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Thread: NYC Commuters?

  1. #1
    switching to guns ch0mb0's Avatar
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    NYC Commuters?

    Anyone riding into/out of Manhattan during the workweek?
    If so, what route do you take?

    Here's mine (Brooklyn to Midtown Manhattan):
    Flatbush Ave > Manhattan Bridge > Canal St. > West Side Highway

    If you follow any part of this route, sound off.
    I'd also like to hear about alternate routes to plot thru the city.
    Fate is the Hunter
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    What are they doing? Why do they come here? Some kind of instinct. Memory, of what they used to do. This was an important place in their lives.
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  2. #2
    The Iceman cometh! Bop Bop's Avatar
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    Have to say thats one hell of a route, through some of the tougest traffic laden streets in the city, not including a bridge.

    Riding Flatbush or the Extension is crazy enough, but riding Canal Street with all that traffic (heavy traffic heading towards the Holland Tunnel, especially trucks).

    If your looking for a break one day and have some time, try Filli Ponte's Resturant (a little pricey, but the foods well worth it). On the West Side Highway (or whats left of it) two blocks south of Canal. Food is excellent, drinks are stiff, you never know who you'll find in there, from Joe Torre to the Knicks and then some.
    "Angel, Bop Bop loves you!!!"

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    switching to guns ch0mb0's Avatar
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    Thanks! I'm always on the hunt for food/drink of the gods


    Riding that route first thing in the morning can get hectic, but sometimes I love it that way. 100% go go go.
    I am seeking calmer streets though, because it can be a bit much.

    so far the times are:

    From doorstep to the Bridge: about 15+ mins depending on the traffic
    (Sometimes running parallel to Flatbush Ave > Atlantic Ave. > Jay St. > Bridge)

    5+ minutes on Canal St. from Bowery to West side Highway
    (but it is a fierce 5 minutes)

    Here's where the problem sets in: I lag like hell going up the West side path.
    On that flat stretch I can't seem to sustain a decent pace, and end up slogging the rest of the way.
    At least 20 minutes are spent going up that sucker and in a few blocks to work. I don't know if it's the wind, I'm winded, or a combo of both...
    Fate is the Hunter
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    What are they doing? Why do they come here? Some kind of instinct. Memory, of what they used to do. This was an important place in their lives.
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  4. #4
    The Iceman cometh! Bop Bop's Avatar
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    5 minutes from the Bowery to the West Side Hwy, is not fierce it's crazy. In that type of traffic I doubt if I could make Broadway in 5 minutes let alone the West Side Hwy.

    Your currently using almost all the streets I can think of to the Bridge without going completely out of the way. As to the West Side Hwy, try cutting up West Broadway or Centre Street, if you like the frantic pace, those are two streets which can provide it.
    "Angel, Bop Bop loves you!!!"

  5. #5
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Try going down flatbush, then make a left on tillary and use the brooklyn bridge, bank right, go down centre half a block, then make a left and go down chambers street several blocks pass stuy to the bike path. The traffic's a lot less than canal and would get you to the west side bike path a lot quicker. The climb's slightly steeper but shorter on the brooklyn bridge plus the view's infinitely better for your spirit.

  6. #6
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ch0mb0
    From doorstep to the Bridge: about 15+ mins depending on the traffic
    (Sometimes running parallel to Flatbush Ave > Atlantic Ave. > Jay St. > Bridge)

    5+ minutes on Canal St. from Bowery to West side Highway
    (but it is a fierce 5 minutes)

    Here's where the problem sets in: I lag like hell going up the West side path.
    On that flat stretch I can't seem to sustain a decent pace, and end up slogging the rest of the way.
    At least 20 minutes are spent going up that sucker and in a few blocks to work. I don't know if it's the wind, I'm winded, or a combo of both...
    You can get down chambers to the bike path from brooklyn bridge in about 2 minutes. Then it's about a minute or two to catch up to where you normally would enter the path from canal but it's a lot less hectic. I usually maintain around 18-20 mph on my mtb and 20-22 on my roadie on the path. It has a lot to do with wind and etc. I hit this nice tailwind on my mtb there once and was doing about 23-24, another time I hit a huge headwind and ended up coming back at 13-14.
    Where do you work? Maybe you can take one of the avenues. I seem to prefer that more than the bike path cause a) I don't have to cut across town and b) you can flow with traffic up manhattan and the huge draft that all the cars create let you get up there a lot faster. The best part is going through the mid town tunnel that 1st avenue goes through.

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    switching to guns ch0mb0's Avatar
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    Thanks folks. I'll definitely set aside some extra time next week to explore those possibilities. My one concern is the planking on the bridge rattling out my fillings though.

    I work on 8th by Penn, and tend to avoid the inner approach to those areas because foot/vehicle traffic chokes the street up. Good call on the traffic draft though, I was wondering why I enjoyed those rides more...
    Fate is the Hunter
    http://ch0mb0.net/images/Ploesti2.jpg
    http://img187.imageshack.us/img187/8...turesiggp8.jpg
    What are they doing? Why do they come here? Some kind of instinct. Memory, of what they used to do. This was an important place in their lives.
    http://img63.imageshack.us/img63/8074/dodcm.jpg

  8. #8
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    The planks on the bridge actually aren't that bad. I've been over it on my aluminium road bike before and I didn't even notice it.
    You can also go down the brooklyn bridge a lot faster too.

  9. #9
    switching to guns ch0mb0's Avatar
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    good, I've got a similar frame and will give it a shot. I forgot all about that the concrete parts too, it's been that long.
    Fate is the Hunter
    http://ch0mb0.net/images/Ploesti2.jpg
    http://img187.imageshack.us/img187/8...turesiggp8.jpg
    What are they doing? Why do they come here? Some kind of instinct. Memory, of what they used to do. This was an important place in their lives.
    http://img63.imageshack.us/img63/8074/dodcm.jpg

  10. #10
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ch0mb0
    good, I've got a similar frame and will give it a shot. I forgot all about that the concrete parts too, it's been that long.
    I wouldn't recommend it... but here's what I do, when I get to the bottom, both the cars and I will be slowing down, as I'm making the right turn, I try to spot a gap between the cars I'm pacing so I can fly off the exit sideways into the gap.

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    Well, I live in Manhattan, so I cannot commute into Manhattan, but I do ride my bike to school most days. I live on 98th on the east side, and bike to West 4th street (near Washington Square park). If I am short on time I will take 5th avenue all the way down in one straight shot. But it can get scary through Midtown. Other times I will either just ride through Central Park all the way to Columbus circle, and then travel Broadway, or bike across to Riverside park and take the greenway path all the way down. Fortunately my classes start in the afternoon so traffic is not so bad.

  12. #12
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbw234
    Well, I live in Manhattan, so I cannot commute into Manhattan, but I do ride my bike to school most days. I live on 98th on the east side, and bike to West 4th street (near Washington Square park). If I am short on time I will take 5th avenue all the way down in one straight shot. But it can get scary through Midtown. Other times I will either just ride through Central Park all the way to Columbus circle, and then travel Broadway, or bike across to Riverside park and take the greenway path all the way down. Fortunately my classes start in the afternoon so traffic is not so bad.
    sounds like you have a great commute. both in terms of distance and location. i really like riding around west 4th and in\around the west village. i find it's a pretty safe area to ride.

  13. #13
    The Iceman cometh! Bop Bop's Avatar
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    Since your down in the West 4th Street area and are on the look out for places to eat, try Bruno's Bakery. It is diagnoaly across the street from the south side of the NYU Dorms. They make the greatest Napoleons! Also try Henry's, on the south side of Houston Street, two blocks west of 2nd Ave mid block. It's a Kosher Deli, no atmosphere, just great food.

    Hey, I may live in AZ but I bleed NYC (lived there for over 50 years)!
    "Angel, Bop Bop loves you!!!"

  14. #14
    NYC Buckeye Yonsei gahaya's Avatar
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    I work on 8th near Penn, too! I don't go into Bklyn every day, and if I'm heading that way from my office I usually put up with the utter nonsense on Seventh Ave (not between 5-6 pm though, I'm not a masochist ) or Bway to Fifth at 23rd, then head east once I'm in the village. When I go from the greenway to the Manh. Bridge, I get off at Houston (wrong way on sidewalk just for one block, there's rarely any peds there anyway)-south on whatever that first little street is-to Prince-W Bway-Grand-Allen-Canal. And going west from the bridge to the greenway I usually take Bowery-Broome-W. Bway-Houston. (My avenue route going west/uptown would be to turn from Broome onto Lafayette, then take 14th to 8th.)

    In any event, I'm not a speedy rider, so I don't mind convoluted routes if they help me avoid spending too much time on streets like Houston and Canal, which seem to get the worst of both worlds, fast cars and tons of peds, at least at the hours I hit them. From what you've said, you're a much faster rider than I am, so maybe some of that winding around would just be annoying to you. Happy riding whichever paths you take!

    p.s. to Bop Bop - thanks for the recommendations, I'll check some of those out. Off-thread, but I noticed in another forum you said you went to Taft HS - my organization has arts programs there, a co-worker of mine went there (in the late 60's) and we have programs in a homeless shelter just across the street, too, so I'm up there often.
    Last edited by gahaya; 10-22-04 at 10:23 PM.

  15. #15
    The Iceman cometh! Bop Bop's Avatar
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    Gahaya, you are correct, I have lived in every boro, Nassau and Westchester (yes, I did move alot). I did my Freshman Year at Mount Vernon High (second year the school was opened, it should have been in Traphagen but the school was being demolished to widen the Cross County Parkway), Sophmore Year at Taft High, Junior and Senior Years at Newtown High School in Elmhurst. I graduated Newtown 06/68 (met the wife there), so Taft would have been 09/65 to 06/66. Lived on Sherman Avenue and 165th Street, two blocks off the Concourse.

    It's because of all the moving I did that I got to know the NYC area the way I do. As to the places, by all means check them out I do not think you will disappointed.
    "Angel, Bop Bop loves you!!!"

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    switching to guns ch0mb0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gahaya
    I work on 8th near Penn, too! I don't go into Bklyn every day, and if I'm heading that way from my office I usually put up with the utter nonsense on Seventh Ave (not between 5-6 pm though, I'm not a masochist ) or Bway to Fifth at 23rd, then head east once I'm in the village. When I go from the greenway to the Manh. Bridge, I get off at Houston (wrong way on sidewalk just for one block, there's rarely any peds there anyway)-south on whatever that first little street is-to Prince-W Bway-Grand-Allen-Canal. And going west from the bridge to the greenway I usually take Bowery-Broome-W. Bway-Houston. (My avenue route going west/uptown would be to turn from Broome onto Lafayette, then take 14th to 8th.)

    In any event, I'm not a speedy rider, so I don't mind convoluted routes if they help me avoid spending too much time on streets like Houston and Canal, which seem to get the worst of both worlds, fast cars and tons of peds, at least at the hours I hit them. From what you've said, you're a much faster rider than I am, so maybe some of that winding around would just be annoying to you. Happy riding whichever paths you take!

    Those sound like good choices for riding the inner island at a nice leisurely pace. Not too much pressure and things are moving enough to accomodate. I use a similar zig-zag weave from work to Herald Square, then straight down B'way/5th to Union Square...14th street is a lot more relaxed than 23rd. I take 14th over to 2nd ave and then down to the Bridge. Even thought the surface gets a little "lumpy", upper Broadway is definitely a nice moving street; but lower Broadway between 14th and Canal can hit you with fast traffic and not enough room to maneuver.

    Well, I'm off for a B'day ride! enjoy the weekend everyone.
    Last edited by ch0mb0; 10-23-04 at 10:16 AM.
    Fate is the Hunter
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    http://img187.imageshack.us/img187/8...turesiggp8.jpg
    What are they doing? Why do they come here? Some kind of instinct. Memory, of what they used to do. This was an important place in their lives.
    http://img63.imageshack.us/img63/8074/dodcm.jpg

  17. #17
    NYC Buckeye Yonsei gahaya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ch0mb0
    Well, I'm off for a B'day ride! enjoy the weekend everyone.

  18. #18
    switching to guns ch0mb0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slvoid
    ...You can get down chambers to the bike path from brooklyn bridge in about 2 minutes. Then it's about a minute or two to catch up to where you normally would enter the path from canal but it's a lot less hectic...

    I gave it a shot this morning and was surprised how much quicker it got me in and over to the west... definitely shaved off several minutes there. And when you're late to work, every second counts. The bridge incline caught me off guard but it was over quick. That slip-into-traffic maneuver seems like the only way to not lose steam at the end.

    And the view is much better. Thanks!
    Fate is the Hunter
    http://ch0mb0.net/images/Ploesti2.jpg
    http://img187.imageshack.us/img187/8...turesiggp8.jpg
    What are they doing? Why do they come here? Some kind of instinct. Memory, of what they used to do. This was an important place in their lives.
    http://img63.imageshack.us/img63/8074/dodcm.jpg

  19. #19
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    Inbound from Brooklyn, you might want to try Dean/Bergen Streets instead of Flatbush...they actually have bike paths. Coming home, if I take the Brooklyn Bridge, I cut up Dean and merge w/Flatbush right below Sixth Avenue. If you live south of Flatbush, you might want to try some of the other name streets...I go all the way to the other side of the park, and there are a couple of streets that minimize/maximize the climb up the Slope, depending on how I'm feeling. I almost always take Flatbush in the morning...the first leg of my commute includes the long climb uphill through the park, so I like to make up for that by cruising down Flatbush, where I can really pick up speed.
    I'm of two minds about the bridges...I like the Manhattan, because it's a bike-only path, but the Brooklyn is nicer aesthetically, and leaves me with a straight shot across Chambers to my uptown swing. When I work on the east side, though, I always take the Manhattan, because the east office is at Broome and Mercer, which is easy to get to via Christie or the Bowery. The real drag for me on the Brooklyn Bridge is the pedestrians. I actually have and use a bell on my bike, and I'm ringing it almost constantly on the Brooklyn Bridge...especially during the descent, where I should be flying instead of braking for the clueless!
    Here's my suggestion for the uptown trip on the West Side: Take Hudson Street. Despite the tunnel approach at Canal, it moves quickly. If you stay on the left, you'll miss most of the traffic, as tunnel traffic exits and enters Hudson on the right. You'll also be in position to be in the bike lane, which starts just north of Canal and extends to 14th Street, at which point it becomes Eighth Avenue, which is usually pretty empty. (My commute stops below Fourteenth, but I've ridden Eighth a lot and never had any problems.) This'll get you out of that West Side wind, which can be a killer.
    I take the West Side bike path at night, though, because I like to build up a good head of steam before I get to the bridge, so that I kep my average speed high enough that I'm home in under 30 minutes. The West Side bike path and the Prospect Park loop are where I can make up time, coming home, that my tired legs have lost on the bridge ascent and the climb up Flatbush.

    I am such a NYC commuter geek.



    (As long as we're throwing in restaurant recommendations: Indian Bread Company on Bleeker Street makes amazing sandwiches: curry on naan bread pressed flat and heated like panini. It's a little expensive for everyday lunch- a "naanini" and soup is $10- but I've been eating there as much as I can afford to, it's that good. Bleeker just east of Sixth.)

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    I agree with the Dean/Bergen St. comment to get over to the Brooklyn bridge approach quickly. A relatively safe (but danger of dooring) route to Tillary is to use Clinton St with bike path in Carroll Gardens. You can take Henry St on the way back from Manhattan to the Prospect park. Definitely not the shortest route, but you avoid all the large traffic areas during rush hour except on the bridge approaches. And although Brooklyn Bridge is a massive tourist attraction, i still prefer it to get to work because its a more inspiring view in the morning when my legs and lungs aren't working right yet.

  21. #21
    switching to guns ch0mb0's Avatar
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    I always ride Dean St. when going in to work - even though it's the wrong direction, the ride is smooth and passes the "Tavern on Dean" - (good brunch there)
    Fate is the Hunter
    http://ch0mb0.net/images/Ploesti2.jpg
    http://img187.imageshack.us/img187/8...turesiggp8.jpg
    What are they doing? Why do they come here? Some kind of instinct. Memory, of what they used to do. This was an important place in their lives.
    http://img63.imageshack.us/img63/8074/dodcm.jpg

  22. #22
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ch0mb0
    I gave it a shot this morning and was surprised how much quicker it got me in and over to the west... definitely shaved off several minutes there. And when you're late to work, every second counts. The bridge incline caught me off guard but it was over quick. That slip-into-traffic maneuver seems like the only way to not lose steam at the end.

    And the view is much better. Thanks!
    Sweet, glad u like the new route. That view is to die for.

  23. #23
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ch0mb0
    I always ride Dean St. when going in to work - even though it's the wrong direction, the ride is smooth and passes the "Tavern on Dean" - (good brunch there)
    Why don't you go down Bergen? At least you're going the right way then.

  24. #24
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    I am a occasional reverse commuter, I don't always have to go in to bklyn but when I do it is against the manhattan bound rush, Flatbush is a circus at 6am outbound, I can't imagine what it is with the flow. I ride the west side path nearly every day, not always both ways. I religiously rely on what the wind is doing, I can't stand that upwind slog and would rather pace off the slipstream of cars as someone mentioned earlier. Hudson is a grand alternative. if there is traffic it's muddled as you approach canal. Church to Sixth ave can be better than a stiff head wind as well. I find that going downtown at night and the path has breeze from the south, the central aves, are not that crowded, as the car freaks are pushing to get out to their beloved 'burbs on the outer aves. (Fifth to Broadway.)
    The brooklyn bridge and its tourist traffic during the day is annoying (these people are from germany and the like, where people actually ride bikes in numbers and still the perfect angle for a photo is right in front of a bike at the last second.) and dangerous, even going slow, which I try never to do. I have 700-25 tires and the planks are not that bad.
    And one last thing, always take the lane, it is safer and it is yours. No matter what some self serving driver from LonGisland says.

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    What the hell is this guy(doll) talking about? Old and slow--

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