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Old 10-05-09, 12:33 PM   #1
testver68
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central park at night

new to nyc, love riding at night (and works best schedule wise)....would be wonderful to do 3-5 loops sometime between 9 and midnight - my in laws/wife who think new york 1970's are adamantly against, i see well lit road, low crime rate and think should be fine and quite wonderful....any thoughts?
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Old 10-05-09, 12:35 PM   #2
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You are fine at 9pm, however I'd probably even say after 8 and you'll have plenty of road to yourself. East side drives (main loop on the eastside) is open to vehicular traffic 5-7pm on weekdays. Any time after that I'm sure it's not a problem unless you're nearing the 1am since the park closes at that time. I personally don't think you should have any reason to worry about riding at night, I do it and even better sometimes at 5am before work.
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Old 10-05-09, 10:54 PM   #3
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I've done Prospect Park in the dark and it seems very peaceful. The only problem is the kids that come out to skateboard down the hill. You can't see them. I've never tried riding in CP at night, but coming out of concerts and shows I always see people on bikes.
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Old 10-06-09, 07:27 AM   #4
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rode last night but early (started 8:00 pm) - loop road nicely busy - on east side of 102nd bypass, stopped and asked police officer about safety of riding til midnight - he said "Everyone rides til midnight - we're everywhere - we'll take care of you"....smiling, i continued on down to cpn and up harlem hill, as i passed west side of 102nd bypass, there was same officer flashing his lights and waving having cut across - nice new york moment! compared to dark sf roads i often ride, park was wonderful....just must keep head up for random wrong way runner...
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Old 10-06-09, 08:50 AM   #5
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I've road through many times between 9-12 mid.
A few things to bear in mind.
a) As it gets colder the park becomes more desolate.
b) There are a few cyclists after 8:00
c) There will still be groups of runners until the marathon until 8-9pm.
d) Ice skating will start soon at the rink at the bottom of Harlem Hill and they are there until midnight.

The park is officially closed at 1:00 am.

Have fun, good, luck, don't take short cuts in the park.
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Old 10-06-09, 09:53 AM   #6
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rode last night but early (started 8:00 pm) - loop road nicely busy - on east side of 102nd bypass, stopped and asked police officer about safety of riding til midnight - he said "Everyone rides til midnight - we're everywhere - we'll take care of you"....smiling, i continued on down to cpn and up harlem hill, as i passed west side of 102nd bypass, there was same officer flashing his lights and waving having cut across - nice new york moment! compared to dark sf roads i often ride, park was wonderful....just must keep head up for random wrong way runner...
Very cool. I used to ride through it at night last year when I was freelancing and could stay out late. Haven't been there after dark since. Might have to go back again tomorrow or thurs. It's really beautiful at night.
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Old 10-06-09, 10:08 AM   #7
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Riding at night is peaceful, but the park isn't desolate. There's always a few cyclists and joggers out, even late at night. The real danger are the raccoons. Watch out for those little scamps.
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Old 10-06-09, 10:39 AM   #8
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^^^^

+1

T-boned a raccoon at night about a month back. My bike was okay, though. It's much better trying to avoid raccoons than it is avoiding clueless tourists & people on cellphones
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Old 10-06-09, 10:52 AM   #9
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I've ridden through CP at all hours (literally) and never had any negative encounters even back in the late 80s and early 90s when the city wasn't as safe as it is now. Sure there were some kids in the park after dark but I never had anything thrown at me, not to refute other people's claims of course. In the summer I loved the late night rides through CP and PP.
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Old 10-06-09, 12:24 PM   #10
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my friend and i did it at 11-1 the other night, aside from the ground being slick from rain and dirtying up our bikes, it was amazing. no pedestrians to stupidly run across the path when they misjudge speed or slow hybrids going 2 abreast
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Old 10-06-09, 01:00 PM   #11
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^^^^

+1

T-boned a raccoon at night about a month back. My bike was okay, though. It's much better trying to avoid raccoons than it is avoiding clueless tourists & people on cellphones
Most of the raccoons are smart enough to cross at the top or the bottom of hills where they can see bikes coming. I've actually seen them sitting by the side of the drive looking before they cross.
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Old 10-06-09, 01:07 PM   #12
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Most of the raccoons are smart enough to cross at the top or the bottom of hills where they can see bikes coming. I've actually seen them sitting by the side of the drive looking before they cross.
lol i've never thought of raccoons as so smart, but when you put it that way... i have noticed they pause on the side...
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Old 10-06-09, 06:03 PM   #13
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It also seems to be more common to see raccoons crossing the drive,on the north side of the Great HIll, where bikes are climbing, than on the south where they're going faster.... except near the bottom where they can see you coming.

There's one big old arrogant raccoon who lives in a tree near Lasker Pool/Rink who doesn't seem to care. I've passed him a number of times, paused in the middle of the road, licking some snack off his paws.
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Old 10-06-09, 06:21 PM   #14
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i'm glad to hear that the central park loop is safe again. i was doing laps there until 2 years ago and took a break after i was almost hit by baseball size rocks that flew at me out of nowhere while going down the hill on the north end of the loop (about 10pm).

i read a few posts about incidents on the forum of the local cycling club nycc.org but that was a while ago too.

i'm looking forward to going back. thanks for bringing up the topic
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