Northeast - Train out of NYC for a bicycling weekend.
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We are considering a weekend bike outing with the son and daughter-in-law, who live in Manhattan. Ideally we would like to ride the train out of Manhattan and end up at a bed and breakfast close to a bike rental. We're experienced riders, about 3000 miles/year, but the 30 year old "kids" ride infrequently. Low traffic rural roads with paved shoulders or paved trails with low-to-moderate climbs would be best. Any suggestions?
11-02-09, 03:14 PM
First, I'd wait for better weather to return. Then, I would put the family on the LIRR (a $5 pass for each of you would let you take your own bikes!) to Greenport, at Long Island's northeast end. Be sure to book some rooms well in advance if you plan to go during the summer or fall.
From Greenport, you can take a really nice bicycle/ferry ride across the forks to Sag Harbor and even continue on into the Hamptons. I'm not sure how far you want to take the "kids," but this ~25 mile round trip is usually just right for fit people who don't bicycle a lot.
Details are on my website at nyrides.freehosting.net .
Also, there's a bike shop in downtown Greenport. I assume that they rent bikes, but I cannot confirm it.
You could take a train on the NE Corridor out of Penn Station to Princeton Junction, and a connector to Princeton. You can rent bikes at Jays to ride on the Delaware Raritan Canal towpath (http://jayscycles.com/). Probably only place to stay in-town is Nassau Inn, in the middle of Palmer Square. http://www.nassauinn.com/
Info for the towpath is http://www.dandrcanal.com/gen_info.html
Lots of good restaurants. The Ferry House (http://www.theferryhouse.com/) is great and it's a BYOB (in NJ you can bring your own wine/beer into many restaurants). More casual is Triumph Brewing Company (http://www.triumphbrewing.com/indexfl6.html). Many others. Great fun cruising around town and campus on Sunday mornings and stopping for coffee at some place like Witherspoon Bread Co.
Check out the trailways in Westchester.
Supposed to be nice. Alternatively, the whole northern Fairfield/Litchfield county area has great roads, pretty light car traffic, and is very beautiful. CT is relatively rolling terrain.
For a nice rail trail a short train ride from Manhattan:
The North and South County Trailways. Some nice scenic riding, especially up around the New Croton Reservoir.
Might be just past the peak foliage time though. Just be sure to check out Metro North's bike restrictions. They require permits and you can't do peak trains, but on the weekend that's no issue. The permit is only $5 per person and you can get it at Grand Central easily.
For an idea, take Metro North to Tarrytown, head east over to the Tarrytown Reservoir and pick up the rail trail there. Head north to the Croton Reservoir. Plenty of good riding in the area too, but the rail trail is flat and good for folks who don't ride often.
11-02-09, 07:51 PM
If you're serious about all your requirements for style of bicycling, and need for rental bikes, then rent a car for the weekend (and buy your own rack to carry bikes on the car).
Coming up with one day of riding like you're asking for might be possible -- If you take away the need for rental bikes is actually possible -- but two days I really doubt.
A rental car could give you the flexibility you'd need to pull it all together.
? Maybe you want to move to Europe ?
can you see the castles in the distance from the croton rail trail? if so that's excellent ;) i remember seeing them riding back from jamaica ny (not jamaica queens)
Ken Roberts like in Bike Hudson Valley?
11-03-09, 06:19 PM
I oppose the advice to "wait for better weather." At the moment, it's a little rainy now and then, but, we're in November — it's only going to get colder from here. Go while you still can without need of three sweaters, two pairs of gloves, a hot-water bottle, and a pair of snow-pants.
11-03-09, 09:01 PM
>>>>Go while you still can without need of three sweaters, two pairs of gloves, a hot-water bottle, and a pair of snow-pants.<<<<<
OK...but if you DO, then don't go to Eastern Long Island, as I originally suggested. The area will be total tumbleweedsville and the chill in the air will kill the two short ferry rides.
Thank you for the great suggestions!
11-06-09, 06:20 PM
When I think I'm a little too finicky about my Goretex jacket, Shimano custom molded shoes, 120 psi 23c and gel packs before I can ride a metric century, I just revisit these:
Ah give me my tweed knickers, pipe, rolled saddlebag and hang my bike on the Rugby-Midland.
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