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  1. #1
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    best and safest bike paths new york city long island?

    getting back leisure riding after many years...went to Flushing Meadow park last week to get to get the feel again...not bad but kinda small Can I get some recommendations on some good safe paths (no streets) with some distance in NY metro and LI area Thank you

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    I've never been on it, but the Bethpage Bikeway gets some good reviews. I have been on both the South County and North County Trailway and recommend either. They're in Westchester and not Long Island, but in my opinion worth the drive to get there.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Years ago, I put together a website describing exactly the types of rides you are looking for. Some of the info needs updating, but it's a good place to start. Here's the address

    Home Page 2

    If you do any of these rides, I would love some feedback and up-to-date info. Thanks!
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

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    Quote Originally Posted by mystang52 View Post
    I've never been on it, but the Bethpage Bikeway gets some good reviews. I have been on both the South County and North County Trailway and recommend either. They're in Westchester and not Long Island, but in my opinion worth the drive to get there.
    thx will check'm!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    Years ago, I put together a website describing exactly the types of rides you are looking for. Some of the info needs updating, but it's a good place to start. Here's the address

    Home Page 2

    If you do any of these rides, I would love some feedback and up-to-date info. Thanks!
    wow looks like just what im after!!
    thx

  6. #6
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    I thought it would be a good match for you. If you have any questions about specific paths, feel free to e-mail me using the link on the site.

    When you rode Flushing Meadow park, did you make it as far as the lake? The Flushing Meadow ride description on my page tells you how to embellish this ride by incorporating not only the entire park, but CitiField and the Flushing Bay Promenade, as well.

    Also, the Bethpage Bikeway extension to Woodbury is almost complete. And the Ellen Farrant/Wantagh Parkway Bike Path will have been extended all the way to TOBAY Beach by this summer. You picked a good time to get back into cycling, because Central Long Island is soon going to be a biker's paradise!
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    I thought it would be a good match for you. If you have any questions about specific paths, feel free to e-mail me using the link on the site.

    When you rode Flushing Meadow park, did you make it as far as the lake? The Flushing Meadow ride description on my page tells you how to embellish this ride by incorporating not only the entire park, but CitiField and the Flushing Bay Promenade, as well.

    Also, the Bethpage Bikeway extension to Woodbury is almost complete. And the Ellen Farrant/Wantagh Parkway Bike Path will have been extended all the way to TOBAY Beach by this summer. You picked a good time to get back into cycling, because Central Long Island is soon going to be a biker's paradise!
    when i did flushing meadow I went to the globe,pavilion & museum area and around the lake 4 times... i did not know I could go to citifield or the promenade!! Ill try that on the next run! I plan to check all the ones u have posted over this summer....I'm glad u addressed the bridges on the belt, they look pretty sketchy ..was there any word if east of canarsie is operational to howard beach?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy1111 View Post
    when i did flushing meadow I went to the globe,pavilion & museum area and around the lake 4 times... i did not know I could go to citifield or the promenade!! Ill try that on the next run! I plan to check all the ones u have posted over this summer....I'm glad u addressed the bridges on the belt, they look pretty sketchy ..was there any word if east of canarsie is operational to howard beach?
    I believe the instructions for accessing the promenade (via CitiField) are on the website. Did you pass through the area with the zoo, Terrace On The Park, etc? What about the ice rink?

    Regarding the Belt Parkway, various sections are open at various times. I know a section along the beach got wiped out during Sandy. Again, this where you need to question others, as I have not been able to return to a lot of these bikeways in quite a while.
    Papa Tom

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Brian C.'s Avatar
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    Central Park, the roads are closed to traffic on weekends in summer. We brought some noob friends there last summer and they really enjoyed it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy1111 View Post
    .was there any word if east of canarsie is operational to howard beach?
    This is finished, so a good ride.

    The Flatbush to Canarsie Pier is open just very sketchy over the Mill Basin drawbridge, but otherwise OK.

    The Knapp to Flatbush section is still all sand for about 100 yards just west of Plumb Beach so you generally need to walk. There is plans to fix, awaiting the Army Corps of Engineers work to replenish the beach.

    Note that the bridge over Gerritsan Creek as well as the Mill Basin drawbridge are the next up for replacement as part of the Belt improvement. I believe the city requires the contractor to keep the bike path open between Knapp and Canarsie, but as with the just finished section, it's hit and miss.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    This is finished, so a good ride.

    The Flatbush to Canarsie Pier is open just very sketchy over the Mill Basin drawbridge, but otherwise OK.

    The Knapp to Flatbush section is still all sand for about 100 yards just west of Plumb Beach so you generally need to walk. There is plans to fix, awaiting the Army Corps of Engineers work to replenish the beach.

    Note that the bridge over Gerritsan Creek as well as the Mill Basin drawbridge are the next up for replacement as part of the Belt improvement. I believe the city requires the contractor to keep the bike path open between Knapp and Canarsie, but as with the just finished section, it's hit and miss.
    well i live very close to howard beach so I will start there and see how far i go

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

    The Flatbush to Canarsie Pier is open just very sketchy over the Mill Basin drawbridge, but otherwise OK.

    .
    i did the bay pkwy to 69st pier today, but i did eyeball from knapp st to howard beach ....all looks good but that bridge is freaking scary!!! Im gonna do that run next week... if I have the nerve to cross that bridge!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>that bridge is freaking scary!!!<<<<

    It's not that bad once you're on it. I've always found it scarier when I see it from the point of view of my car.

    The section west of Toys R Us is a nice ride, too. My site has a connection between Knapp Street and this part, but it involves riding the busy streets of Sheepshead Bay and then riding a sidewalk for a little piece. If you're not comfortable on the road yet, I suggest parking your car in the Toys R Us parking lot and riding out from there. Better yet, wait until the weather gets a little warmer, man!
    Papa Tom

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  14. #14
    Senior Member bktourer1's Avatar
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    It doesn't get a lot of coverage but there are several nice paths in the Bronx
    Pelham Bay to Orchard Beach
    From Pelham Parkway near the White Plains #2 Line along to Pelham Bay Park
    There is a section from there along the Hutch, goes under the Hutch to connnect to Orchard Beach
    Bronx River Park to E 233rd St, near the Zoo & Botanical gardens

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    Quote Originally Posted by bktourer1 View Post
    It doesn't get a lot of coverage but there are several nice paths in the Bronx
    Pelham Bay to Orchard Beach
    From Pelham Parkway near the White Plains #2 Line along to Pelham Bay Park
    There is a section from there along the Hutch, goes under the Hutch to connnect to Orchard Beach
    Bronx River Park to E 233rd St, near the Zoo & Botanical gardens
    Yup, The Bronx, go figure, is chock full of interesting paths and places to explore. Just for giggles last year, I rode south out of Yonkers on the South County Trail thru Van Cortland, south on the Mosholu Parkway Greenway, down and around the north end of the Botanical Gardens to the Pelham Parkway path east as far as Stillwell Ave. I could have kept going up and into Pelham Bay Park but ran out of time.

    Not all of it is smooth pavement or dedicated "bike path" as there's a fair amount of pedestrian traffic, but for a slow and fun exploration of the Bronx, there's a ton of stuff to find. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and will return on this route this spring.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bktourer1 View Post
    It doesn't get a lot of coverage but there are several nice paths in the Bronx
    Pelham Bay to Orchard Beach
    From Pelham Parkway near the White Plains #2 Line along to Pelham Bay Park
    There is a section from there along the Hutch, goes under the Hutch to connnect to Orchard Beach
    Bronx River Park to E 233rd St, near the Zoo & Botanical gardens
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    Yup, The Bronx, go figure, is chock full of interesting paths and places to explore. Just for giggles last year, I rode south out of Yonkers on the South County Trail thru Van Cortland, south on the Mosholu Parkway Greenway, down and around the north end of the Botanical Gardens to the Pelham Parkway path east as far as Stillwell Ave. I could have kept going up and into Pelham Bay Park but ran out of time.

    Not all of it is smooth pavement or dedicated "bike path" as there's a fair amount of pedestrian traffic, but for a slow and fun exploration of the Bronx, there's a ton of stuff to find. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and will return on this route this spring.
    I ride a 30 mile loop through the area about twice a week... I have a route through the Orchard Beach areas and I head over to Glen Isle and back...

    i also head over via Pelham to Mosholu to Van Cortland and then North via the South County Trail... I usually turn around in Elmsford. I've been meaning to ride all the way up to Carmel...
    Poetically vacant... -U.D.

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    Looks pretty good. Thanks

  18. #18
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    I'm trying to piece together a ride that encompasses that new bike path along 95N near Pelham Parkway, and then the path that skirts the Hutchinson Parkway for a bit. I just can't seem to figure out where it all starts and ends. Mostly, I'm not sure if there's enough riding there to warrant the trip from Long Island and the toll on the Throgs Neck/Whitestone Bridge.

    Anyway, Billy...I think the extension of the Ellen Farrant/Jones Beach Bikeway to TOBAY Beach might be ready to open Memorial Day weekend. Not sure, though.
    Papa Tom

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    I'm trying to piece together a ride that encompasses that new bike path along 95N near Pelham Parkway, and then the path that skirts the Hutchinson Parkway for a bit. I just can't seem to figure out where it all starts and ends. Mostly, I'm not sure if there's enough riding there to warrant the trip from Long Island and the toll on the Throgs Neck/Whitestone Bridge.

    Anyway, Billy...I think the extension of the Ellen Farrant/Jones Beach Bikeway to TOBAY Beach might be ready to open Memorial Day weekend. Not sure, though.
    Im off the first week of june and plan to try it then u get that one from the bethpage trail right? ooooo BTW i went over the drawbridge yesterday for the first time...it wasnt that bad like u said but im certainly not a fan of it...i dont know why they didnt extend the barriers the whole length of the bridge.....I guess they only car about the guy walking to the tower........

  20. #20
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>> u get that one (Jones Beach) from the bethpage trail right? <<<

    You CAN get it by riding through some neighborhoods at the south end of the Bethpage Bikeway, but many people drive to Cedar Creek Park in Wantagh and then ride the Jones Beach path from there. I'd assume they will start checking Nassau County ID's this weekend, so, being from Queens, you might have to leave your car outside the park. Same idea if you start at Bethpage Park. There will be a $7-8 parking fee, so look to leave your car somewhere else. Better yet, if you have a bike pass, take the LIRR out this way and leave the car at home.
    Papa Tom

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    Yup, The Bronx, go figure, is chock full of interesting paths and places to explore. Just for giggles last year, I rode south out of Yonkers on the South County Trail thru Van Cortland, south on the Mosholu Parkway Greenway, down and around the north end of the Botanical Gardens to the Pelham Parkway path east as far as Stillwell Ave. I could have kept going up and into Pelham Bay Park but ran out of time.

    Not all of it is smooth pavement or dedicated "bike path" as there's a fair amount of pedestrian traffic, but for a slow and fun exploration of the Bronx, there's a ton of stuff to find. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and will return on this route this spring.
    I did a big loop of the Bronx last summer, from the Broadway bridge, through VC park, Mosholu Pkwy, Pelham Pkwy, and somehow ended up on a bike lane I think on the Hutch. Once past VCP though I was the only bike out there, it felt pretty lonely but not unsafe. At the end of that trail you are stuck in a cycling void where I would never want to ride. I was trying to cross the Triboro to Randall's Island but somehow missed it and ended up in Manhattan. I rode down 2nd Ave all the way to the Manhattan Bridge, checking out the 2nd Ave Subway where I could see in. The construction though is pretty bad for riding.

    I do a ride up University and then down Broadway from time to time. University has a bike lane that is little used. Or I visit Lehman College, where I went for a year. And I also climb up the hill to Riverdale, either from the South or by Manhattan College. But in all these rides, I usually only encounter a handful of other cyclists. It ends up being a 50 mile ride from Brooklyn, and I always ask myself if it was worth it.

    And then there is the South/North county trail from VCP...

  22. #22
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian C. View Post
    Central Park, the roads are closed to traffic on weekends in summer. We brought some noob friends there last summer and they really enjoyed it.
    It's very crowded, and there are cyclists of all abilities, which is to say some racers, some people who still wobble, and everyone in between. There are also tons of pedestrians, many of whom are not aware of their surroundings and others who just jaywalk because it's the New York Way. Riding in Central Park requires the same amount of alertness as riding in heavy traffic, although the danger is probably less. I'm not saying to avoid it, but it's not for everyone. I don't mind it, but I'm used to it.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

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  23. #23
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    When I tested out the Central park "loop" for my wife (a casual rider), I found that it was much hillier than I expected. I wouldn't do it if you're not in some sort of shape and you want a truly leisurely ride. Take the West Side Greenway instead, but do it off-peak.
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    When I tested out the Central park "loop" for my wife (a casual rider), I found that it was much hillier than I expected. I wouldn't do it if you're not in some sort of shape and you want a truly leisurely ride. Take the West Side Greenway instead, but do it off-peak.
    When I was training for my ride up Mt. Haleakala I would do hill repeats in Central Park. At some early point though I realized this is a bunny hill compared to what I was training for, 10000' over 36 miles. After attempting the volcano in December, and not making it to the top, I've decided that there are no hills at all in NYC, not even the ones that are familiar to everyone like CP or Alpine.

    But I don't think my attempt was a failure. I did make it up to the 6000' mark at around the 20 mile mark, all uphill without any flat or downhill spots. My longest "training" hill was Bear Mountain at 1500'. 6000' is by far the longest climb I've ever done, and probably a longer climb than most people have ever done.

    My Bronx ride was before I had decided to try this.

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