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Old 04-02-09, 11:19 AM   #1
Jerrys88
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GWB to 34th Street?

What a beautiful day! I'm thinking of riding my bike across the GWB from NJ side and biking down greenway to music lesson at 34th and 8th Ave after work, but I've never ridden the greenway. Does anyone have any idea how long that bike ride should take at a leisurely pace?

(Also, for future reference, does anyone have any tips on any non-metered places to park a car on the Jersey side of the GWB?)
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Old 04-05-09, 08:54 PM   #2
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So, did you do the ride? I'm thinking this would take 1 hour at a leisurely pace. 165th st down to 34th st = 131 blocks = 6.5 miles, plus the time it takes you to get across the GWB (1 mile?), plus the time it takes you to get to 8th Ave.
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Old 04-05-09, 10:43 PM   #3
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So, did you do the ride? I'm thinking this would take 1 hour at a leisurely pace. 165th st down to 34th st = 131 blocks = 6.5 miles, plus the time it takes you to get across the GWB (1 mile?), plus the time it takes you to get to 8th Ave.
Yes I did, and what a FANTASTIC RIDE! I couldn't stop smiling from ear to ear the whole way down. You are right about the timing - it took me a little over an hour, but I slowed down to chat with another biker for a little while and made two pit stops - one at Fairway because I forgot my water bottle, and one at my favorite bagel store - H&H Bagels - yum! I am SO IMPRESSED by this beautiful paved path along the Hudson - it is in such great shape, nice and wide, in great condition, clearly marked for bike and pedestrian use, and what views! My only mistake was one wrong turn making my way down to the greenway from 181st Street - there is one point where I think I should have curved around to the right and gone under the Henry Hudson Parkway and then over the train tracks, but instead I followed these greenway detour signs and found myself riding on a dirt path through some wooded area (which didn't feel all that safe) and wound up having to climb down a grand stairway near some tennis courts. That was weird. But once on the path I was just amazed and so happy to be riding on such a beautiful day along with so many other bikers. This will definitely be my preferred way to get to lesson from now on as long as weather is good. What a New York treasure!
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Old 04-05-09, 11:08 PM   #4
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Yep, the Hudson Greenway is great. I was just riding it today. It was packed with people but it was still fun. You should definitely make the ride along the Greenway part of your commute to your music lessons on a regular basis.
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Old 04-05-09, 11:48 PM   #5
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Is music lesson the name of a store, or do you mean private lessons at a studio? If so, what do you study? I'm a percussionist.
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Old 04-06-09, 05:33 AM   #6
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made two pit stops - one at Fairway ... My only mistake was one wrong turn making my way down to the greenway from 181st Street - there is one point where I think I should have curved around to the right and gone under the Henry Hudson Parkway and then over the train tracks, but instead I followed these greenway detour signs and found myself riding on a dirt path through some wooded area (which didn't feel all that safe) and wound up having to climb down a grand stairway near some tennis courts.
Across the street from Fairway is Dinosaur BBQ, which has bike racks and outdoor tables.

At the end of the GW, there are three ways to get to the greenway. The one you ended up on is the one I avoid because of the transient population--which is a shame, because the entrance is directly in front of my apartment building. Your other two options include no stairs. Both begin by going East up the sidewalk where the bike path lets off:

1. The 181st entrance. Make a left (uptown) on Fort Washington and another left on 181st. At the bottom of 181st, turn right. Just before you think you got it wrong (because it's an onramp), enter the footbridge on the left. This crosses the Henry Hudson and puts you onto the greenway again, heading downtown. Advantage: Cool steep downhill, view of the Little Red Lighthouse. Disadvantage: A little out of your way.

2. The 158th entrance. Make a right (downtown) on Cabrini, ride against traffic for 1 block. (There's usually very little traffic.) Right on 177, quick left on Haven Ave. Follow Haven until it hits Fort Washington, turn right. Follow Fort Washington until it hits Broadway, turn right. Go 1 block to 158, turn right. 158 is a long downhill that ends near another onramp. Directly in front of you is a series of ramps down to the greenway, or you can just turn left and go with the cars. Be slowed by the time you get to the drainage grate where the ramp bends right or you'll miss the easiest place to get over onto the greenway. Advantage: Direct. Nice downhill on 158. Disadvantage: A little more street riding.
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Old 04-06-09, 05:56 AM   #7
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Is music lesson the name of a store, or do you mean private lessons at a studio? If so, what do you study? I'm a percussionist.
I'm a classical pianist, Scheherezade, and a couple of years ago I decided I needed to be a better rounded musician so I started taking jazz piano lessons and private lessons in music composition. The composition lessons are what I take with a young composer in New York. He teaches out of Ripley studios, which are studios in various locations in the city that anyone can rent by the hour. Mostly we meet at the one on 8th Ave and 36th St. After 4 years of nothing but 4-part harmony and counterpoint exercises this year I am finally beginning to actually compose which is really cool. Nothing that'll get me played in Carnegie Hall yet - just short bits of music. I really like that my teacher is giving me thorough training - I've learned so much about music through him and through my jazz piano lessons.
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Old 04-06-09, 06:21 AM   #8
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Across the street from Fairway is Dinosaur BBQ, which has bike racks and outdoor tables.

At the end of the GW, there are three ways to get to the greenway. The one you ended up on is the one I avoid because of the transient population--which is a shame, because the entrance is directly in front of my apartment building. Your other two options include no stairs. Both begin by going East up the sidewalk where the bike path lets off:

1. The 181st entrance. Make a left (uptown) on Fort Washington and another left on 181st. At the bottom of 181st, turn right. Just before you think you got it wrong (because it's an onramp), enter the footbridge on the left. This crosses the Henry Hudson and puts you onto the greenway again, heading downtown. Advantage: Cool steep downhill, view of the Little Red Lighthouse. Disadvantage: A little out of your way.

2. The 158th entrance. Make a right (downtown) on Cabrini, ride against traffic for 1 block. (There's usually very little traffic.) Right on 177, quick left on Haven Ave. Follow Haven until it hits Fort Washington, turn right. Follow Fort Washington until it hits Broadway, turn right. Go 1 block to 158, turn right. 158 is a long downhill that ends near another onramp. Directly in front of you is a series of ramps down to the greenway, or you can just turn left and go with the cars. Be slowed by the time you get to the drainage grate where the ramp bends right or you'll miss the easiest place to get over onto the greenway. Advantage: Direct. Nice downhill on 158. Disadvantage: A little more street riding.
Thanks for all that great info, Noteon - I didn't know about the entrance at 158th street and I'll definitely check out the Dinosaur BBQ!

I'm a little confused about the 181st Street directions. Doesn't that first footbridge take you over 9A, not the Henry Hudson Parkway? I crossed over that one, but a little farther down followed detour signs that led me through wooded area and eventually to those stairs. Looking at the Google satellite image I think I missed the point at which the path makes a smooth hairpin to the right and then appears to lead you under the Henry Hudson Parkway. I'm pretty sure the greenway detour signs led me straight alongside 9A, under the GWB approaches and then into the woods.

I have a question about riding BACK up the greenway and making your way back to the bridge. I took my bike on the A train to get back as planned because I will not ride on the greenway at night and my bike is easy to take on the subway because it's a folder. But I can foresee times when I would like to bike back, especially during the summer when days a longer. I don't look forward to climbing back up to bridge level at 181st St. though, so I'm wondering what alternate route might cut down on the climb, ie. by cutting up to Riverside Dr, Fort Washington Ave, or Broadway farther down where they might be closer in altitude. Does anyone have suggestion?
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Old 04-06-09, 06:31 AM   #9
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Doesn't that first footbridge take you over 9A, not the Henry Hudson Parkway?
Same thing. The Henry Hudson is 9A.

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I don't look forward to climbing back up to bridge level at 181st St. though, so I'm wondering what alternate route might cut down on the climb, ie. by cutting up to Riverside Dr, Fort Washington Ave, or Broadway farther down where they might be closer in altitude. Does anyone have suggestion?
The place I know to diverge is at the north end of the Promenade, at 90-something. You know that big wide area with the lawns and gardens down the center? At the end, you go left and head down the hill, back down to the river. In order to have done that, you chose a left fork to get down the hill. The right fork takes you up to the streets, Riverside, etc., but I can't give you much more than that. Maybe someone else has a better way to do it.
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Old 04-06-09, 06:54 AM   #10
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Same thing. The Henry Hudson is 9A.
Oh - I see now the HH is split north of the bridge. What I meant was that the first footbridge crosses over what must have been the northbound lanes, which I did. I little farther down it appears to go UNDER the southbound lanes - never made it to that crossing.
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Old 04-06-09, 07:02 AM   #11
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Those three letters still make me cringe. Ya'll may want to find a new acrynomn for that bridge.

Just say'n...
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Old 04-06-09, 07:06 AM   #12
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I say retake the bridge!

JerryS, post your question about alternate routes in the Northeast forum. Somebody will know something.
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Old 04-06-09, 08:12 AM   #13
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JerryS, post your question about alternate routes in the Northeast forum. Somebody will know something.
Good suggestion, Noteon - done!
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