, even mountain biking trails in Inwood.

Bike and Roll NYC’s newest location at Highbridge Park on Dykman St. is the perfect place to take advantage of all of these efforts.  Ride east on Dykman and the Harlem Greenway is just across 10th Avenue.  Ride west on Dykman and you’re on the Hudson River Park Greenway that goes all the way to Battery Park and beyond.  Go west and around the corner on Ft. George Hill and you’ll find the trailhead to the only mountain bike trails in Manhattan.  From calm, flat, bike paths to rugged, steep single track, every type of cycling is within blocks of Highbridge Park.

What’s wonderful about this neighborhood is that it’s a great place for any cyclist,” said Chris Wogas, president of Bike and Roll NYC.  “There’s a path or trail for everyone, from the novice to the most expert.”

“It’s really a great family activity,” said Jennifer Hoppa of the NYC Parks and Recreation Department and Inwood resident.  “Kids can easily and safely ride to the Harlem River Greenway where there’s a lovely, wide bike path.  It’s easy to keep an eye on the kids as they explore a new part of their neighborhood.”

Biking gives access to places that feel too far away to walk to.  It’s a fun, easy, healthy family activity.  It’s a great way to see sights you couldn’t see any other way.  It’s green.  Just about anyone can do it.  Then there are the adrenaline rushes from riding Highbridge’s mountain bike trails.  All these experiences are possible with a trip to Bike and Roll NYC’s newest Manhattan location:  Highbridge Park.

About Highbridge Park

Highbridge confounds expectations. With everything from smooth cruisers to wickedly technical “east coast gnar,” the trails provide a small but entertaining subsample of the best of the regions trails, all within the confines of the densest metropolitan area in North America. Highbridge Park itself straddles the rocky cliff band above Harlem River Drive between 155th Street and Dyckman Street, and the trails use this rocky, cliff-strewn terrain to their advantage… routing beginner riders through the shadow of hulking rock cliffs, and taking expert riders up, down and across the steep and challenging cliffside. In addition to the XC trails, Highbridge also features a freeride trail, with terrain that includes drops, berms, steeps, rock gardens and other challenging features sure to get your adrenalin pumping (designed and built in conjunction with pro ride Jim Dellavalle and the Brooklyn Bike Riders). But the most-used feature of Highbridge Park is the dirt jump park, designed and built by IMBA Trailsolutions with current and former pro riders Judd DeVall, Jeff Lenosky and Kyle Ebbett. The Highbridge jumps include a pump track, a beginner line with three small jumps, and an intermediate line with five tables and two berms. While the XC trails are a bit short to ride as a destination, they’re perfect for city residents looking for a local spin and riders out to sample a bit of everything- jumps, drops and trail riding all in one place, and all a half block from the #1 train.

22nd Annual New York City Century Bike Tour – September 18, 2011


The nation’s only all-urban 100-mile bike tour. Be a part of it!

There are three great reasons to ride the NYC Century Bike Tour:

With five different routes, there’s a ride for everyone!

Choose between 15-, 35-, 55-, 75- and 100-mile route options, with fully stocked rest stops and safety marshals throughout the course. Convenient starting locations in Manhattan’s Central Park and Brooklyn’s Prospect Park make it easier to finish.

See New York City like you’ve never seen it before!

Every route on the NYC Century tours amazing views of all the sights. See the world’s greatest city from the world’s greatest vantage point, your bike saddle.

The tour links NYC’s historic bridges and rollicking parks to its unique neighborhoods and idyllic waterfronts.

Bike for Better Biking!

When you ride the NYC Century, you’re supporting Transportation Alternatives’ work for better biking in New York City. As you ride, you are the face of the New York City cyclist, showing the world that biking New York is a blast!

Participating in the Event

Two convenient starting locations: In Manhattan (Central Park) or Brooklyn (Prospect Park) mean an easier start to your day. Want to participate in the New York City Century but don’t have a bike or want the convenience of a custom, on-location rental? Rent your bike from Bike and Roll NYC. We’ll have your bike waiting for you at the starting point of your choice (Central Park or Prospect Park), pick it up at the end point, provide you with a helmet, and have mechanic support on hand, should you need it.

Pricing

Comfort Bike: $69.00*

Performance Bike: $79.00*

Road Bike: $89.00*

* plus tax

Price includes bike pickup at starting location of your choice, drop-off at end point, helmet, and mechanic support, if needed. With a Bike and Roll Rental, all you need to do is pick your route and show up!

Reserve a bike now!

About the Routes

  • 15-Mile — Park to Park: Escorted by TA (Transportation Alternatives) Marshals, this route is meant for first-time riders and families. Riders travel around historic Washington Square Park, roll through the hip scene in SoHo, then proceed over the Brooklyn Bridge. The tour officially finishes in Prospect Park, where riders can collect their tee-shirts and water bottles. Additionally, the Prospect Park Zoo will be waiving admission to anyone with a NYC Century ride bib! Just be sure to bring a bike lock to secure your bike outside of the Zoo. Route begins at 8:00 am. Finish between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. This route must start in Central Park.
  • 35-Mile — East River Loop: This route is ideal for riders looking for more than a Sunday stroll. The route travels through historic downtown Brooklyn, around the idyllic Prospect Park and continues through the artistic enclave of Williamsburg, all the way to Astoria Park in Queens. Route begins in Central Park at 7:30 am or in Prospect Park at 8:00 am. Finish between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.
  • 55-Mile — The Waterfront: This route increases the mileage, but with New York’s relatively flat terrain, it is a manageable route for a rider looking to challenge themself. This route takes riders through waterfront views along the Brooklyn greenway, including the majestic Verrazano Bridge and the famous amusements at Coney Island. The route eventually connects with the 35-mile route to finish. Route begins in Central Park at 7:00 am or in Prospect Park at 7:30 am. Finish between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm.
  • 75-Mile — The Rockaways: This route is not for amateurs. Riders travel out to Far Rockaway, Queens and beautiful Fort Tilden Beach. The route takes riders through the serene, car-free Forest Park and up to Kissena Park. Route begins in Central Park at 6:30 am or in Prospect Park at 7:00 am. Finish between 12:00 and 4:00 pm.
  • 100-Mile – The NYC Century: Experienced Cyclists Only. Cyclists swing through eastern Queens before looping back west to Astoria Park along the 75-mile route. The route progresses into the Bronx. This part of the ride is the most challenging because the hills have been saved for the end. The route winds down through northern Manhattan and through historic Harlem neighborhoods. Route begins in Central Park at 6:00 am or in Prospect Park at 6:30 am. Finish between 12:00 and 6:00 pm.

A Bicycle Ride of Epic Proportions

The 3rd annual Waterfront Epic Ride drew hundreds of enthusiastic cyclists.

by Lilly Frances

Call it biking for a cause.

Hundreds of enthusiastic cyclists participated in the 3rd annual Waterfront Epic Ride, a 40-mile excursion intended to raise awareness about cycling in the borough and to show the potential for, and encourage the completion of, a waterfront greenway.

The ride began at Newtown Creek in Greenpoint and proceeded through Williamsburg, Bed-Stuy, Fort Greene, Dumbo, Red Hook, Carroll Gardens and Gowanus and also featured stunning views of the Brooklyn Bridge and historic waterfront industrial buildings along the wat route. The ride was organized by bike advocacy group Transportation Alternatives in collaboration with Columbia Street’s Brooklyn Greenway Initiative.

Many riders praised and acknowledged the improvements and progress made on the waterfront Greenway bike path over the past three years. Some riders, including David Lynch (no relation to the filmmaker) even came from outside of the city to participate, giving Brooklyn some well deserved street cred for being so bike-friendly, and always getting better.

“We live in Nassau county, and come to Brooklyn to ride,” he said.

Indeed, the term “bike-friendly” has its own meaning in Brooklyn; the sense of community Brooklyn cyclists are becoming known for was evident in Saturday’s ride. Riders stopped along the way were asked by others if they needed assistance. Many riders looked out for those behind them, making sure everyone was on the right path and didn’t get separated from the group.

“It’s encouraging to see this could be a bike path, especially for an avid biker and rookie,” said one rider, Amanda Smith.

“It doesn’t have an elitist vibe to it,” said another, Erika Clarke. “I feel like everyone is looking out for each other, and it’s super fun.”

This year’s ridership included well over 250 people, spread out in small groups, and the path was marked so as everyone could ride at their own pace.

Dave “Paco” Abraham, local bike advocate, volunteer and member of Transportation Alternatives, said the ride has grown steadily bigger since it started three years ago, demonstrating the potential for an extremely popular waterfront bike path.

There are “a lot of energized people,” he said.

The other sponsors of the ride exemplify the wide ranging support the waterfront Greenway bike path enjoys. They include the Regional Plan Association, Rockaway Waterfront Alliance and the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation and Department of Transportation, among others.

The Greenway is well on its way to becoming what its supporters envision, said Abraham.

“We’re linking all Brooklyn neighborhoods through the Greenway,” he added.

Currently, only parts of the Greenway are built, but the work continues.

“All in all, people are getting to see the real potential of complete bicycle infrastructure in the city,” said Abraham.