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  1. #1
    Junior Member ywchan's Avatar
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    NYC - Hudson River Greenway, Central park, GWB?

    Hello members,

    Over the summer I will doing another daily commute,
    but this time the starting location is from NJ (Fort Lee) to my school Hunter College.
    Google map suggested two route:
    1) Along the Hudson River Green way
    2) Ride along the Central Park west
    3) Ride inside of the Central Park





    starting: zip 07024-6002
    ending: zip 10065-5085

    I have no experience with that side of the city,
    I have been mostly riding in the brooklyn.

    I was wondering is Hudson River Greenway a smooth ride?
    The road in the brooklyn aren't that good... plus the traffic lights.
    And what are the tips to get on and off GWB?
    I am hopping to get some suggesting on my routing and tips on the commute.

    Thank you very much,
    George
    Last edited by ywchan; 06-29-11 at 10:35 PM.

  2. #2
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    I commute from NJ to NYC 4 times a week. I start out in hudson county,
    go over the bridge, down the Westside bike path, cross over by 42nd st
    and end up by 1st av. Sometimes the wind is to much for me by the river
    or just for a change, I would cut thru Central park. So I'm very familiar
    with the route you'll be taking.

    Except for a few areas where tree roots are trying to come up, the Hudson
    greenway is very smooth. If you don't have one yet, pickup a free bike map
    from any NYC bike shop. The 1st route suggested is what I would use.

    Like I said I ride to work 4 times a week rain or shine(Wed. is running day)
    so if you like I could meetup with you by the Fort lee side of the bridge and
    show you the way. I work in the afternoon so this will have to be around
    2-2:30pm. we can also meet during the weekend. Ok, good luck and don't
    forget- Have Fun!

  3. #3
    Senior Member ortcutt's Avatar
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    Before leaving NYC two years ago, I lived in West Harlem. 1nterceptor's advice to go with route 1 sounds spot-on. Plus, 1nterceptor gets my nomination for the title of "friendliest NYC cyclist ever."

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    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    Thanks, ortcutt; I try to help when I can

    Back to the Op, the NYC DOT bike map has
    diagrams for entering/exiting bridge ramps:

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/download...11_bikemap.pdf

    Also this video will give you an idea how the Huson path
    looks like, just imagine it without all the snow


  5. #5
    Junior Member ywchan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
    Thanks, ortcutt; I try to help when I can

    Back to the Op, the NYC DOT bike map has
    diagrams for entering/exiting bridge ramps:

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/download...11_bikemap.pdf

    Also this video will give you an idea how the Huson path
    looks like, just imagine it without all the snow

    Thank you for the tips! I am really glad to heard that the Hudson Green way is smooth.
    Finally a commute route that is nice and easy... tho I am not sure about the wind.
    Maybe I will try to keep my weight low and see if it is better...
    Self note, not to bring too many things with me.

  6. #6
    Junior Member ywchan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ortcutt View Post
    Before leaving NYC two years ago, I lived in West Harlem. 1nterceptor's advice to go with route 1 sounds spot-on. Plus, 1nterceptor gets my nomination for the title of "friendliest NYC cyclist ever."
    Agreed! He is the man!
    Thank you 1nterceptor

  7. #7
    Junior Member ywchan's Avatar
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    (I can't use PM... so here I go! Thank you!)

    To 1nterceptor:

    This is George from the forum, I want to say thank you thank you for helping me out
    picking the route. I can not thank you enough. And thanks for the offer too!
    But I am a newbie rider and I ride really slow, I think I will try to ride on my own
    for now to get familiar with the road first! If I have problems I will be sure
    pm'ing you asking for more suggestions! I think if time is no issue I should be
    alright... the google map said it is 1hr3min, I will give myself 2 hours and see
    what it leads me! The strong wind will be a factor too I assume. Anyway....

    But I am so surprised by the kind and warm offer! Really many many thanks!
    I hope you have a great day! And you are truly a great man!
    Thanks a million sir!

    George

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    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    You're welcome George. Try out the route on your day off,
    so there is less stress on you. And don't let my mentioning
    of the wind scare you too much. Sometimes there's no
    wind blowing and other times the wind will be pushing you

  9. #9
    Senior Member reducedfatoreo's Avatar
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    @1nterceptor, you beat me to the punch.

    @ywchan, you've got good advice so far. I'm in Inwood (above the GWB), and catch the Hudson Path at Dyckman to go all the way downtown to work. I ride across the GWB fairly often to go over to Fort Lee and take River Road up and down those lovely cliff sides.

    As noted above, check out nyc.gov's bike map for the on/off ramps for the GWB. It's very easy on the NJ side, and as for the NY side, you'll get used to the hairpin turn. The hardest part after that is finding your way to Fort Washington Ave, down 181st St, and over to the path. On your return commute, DOT made a boo boo at the pedestrian bridge that crosses the West Side Highway; it'll force you to go against traffic or on the sidewalk for a block on Riverside Drive before you get back to 181st. Don't worry, we all yelled at them at the last Community Board meeting, and they'll be fixing that soon.

    Here's where I'll start giving you a few alternatives, though, that you should practice once you feel comfortable on the Greenway and want to venture out onto avenues and on-street bike lanes.

    If you don't feel like back-tracking to 181st St and taking that steep hill that goes over the Amtrack rails, consider continuing south on Fort Washington Ave to Broadway for a bit, and meeting back up with the path at 158th (you can take the accordion ramps down) or 155th. Northern Manhattan is all hilly, but at least those two access points are not as steep of a grade as 181st.

    The wind can sometimes get gnarly on the path, as mentioned above, especially on the section between 125th and 96th Streets (which is the same section with the aforementioned tree root problem). 5-10mph winds aren't too bad, but if it's 15mph or above, consider taking street routes to Hunter. Come across the GWB as you normally would, and then go down on Fort Washington Ave. Cut over to St. Nicholas at 172nd where you'll also have a bike lane. It's not protected, and we're trying to have an educational campaign started as many drivers (especially livery cabs) are scofflaws when it comes to keeping out of the lane, but for the most part the street is wide and not as heavily trafficked as other avenues. Stick to the outside edge well away from the door zone, stay alert, polite, and conscientious, and you'll be fine. St. Nicholas will take you all the way down to 110th/Central Park North via Adam Clayton Powell. Then you'll head east on 110th, go down 5th Ave, and presto, you're at Hunter.

    I'm sorry to say that there's no easy way to access the Harlem River Greenway from the GWB, otherwise I'd tell you to check out that path as well. It's much less populated, which has pros and cons (loads of space, no one to harass you, but sometimes it takes them a while to clean up the trash/glass).

    That second route Google suggested, going down Columbus Ave., might also be worth checking out at some point, if only because Columbus now has a lovely protected bike lane for a portion.

    As 1nterceptor mentioned, let us know if you'd like an escort down a couple of times. Slow is no problem!

  10. #10
    Senior Member reducedfatoreo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
    You're welcome George. Try out the route on your day off,
    so there is less stress on you. And don't let my mentioning
    of the wind scare you too much. Sometimes there's no
    wind blowing and other times the wind will be pushing you
    Heh, how come when I check the weather report it feels like it's almost invariably a south wind in the morning and a north wind in the evening? Uphill both ways in the snow indeed

  11. #11
    Junior Member ywchan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reducedfatoreo View Post
    @1nterceptor, you beat me to the punch.

    @ywchan, you've got good advice so far. I'm in Inwood (above the GWB), and catch the Hudson Path at Dyckman to go all the way downtown to work. I ride across the GWB fairly often to go over to Fort Lee and take River Road up and down those lovely cliff sides.

    As noted above, check out nyc.gov's bike map for the on/off ramps for the GWB. It's very easy on the NJ side, and as for the NY side, you'll get used to the hairpin turn. The hardest part after that is finding your way to Fort Washington Ave, down 181st St, and over to the path. On your return commute, DOT made a boo boo at the pedestrian bridge that crosses the West Side Highway; it'll force you to go against traffic or on the sidewalk for a block on Riverside Drive before you get back to 181st. Don't worry, we all yelled at them at the last Community Board meeting, and they'll be fixing that soon.

    Here's where I'll start giving you a few alternatives, though, that you should practice once you feel comfortable on the Greenway and want to venture out onto avenues and on-street bike lanes.

    If you don't feel like back-tracking to 181st St and taking that steep hill that goes over the Amtrack rails, consider continuing south on Fort Washington Ave to Broadway for a bit, and meeting back up with the path at 158th (you can take the accordion ramps down) or 155th. Northern Manhattan is all hilly, but at least those two access points are not as steep of a grade as 181st.

    The wind can sometimes get gnarly on the path, as mentioned above, especially on the section between 125th and 96th Streets (which is the same section with the aforementioned tree root problem). 5-10mph winds aren't too bad, but if it's 15mph or above, consider taking street routes to Hunter. Come across the GWB as you normally would, and then go down on Fort Washington Ave. Cut over to St. Nicholas at 172nd where you'll also have a bike lane. It's not protected, and we're trying to have an educational campaign started as many drivers (especially livery cabs) are scofflaws when it comes to keeping out of the lane, but for the most part the street is wide and not as heavily trafficked as other avenues. Stick to the outside edge well away from the door zone, stay alert, polite, and conscientious, and you'll be fine. St. Nicholas will take you all the way down to 110th/Central Park North via Adam Clayton Powell. Then you'll head east on 110th, go down 5th Ave, and presto, you're at Hunter.

    I'm sorry to say that there's no easy way to access the Harlem River Greenway from the GWB, otherwise I'd tell you to check out that path as well. It's much less populated, which has pros and cons (loads of space, no one to harass you, but sometimes it takes them a while to clean up the trash/glass).

    That second route Google suggested, going down Columbus Ave., might also be worth checking out at some point, if only because Columbus now has a lovely protected bike lane for a portion.

    As 1nterceptor mentioned, let us know if you'd like an escort down a couple of times. Slow is no problem!
    I think that's the most detailed description of the question I ever asked! I am going to try it out!
    I crossed the bridge today (I took the subway to 175 and get off there with my bike) The turn from the NY
    side is quite steep, and the bridge isn't very wide either, but overall not too bad I guess.
    I am too spoiled by the Williams bridge.... but then I hope the green way can let me go striaght
    without have to stop for traffic lights / cars, compare to the brooklyn and city.

    Cut into the park might be something to take a look at, after I tried to see hows the wind doing.
    Usually the commute is 7am go to NYC, and 8pm back to NJ, I suppose the wind is strong.. huh!

  12. #12
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    @ywchan

    Make sure to chain your bike really good. I just had a new bike stolen from one of the bike racks next to the Playhouse. The campus police were of course of no use and generally didn't give a sh*t about my stolen bike. Chin your bike to a road sign pole instead. Much much safer.

    I commute on bike to Hunter too so I figured I would mention this to you.

  13. #13
    Senior Member reducedfatoreo's Avatar
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    @poster - Bummer! When I was in between dorms and actual housing one summer, I just kept my bikes chained up at Columbia U. Nobody even touched them with all the security around.

    Does Hunter do a registration program with the local NYPD precinct? At CU they'd engrave and register your bike for free with the NYPD, plus sell Kryptonite locks at wholesale cost. You can also register at each NYPD precinct...more info in this thread.

    @ywchan, do invest in some high intensity lights since you're riding at those hours...there's one section around the 170s on the path where you pass between a ballfield and the Amtrak rails, and they haven't fixed the lighting on the path yet. It can get very dark! I've just memorized where the potholes are in that section As for wind, at those hours it actually should be not too bad...wind speeds tend to die down after dark (since wind is partially influenced by the heating of the sun).

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    Junior Member ywchan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poster View Post
    @ywchan

    Make sure to chain your bike really good. I just had a new bike stolen from one of the bike racks next to the Playhouse. The campus police were of course of no use and generally didn't give a sh*t about my stolen bike. Chin your bike to a road sign pole instead. Much much safer.

    I commute on bike to Hunter too so I figured I would mention this to you.
    WHAT.... so the bike rack next to the play house is not safe?
    Is the bike rack itself broken, or they cut your lock/ chain?
    I can't believe it.... I thought at least the police might have some effect on it!
    I was really hoping it can be a safe spot to be park...

    Errrr....
    Last edited by ywchan; 07-04-11 at 08:03 AM.

  15. #15
    Junior Member ywchan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reducedfatoreo View Post
    @poster - Bummer! When I was in between dorms and actual housing one summer, I just kept my bikes chained up at Columbia U. Nobody even touched them with all the security around.

    Does Hunter do a registration program with the local NYPD precinct? At CU they'd engrave and register your bike for free with the NYPD, plus sell Kryptonite locks at wholesale cost. You can also register at each NYPD precinct...more info in this thread.

    @ywchan, do invest in some high intensity lights since you're riding at those hours...there's one section around the 170s on the path where you pass between a ballfield and the Amtrak rails, and they haven't fixed the lighting on the path yet. It can get very dark! I've just memorized where the potholes are in that section As for wind, at those hours it actually should be not too bad...wind speeds tend to die down after dark (since wind is partially influenced by the heating of the sun).
    What kind of lights do you recommend? And as the parking situation,
    there might be a problem lol. But I will see how long before some parts
    starting to be stolen I guess. Glad to know the wind isn't too bad...

  16. #16
    Senior Member reducedfatoreo's Avatar
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    1nterceptor can probably give you better suggestions for commuter lights. I have the luxury of the greenway during daylight hours, and well-lit surface streets in the evenings, so I just have these guys blinking all over my bike.

    Your rear lights can be normal blinkies. Planet Bike has the Super Flash LED which is great, and practically impossible to ignore by motorists. As for your front lights, you can get an equivalent LED light, or if you want some serious wattage, invest in an HID or something similar. Chainlove and Bonktown (usually the former, sometimes the latter) will have HID lights pop up every now and again. Be patient and you could score one for a deep discount, or you could look for one on ebay.

    As for parts getting stolen, read up in threads here on how to lock up your bike properly, or just google it. My own method is to use a Kryptonite mini U-lock on the frame, Pinhead skewers on the wheels, and to use wax to stuff ball bearings into any allen screws holding down parts (quill stem, derailleurs, brakes, etc.) Using candle wax makes it easy for you to pry out the bearing when you need to make adjustments or swap out parts, but most thieves will be deterred by having to go through that procedure. Plus they don't know whether or not you've epoxied it as opposed to using simple wax.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ywchan View Post
    WHAT.... so the bike rack next to the play house is not safe?
    Is the bike rack itself broken, or they cut your lock/ chain?
    I can't believe it.... I thought at least the police might have some effect on it!
    I was really hoping it can be a safe spot to be park...

    Errrr....
    Don't be discouraged because of my unfortunate experience of getting my bike stolen from there. Yeah they cut through the chain. I think a safer bet would be to chain it somewhere on Lexington. There's always people walking there.

  18. #18
    Super Moderator making's Avatar
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    Did you guys see the thread about Sheldon Brown's lock method? I will look it up if you are interested.
    Good Night Chesty, Wherever You Are

  19. #19
    vol
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    Quote Originally Posted by poster View Post
    Don't be discouraged because of my unfortunate experience of getting my bike stolen from there. Yeah they cut through the chain. I think a safer bet would be to chain it somewhere on Lexington. There's always people walking there.
    Poster, just wonder, how long did you leave your bike there before it's stolen, and was it during daytime? 'Cause cutting through the chain takes time and would make a scene. As for "people walking there", I doubt if that's of help at all...

  20. #20
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    also, what kind of chain was it.
    it's not this one, was it?

    http://****************/wp-content/up...chain-lock.jpg

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    No, unfortunately I had a cheapo hardware store chain. I wanted to upgrade it to Kryptonite soon after I bought my new bike. unfortunately the bike thief was faster than me.

    Now I use Kryptonite u lock to lock the rear rim and the seat tube to a sign post etc. I use a Kryptonite steel braided 25mm cable to lock my front wheel to the frame. I am too lazy to actually unkook it from the fork and secure it via the u lock, so the cable will do.

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