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Old 10-28-10, 06:21 PM   #1
9W42
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Central Park

I have to go over the GWB and up 9W to get a good hard workout. A few of my friends have invited me to Central park to ride but they being casual riders I have this image of people-traffic, DOGS and baby strollers! My question is...can I get a good ride in Central Park? Is so, where would I enter, and where would I ride?

Thank You!
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Old 10-28-10, 06:47 PM   #2
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If you're riding with your slower buddies, you won't be riding hard anyway.

The "hills" are a joke, so it's not a difficult work out.

There are multiple entrances, just look at a map....
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Old 10-28-10, 08:10 PM   #3
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It is not a "joke" unless you are going "slow"
It is also not le tour de france.

If you want a workout, show up at 5:30am like everyone else and do laps at a sub-16min pace.
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Old 10-28-10, 08:12 PM   #4
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just do the hudson river paths... if you want to go a little faster for long stretches that don't stop.
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Old 10-28-10, 10:19 PM   #5
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just do the hudson river paths... if you want to go a little faster for long stretches that don't stop.
The greenway is a joke, often crowded with walkers, joggers, bladers, and nannys pushing double wide strollers on the narrow hill less path. At least the road in Central Park is 3 lanes wide and has a few hills to it.
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Old 10-29-10, 07:30 AM   #6
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just like central park, the traffic on the greenway is dependent on the time you're riding it. I commute from east williamsburg to columbia university area (through williamsburg/bridge/soho/west village/hudson/UWS) and if its early in the morning or after 5pm the greenway is actually clear enough to go really fast for over 2mile stretches. every morning i go through the greenway from the west village up to 96th street and everyone is cool (joggers stay in lane and a bike bell moves anyone over to let you pass on the left). its usually full of commuters hauling ass to work (even on the weekends which includes me if i have a saturday morning procedure).

plus there is the option at the upper west side of cutting through and riding on riverside with the traffic (which a ton of lycra clad roadies end up doing anyway). it cuts away from the monotony of central park and doing 3 or four loops.

when riding with my wife we'll be faster on the greenway then move onto riverside then just use central park as a cool down/people watching last part of our ride.

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The greenway is a joke, often crowded with walkers, joggers, bladers, and nannys pushing double wide strollers on the narrow hill less path. At least the road in Central Park is 3 lanes wide and has a few hills to it.
you could have just as well been describing central park (especially with the nannies and tourists). weekends are hellacious even early morning because of the New York Road Runners races (and other independent races) which I run in. they set up before 6am with all the volunteers. even just running in those races is traffic laden (with all the dog walkers (even unleashed!), tourists, and strollers trying to cross). central park is great for running but it always pains me to see the bike riders trying to get a workout and having to stop/break suddenly for people crossing with their dogs and strollers.
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Old 10-29-10, 07:36 AM   #7
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its not a terrible place, it's much better than the greenways because you have two traffic lanes plus a bike and a running lane. runners are always in the bike lane, I don't understand why but they always are. fortunately, even during the times of day when car traffic is allowed there isn't much, just a little bit down by Central Park South running up towards the exit on 72nd 5th. If you get there early morning, you can definately get a good workout in. to the guy that says the hills are a joke and you can't get a workout; wow, your so cool. so cool that you can't pedal harder or use a bigger gear.

You can't get a workout there, yet they have races there all summer long? give me a break!

The good news is that for the most part you just have pedestrians, no strollers, no dogs. The people with the strollers and dogs are typically inside of the park somewhere on a playground or the great lawn. Also, you should go ride there for recovery type rides with your buddies to check it out for yourself. I often don't do hard rides there just because it's boring, i did 3 laps yesterday and was just too damn bored but needed to get another 20 minutes of work in so I rode up madison to 116th street and looped back down 2nd ave to the UES.

Other places I like to ride if I don't feel like going to jersey is Astoria. I go up the eastside onto Randalls island at the bridge on 103rd maybe bang out a lap or 2 around randalls then go up and over the bridge. Once I get into astoria I go down to the waterfront ride along there make the right and go up past the coned plant. Eventually getting over by laguardia and onto the bike path that runs along flushing bay. there are almost never any people on that path and the streets of astoria are usually pretty empty.

Last edited by cappuccino911; 10-29-10 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 10-29-10, 09:28 AM   #8
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Well I guess I'll give the park a shot this weekend! If I take the greenway south, which would be the best exit? And where exactly should I go to in the park? I'm not too familiar with the park.

Thanks Again!
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Old 10-29-10, 09:34 AM   #9
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http://www.nycbikemaps.com/

it has the googlemaps bike routes overlay. plus they have the PDF of the bikemaps hardcopy as well.

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Well I guess I'll give the park a shot this weekend! If I take the greenway south, which would be the best exit? And where exactly should I go to in the park? I'm not too familiar with the park.

Thanks Again!
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Old 10-29-10, 09:58 AM   #10
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Right...I'll post back with a report over the week.
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Old 10-29-10, 01:52 PM   #11
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Be forewarned, weekends in the park are handsdown the worst. Absolutely FULL of people. I'm fortunate that my work schedule allows me to ride there during the week
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Old 11-14-10, 04:04 PM   #12
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hmm...i rode central park and the greenway on both weekends and weekdays. I found it non challenging and a bit boring to be honest. Not a place for a real workout. Great place for a sunday bike ride though if thats your thing.

Last edited by 9W42; 11-14-10 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 11-15-10, 08:57 AM   #13
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hmm...i rode central park and the greenway on both weekends and weekdays. I found it non challenging and a bit boring to be honest. Not a place for a real workout. Great place for a sunday bike ride though if thats your thing.
you must have missed the mountain trails in the 68th street area. those are what we all ride!

seriously though, if you went tooling around in the middle of the day, you missed the experience.
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Old 11-15-10, 09:22 AM   #14
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hmm...i rode central park and the greenway on both weekends and weekdays. I found it non challenging and a bit boring to be honest. Not a place for a real workout. Great place for a sunday bike ride though if thats your thing.
Go faster!
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Old 11-15-10, 09:40 AM   #15
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Go faster!
Thats just it. You get going at a good pace, then you have to stop for some reason or other. I'm sure its a great place to ride! But for a workout i reccomend going over the bridge and hitting 9w straigh up to BM. THAT you will remember....
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Old 11-15-10, 10:38 AM   #16
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If you want a workout, show up at 5:30am like everyone else and do laps at a sub-16min pace.
this for sure
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Old 11-15-10, 10:44 AM   #17
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Thats just it. You get going at a good pace, then you have to stop for some reason or other. I'm sure its a great place to ride! But for a workout i reccomend going over the bridge and hitting 9w straigh up to BM. THAT you will remember....
you don't have to stop if you get there early.

like they say, it doesn't get easier, you just go faster.
and
if there's a tailwind, you're going too slow.
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