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  1. #1
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    How do you train in urban environments?

    I'm wrapping up college now, and looking for jobs all over the United States. Right now, I live in Syracuse, NY and am only 5 miles from great rural, hilly roads that are pretty awesome for riding. I find myself looking for jobs in places like NYC and know my employment should be far more heavily weighted than riding, ...but I just ask myself, how could I possibly ride and train in a place like new york city? It just seems like an impossible or miserable task?

    Maybe some big-city natives can shed some light into this for me?

  2. #2
    Descends like a rock pallen's Avatar
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    not a big city here, but between red lights makes for some decent intervals.

  3. #3
    Cardiac Case Drag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkmartin View Post
    ...but I just ask myself, how could I possibly ride and train in a place like new york city? It just seems like an impossible or miserable task?
    Find yourself a decent club. I joined a club for the first time this year, and I'm kicking myself for not joining years prior. The club rides have shown me paths and routes I would have never found myself.
    TITANIUMDIVISION
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  4. #4
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    I lived in CT (Norwalk) for a long time. For about 5 years I commuted into NYC for work. I actually rode my bike to the train station to take the train into NYC so I could ride in NYC (monthly train pass so the train ride didn't cost anything).

    I'd also either drive or ride (depending on how much riding I wanted to do) to Stamford for the downtown experience there:



    I used to do a 2 mile lap (with the sprint on Summer St), sometimes spending 2-3 hours doing sprints (and often at night, like 10-11PM start times).

    I really miss urban riding. Around here there's virtually nothing like that available, not like Summer St or Broadway/etc.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Seattle has a busy downtown section (where bikes can move through traffic like water), and then lots of residential districts. These aren't really that different from the suburbs in terms of being able to ride a bike. Our fair city also has hills. Really, I've never thought twice about it, I walk my bike out the door and up the stairs, get on, and go for a long ride, then come home when I'm tired, or need to be somewhere.

    Now if you ask about awesome recreational rides, instead of training, I started getting bored with the city, and often take my bike out into the country. That's an option for you, too.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  6. #6
    John Wayne Toilet Paper nhluhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    Seattle has a busy downtown section (where bikes can move through traffic like water), and then lots of residential districts. These aren't really that different from the suburbs in terms of being able to ride a bike. Our fair city also has hills. Really, I've never thought twice about it, I walk my bike out the door and up the stairs, get on, and go for a long ride, then come home when I'm tired, or need to be somewhere.

    Now if you ask about awesome recreational rides, instead of training, I started getting bored with the city, and often take my bike out into the country. That's an option for you, too.
    I do notice my average speeds tend to be higher when my ride is 100% rural vs when I have to deal with stoplights. My favorite "through traffic like water" spot is northbound 4th Ave to Pike St to 8th Ave. The cars waiting to turn right on Pike always stack up waiting for peds while I just weave through and dart up Pike.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator BillyD's Avatar
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    There's plenty of training opportunities in the NYC area.

    First there's Central Park where hundreds of dedicated cyclists ride the loop repetitively around the park for a decent workout. I'm not sure about the car-free hours, someone else can fill you in on those details.

    Then there's the ride across the George Washington bridge and up 9W on the west side of the Hudson River to Nyack or Bear Mountain. Hundreds of dedicated cyclists make that trip on the weekends, and scores do it on the weekdays as well.
    Where else but the internet can a bunch of cyclists go and be the tough guy? - - jdon
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyD View Post
    There's plenty of training opportunities in the NYC area.

    First there's Central Park where hundreds of dedicated cyclists ride the loop repetitively around the park for a decent workout. I'm not sure about the car-free hours, someone else can fill you in on those details.

    Then there's the ride across the George Washington bridge and up 9W on the west side of the Hudson River to Nyack or Bear Mountain. Hundreds of dedicated cyclists make that trip on the weekends, and scores do it on the weekdays as well.

    The few times I've walked through central park, it seemed to be mobbed by people walking or just hanging out in it. Could it be that I was simply in the wrong area of the park? Are you saying there is a path in central park that is somehow devoted to road cyclists?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhluhr View Post
    I do notice my average speeds tend to be higher when my ride is 100% rural vs when I have to deal with stoplights. My favorite "through traffic like water" spot is northbound 4th Ave to Pike St to 8th Ave. The cars waiting to turn right on Pike always stack up waiting for peds while I just weave through and dart up Pike.
    Funny ... that's exactly the spot I had in mind when I typed that.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  10. #10
    Senior Member spazegun2213's Avatar
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    In most of the cities I've lived in/near there are lots of clubs. Often times some will meet up together and when you have 30-50 cyclists on a ride, drivers take notice and suddenly the bikes have the right of way. Past that, I know back in DC and here in san diego there are crit practices in places but the longer more road rides often happen just outside the city, which is not hard to get to via mass transit or, dare I say it, a car.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkmartin View Post
    The few times I've walked through central park, it seemed to be mobbed by people walking or just hanging out in it. Could it be that I was simply in the wrong area of the park? Are you saying there is a path in central park that is somehow devoted to road cyclists?
    not exactly, but if you stay on the road on the outer ring, there is a designated bike lane and a designated running lane. and on weekends (i believe, i've never biked there on a weekday), it's closed to vehicles so there's a good amount of space to ride on and the runners/walkers tend to stay out of the way.
    2011 Cannondale CAAD8-6 Tiagra

  12. #12
    Super Moderator BillyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkmartin View Post
    The few times I've walked through central park, it seemed to be mobbed by people walking or just hanging out in it. Could it be that I was simply in the wrong area of the park? Are you saying there is a path in central park that is somehow devoted to road cyclists?
    Yes I'm referring to the automobile roadway that travels north/south through the park. If I'm not mistaken it's closed to cars except during morning and evening rush hours. It's crazy busy with walkers, joggers, skaters and other cyclists on the weekend, much better during weekdays.

    The folks in the Northeast Forum should have plenty of information.

    Sorry I didn't respond earlier.
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  13. #13
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    I'm from NY, but admittedly haven't been cycling myself there much. That said, almost every serious cyclist I either know from NYC swears that the bike scene there for serious racing/training is shockingly good, with numerous club rides to choose from. I have no idea myself how that would work in an urban environment, but suffice to say that enough people have told me it's a great scene such that I'd go there with confidence that I could hoop up with a good bike club to ride with.

  14. #14
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Most anywhere you'll be able to find places to ride. It may take a bit of effort to link good courses together, and you may have to adjust your comfort level with regard to traffic.

    I would thing the biggest challenge in many places would be finding places to do long intervals without interuption, like 2x20's. Of course, you can always supplement with a trainer if you need to do specific efforts that traffic doesn't allow.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
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  15. #15
    stole your bike roadiejorge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
    I lived in CT (Norwalk) for a long time. For about 5 years I commuted into NYC for work. I actually rode my bike to the train station to take the train into NYC so I could ride in NYC (monthly train pass so the train ride didn't cost anything).

    I'd also either drive or ride (depending on how much riding I wanted to do) to Stamford for the downtown experience there:



    I used to do a 2 mile lap (with the sprint on Summer St), sometimes spending 2-3 hours doing sprints (and often at night, like 10-11PM start times).

    I really miss urban riding. Around here there's virtually nothing like that available, not like Summer St or Broadway/etc.



    awesome stuff
    I like pie

  16. #16
    stole your bike roadiejorge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkmartin View Post
    I'm wrapping up college now, and looking for jobs all over the United States. Right now, I live in Syracuse, NY and am only 5 miles from great rural, hilly roads that are pretty awesome for riding. I find myself looking for jobs in places like NYC and know my employment should be far more heavily weighted than riding, ...but I just ask myself, how could I possibly ride and train in a place like new york city? It just seems like an impossible or miserable task?

    Maybe some big-city natives can shed some light into this for me?
    There are plenty of places to ride in the NYC area. Central Park in Manhattan has a 6 mile loop and Prospect Park in Brooklyn has a 4 mile loop which a lot of cyclists train on. Weekends a lot of riders cross over into NJ to ride along 9W (and other destinations) in Bergen County (NJ), Rockland County (NY).
    I like pie

  17. #17
    Super Moderator BillyD's Avatar
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    OP, bear in mind though that it's a WORLD of difference between NYC riding and the rural riding you're used to. But if you're open-minded and tough you'll get used to it.
    Where else but the internet can a bunch of cyclists go and be the tough guy? - - jdon
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  18. #18
    Business Man cinemattic's Avatar
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    i immediately thought about all the spots that BillyD and such talked about: 9W, central park, and prospect park

    central park is closed to vehicular traffic from 10am-3pm on the weekdays, and closed from like, 6am saturday to 10pm sunday. something like that

    i believe prospect park is pretty much the same way

    also, keep in mind, as you have lived in syracuse, you probably already have friends out in jersey. if you ever get out of the city for a weekend, just rent a zipcar or carpool or someting and get out there. my gf lived in jersey, and we go back about once a month or so to hang and get out of the city. there's some nice, open biking out there and some alright trails. at least it breaks up the usual park rides. i get really excited about going out to jersey to her parent's place to ride.

    just my .02
    Quote Originally Posted by striknein View Post
    Wrong forum, fat man.

  19. #19
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    you might find you'll want to mount a set of flatproof tires if you're coming back late through the dodgier parts.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ticktockpedal View Post
    you might find you'll want to mount a set of flatproof tires if you're coming back late through the dodgier parts.

    not even the dodgier parts. my stock tires lasted maybe 150-200 miles (3 or 4 flats) till i finally lost it and got specialized armadillos, not a flat since in 1200+ miles.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickp08 View Post
    not even the dodgier parts. my stock tires lasted maybe 150-200 miles (3 or 4 flats) till i finally lost it and got specialized armadillos, not a flat since in 1200+ miles.
    same setup here. it's either the heavy armadillos or pumping a flat with a mini pump in the dark asap before stringer bell's suv rolls up to see what i'm doing.

  22. #22
    Business Man cinemattic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ticktockpedal View Post
    same setup here. It's either the heavy armadillos or pumping a flat with a mini pump in the dark asap before stringer bell's suv rolls up to see what i'm doing.
    where's wallace?
    Quote Originally Posted by striknein View Post
    Wrong forum, fat man.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cinemattic View Post
    where's wallace?

    answer me! string! where the f*** is wallace?!

    well played, sir.
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  24. #24
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    where's wallace? how come you got that CO2 cartridge in your hand?

  25. #25
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    I live in Miami, a very unfriendly bike city. Either they run you over and take off, or are on the phone and don't swerve into bike lanes.

    The key to riding here is either go to an area that has very little traffic, which is not many areas. Or find a proper club and ride with about 50 people, who make up a large enough group to be noticed.

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