Touring - Riding in Manhattan - need advice
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05-10-10, 02:50 PM
My wife is attending Surtex next week at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan and I plan to take the day off to go to NYC with her. I won't be walking the show floor with her and thought I could get some riding in to kill 3-4 hours. It's not exactly touring, but, I'm looking for some advice. Specifically:
1. Where I might be able to find some posted bike routes of NYC
2. Sights to see - I'm thinking I'll go from 34th down to Battery Park to see the Status of Liberty and ride Broadway to hit the Ed Sullivan Theater and then up to Central Park but I'm guess that will leave me with some spare time...
3. Does the George Washington Bridge have a bike / walking lane - I'd love a pic with the cityscape in the background (are there other better city scape vantage points).
4. Areas to avoid - my wife is leery of my riding in NYC so I want to assure here I'll be sticking to safe/safer sections of town.
Thanks in advance.
05-10-10, 03:59 PM
The city has a bike map that you can download off of this site: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/bicyclists/bikemaps.shtml or you can stop at any bike shop in the city and they should have it. If you want to go down to battery park, the west side greenway is a good bet as long as you don't want to go very quickly. That will run you right along the hudson on a MUP. The GWB does in fact have a pedestrian/bike path, and if you would like to go over it there is a nice ride along the west side of the hudson in a park with little to no traffic. (most people call it river road but its actually called henry hudson dr. on google maps. Go over the bridge, then go down the hill to your left on the sidewalk (on the side opposing traffic) and make a left turn into the park road towards the bottom of the hill. It is safer to go on the sidewalk b/c the left turn into the park road is really dangerous with cars coming quickly uphill at you. You can take that road up to the top of the park (big climb at the end) and then come back down on 9W/hudson terrace.
There isn't really anywhere within manhattan that you need to avoid during daylight hours.
05-10-10, 04:09 PM
I think it's great that you've decided to spin around NYC on your bike. You will find that it is by far the best way to see a whole bunch of stuff at once. Here is an attemt to answer your questions:
1. The Department of Transportation recenty released a new up-to-date NYC bike map. They've come a long way in recent years in terms of painting new lanes and building new paths. Here (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/2010_bikemap.pdf) is a link to the map. Just so you know, the Javits Center is right on Manhattan's premiere bike facility, the Hudson River Greenway. This is a MUP that runs up the Hudson River all the way from the Battery to Inwood Hill Park.
2. Sounds like a pretty good plan. Central Park has great riding. I would recommend crossing one of the East River bridges, particularly the Brooklyn Bridge if you've never done that before. It can be a little crowded, but the experience is a lot of fun. Once you're in Brooklyn, you can go down Fulton Street and check out the now-under-construction Brooklyn Bridge Park, which I think is neat.
3. The George Washington Bridge does indeed have ped and bike access. The entrance is on 178th Street in Washington Heights. I believe that you're actually not supposed to take pictures on the bridge, but I don't think this is strictly enforced.
4. The idea that there are neighborhoods that are so bad that you're in danger of being the victim of a random attack is an unfortunate remnant of the "bad old days." Please let your wife know that NYC has the lowest crime rate of any large city in the U.S. Random muggings on the street, especially in Manhattan, are so rare that you shouldn't worry. The only real danger is collisions, but keep alert and you'll be fine.
I hope that this answers your questions. Have fun riding!
When you're in the area of Battery Park, hit the Staten Island Ferry. It's the closest that you can get to the Statue of Liberty without actually going there, and it's free.
When you are on Staten Island, take a quick loop down to Fort Wadsworth, part of the network of forts that protected New York Harbor in the 19th and early 20th century. I haven't done a loop of Staten Island yet, but that would seem like a good idea.
The main danger isn't going into a "bad neighborhood" but being cut off by right-turning vehicles and being doored. Even that isn't a problem if you ride deliberately and attentively.
Oh, yes, and the Staten Island Ferry also gives you some nice views of downtown Manhattan.
On the way back, zip up Trinity Pl to Trinity Episcopal Church, burial place of Alexander Hamilton and Robert Fulton, both visible from Rector St.
05-11-10, 06:34 AM
Thanks to everyone for the info and advice! Sounds like I'll have more than enough to do to occupy my 3-4 hours (especially if I take the ferry). I'm comfortable riding in city traffic as I commute to work some and use the starts and stops for workout purposes (traffic light intervals) so it should be fun.
Also, so my wife is not misrepresented, when I showed her the great ideas on the thread she was irked and said she wasn't worried about me getting mugged - she was worried about me getting hit by a car.
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