Tag Archives: Hudson River

Bike and Roll Fall Hours

Cycling Events

September is here!  Starting September 2nd, our Fall operating hours will go in to effect.

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Open 7 Days a Week

Central Park at Columbus Circle West: 8AM – 10PM

Central Park at Columbus Circle South: 8AM – 10PM

Central Park at Tavern on the Green: 9AM – 7PM

Pier 84: 9AM – 7PM

Battery Park: 9AM – 7PM

 

Open Weekends ONLY 

Brooklyn Bridge Park: 11AM – 7PM

Riverside Park: 11AM – 7PM

Liberty State Park: 10AM – 5PM

 

East River Park and West Harlem Piers Park are CLOSED for the 2014 season.

 

New York City in the Fall is a beautiful time of year!  Hop on a bike and take in the beauty of Autumn in NYC!

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Weird, yet wonderful

I like to walk/bike to work in my shirtsleeves as much as the next person.  But each of the three people I ran into on my way to work this morning (see . . . New York is just a small town) declared that our lovely, 60-degree weather is “weird.”

I made it just four blocks before I needed to stop to take my jacket off.  Granted, I lug a laptop with a large glass screen and all sorts of miscellaneous items in my backpack, but it was too warm for anything other than a shirt.

Each one of these incredible days begs for a bike ride.  On Saturday we rode up to the Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge.  We headed out around 11:30am, road over to the bike path, and enjoyed the lack of wind and small number of riders.  The Spandex-clad were out, but the rest of the world one normally finds on the Hudson River bike path seemed to remain unaware of the incredible opportunity for an incredible ride.  The clay tennis courts were filled; the asphalt ones further uptown were also in use.

At the lighthouse we stopped and enjoyed the view of the bridge and the palisades across the Hudson River.  What a cozy place to chat.  It’s hard to remember the millions of people living and working behind you, especially if you don’t turn your head.  The fury of the Hudson’s current moved a massive tree trunk downstream.  I’m always amazed by the power such a wide river can exert.

Heading back downtown we stopped at the Fairway just south of our location on the bike path at 135th St.  We picked up lunch and sat on a bench to picnic by the river and take in the sun and the view.  Seagulls moved in for our crumbs as soon as we were done.

By the time we headed back down the bike path, there was a lot more traffic.  In NYC, the cut-off for uncrowded activity seems to be noon.  Do anything before noon and you’re reasonably sure to find a location reasonably empty; after noon is a different story, though, because that’s when the crowds arrive.  We were home by 3

Sunday was another incredible day and this time we headed into Central Park for a few loops.  The way to do Central Park is to stay north.  Below 72nd St. you’ll find lots of pedicabs and pedestrians.  For cyclists, though, this southern loop is flat and easy to ride.  Kids who would rather avoid hills love it.  But we were happier away from crowds and continued north after the southern loop, up the hill behind the Met, and down the hill by North Meadow.  There are still plenty of leaves on the trees.  In fact, it looks like some of them are starting to bud.  With December right around the corner, where is winter?

But winter will come in some form sooner or later.  In the meantime, enjoy these days of unseasonable warmth.  And, just as a reminder, all four of our end-of-season locations (Central Park: Columbus Circle, Central Park: Tavern on the Green, Pier 84, Battery Park) are open today and will stay open for as long as the weather allows.  If you can hop on two wheels today, enjoy.

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.

 

Riding where there are no cars . . . in NYC

Stopping by the Intrepid Museum while riding along the traffic-free Hudson River Greenway

Biking in New York City may strike the uninitiated as a battle involving taxicabs, delivery trucks, and lots of pedestrians.  Let me fill you in on a little secret:  it’s not.

New York City offers incredible bike rides along famous waterways to some of the most gorgeous parks imaginable.  Cars?  No, these are traffic-free greenways.  Pedestrians?  No, they have their own designated walkways.

You can ride traffic-free along the Hudson River on the Hudson River Greenway from the southern tip of Manhattan at Battery Park all the way to the northern end at Inwood Park.  Along the way you’ll see Governors Island, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty; you’ll ride past piers with giant cruise ships and boat marinas filled with yachts; you’ll see tennis courts, picnic areas, basketball courts, and playgrounds; rest on a lawn, under a gazebo, by a sculpture garden; you’ll cruise by an aircraft carrier and a submarine;  you’ll even pass through cool, green woods and cruise by a little beach.  You’ll ride under the majestic George Washington Bridge.

On the other side of Manhattan, you can ride down the East River Esplanade, under the Williamsburg Bridge and south to the Manhattan Bridge where you cross over into Brooklyn and Brooklyn Bridge Park.  Brooklyn Bridge Park is a green gem that extends from the Manhattan Bridge past the Brooklyn Bridge with a bike path that stretches all the way along the Brooklyn side of New York Harbor to Sunset Park.  DUMBO (an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge) is one of New York’s newest neighborhoods and is full of art galleries and restaurants and fascinating renovations of old industrial buildings.  Many streets are still cobble-stoned.

When you’re done exploring the park and its surroundings, it’s easy to cross back to Manhattan on the Brooklyn Bridge.  I always think that the view from the Bridge heading west back to the city is amazing.  The skyscrapers loom up as you approach.  Very dramatic.  And, again, on the Manhattan side, there’s a bikepath that takes you south along the East River and links you up again with the Hudson River Greenway.

And we haven’t even talked about biking Central Park.  Most of its roads are closed to traffic throughout the day.  That’s another story.

Exploring New York City by bike and without cars?  It’s easy.  Bike and Roll NYC’s 11 locations let you pick up a bike wherever you want to start – in Battery Park, at Pier 84, or at West Harlem Piers on the Hudson River Greenway, in East River Park on the esplanade, or start out in Brooklyn at Bike and Roll NYC’s location in Brooklyn Bridge Park, just to name a few.

When we do blog about the joys of exploring Central Park by bike, we’ll mention our two locations there.