stole your bike
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: North Bergen, NJ
Bikes: Orbea Orca, Ridley Compact
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I don't know of any groups that specifically ride the Greenway since most cycling groups I know ride it to head north and over the GWB. A good resource for rides in the city is the 5BBC
which has a good variety of rides for beginners. Finding some friends or someone on here to ride with is a good start too; I ride the Greenway daily (except during snowy conditions) and it's a nice ride all of the way north to Inwood, though I commute to work from NJ so I exit the Greenway at 181st. I used grew up in Washington Heights so I've used the Greenway extensively.
As for a bike my suggestion is to go to a shop and have someone there help you because I'm sure you'll have lots of questions and an experienced shop can help guide you toward the best bike for your intended purpose. Bikes from all of the major manufacturers are pretty much the same with slight differences in frame design and component packages.
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