Photo: Keith E. Morrison
In New York City, the energy is palpable and the pace is relentless. Otherwise known as the concrete jungle, the city is painted with taxis, bridges, and skyscrapers. Yet, the city is tied together with a network of bike paths and parks, inviting cyclists to experience the Big Apple at their own speed. The city's diverse neighbourhoods—each a microcosm of global cultures—provide endless opportunities for discovery. Whether you're craving a Broadway show in Times Square or a food truck falafel in Queens, the city's arts and culinary scenes are as eclectic as its inhabitants - and the vinyl selection at Stranded Records (10).
As NYC is one of the most diverse places on earth, so is its food. You’ll find new flavours every few blocks, passing through numerous cultures and communities. This could easily send you on a food exploration, setting checkpoints all over the city and snacking your way through the day. New York has a lot of European influence, with seating on the sidewalk and streets making any meal feel like you're in a foreign country. You might be looking for a brunch in Brooklyn at Five Leaves (2) or a classy dinner at Freemans (5), or maybe a post-ride pizza at Roberta’s (9) but we promise you will find what within a few city blocks.
Within this vast cityscape, there are two parks that provide car-free roads and trails that will make you feel like you’ve been transported out of the dense city while still being right in the middle of it. Both Central Park and Prospect Park have multiple routes that are perfect for cycling. Whether it’s a Sunday stroll to catch some fresh air in the afternoon or a Monday morning training ride to set the pace high for the week, New York’s parks are a retreat off of the hectic city streets. Central Park has a loop that is 6.1 miles long, while Brooklyn’s Prospect Park has a faster 3.35-mile lap.
Even though New York City is known to draw people in, for a cyclist there are a lot of reasons to venture out past these city limits. There are dozens of small towns and hidden gems. Rides and routes that will keep you in the saddle all day long. Follow the Hudson River to the small quaint town of Cold Spring and you’ll have 120 miles by the time you are home. If you are looking to jump in the ocean mid-ride, head south to Rockaway Beach (7). You will always be able to find what you're looking for, it all depends on which way you start riding.
The iconic 114-year-old bridge is an artery for trains, cars, cyclists, and pedestrians. Connecting downtown Manhattan to the heart of Brooklyn, this bridge sees tens of thousands of people every day because of its multi-use. The bike lanes are wide and forgiving and give you a panoramic view looking north over the East River.
Started by the late Heath Ledger, this European bistro-style restaurant serves classic American dishes with a flash of Australian accents at the hands of head chef Ken Addington. This is a great spot to fuel up on a hearty meal either before or after your ride.
This bar in Brooklyn is a hidden gem that artfully combines amazing cocktails, wines, and small plates with high-quality music. The Venue features modern furnishings and an ambient atmosphere that encourages the sense of listening rather than dancing.
If you’re heading north on the Hudson River, add this little red landmark to your route. By navigating to this landmark, you’ll find yourself an amazing view underneath the George Washington Bridge overlooking the Hudson River.
Just off Bowery, at the end of a small alley just wide enough for you and a friend, you’ll come across a blue door with no name. On the other side of this rustic-looking facade is a restaurant that serves an amazing modern yet traditional American cuisine.
What was once an above-ground train line, is now a one-and-a-half-mile park above the New York City streets. Originally built in the 1930s, the park started development in 2009. This lush park is a perfect spot to stroll and stretch your legs.
When the New York summer sets in, Rockaway Beach is less than 20 miles away from Manhattan. Yes, it is a sandy gorgeous beach just shy of two hours from Midtown. The 5.5-mile-long boardwalk could be a great mid-ride stop to cool off.
A 26-mile loop starting in downtown Brooklyn, this route navigates around the lower half of Brooklyn giving you a tour of the harbour line all the way to Coney Island. On the way back you’ll cross through Prospect Park before finishing on the Manhattan Bridge.
Robertas serves a really nice Neapolitan-style pizza. They have a creative selection of pies like the “Porchettaboutit” that naturally delivers Porchetta, or the highly desired sweet and spicy “Bee Sting”. Pizza and a beer, what's not to like after a long ride?
If your riding attire consists of a fleece jacket and Birkenstocks, maybe stopping at Stranded Records is more your speed. Considered one of the best record stores in NYC, you're bound to find an album to match your speed.