Weekend Wheeling in New York City

Escaping the Concrete Jungle
By Sproule Love
Map of New York City area
Lots to do in the New York City area

When I moved to Brooklyn from northern Vermont, one of the last and hardest decisions I faced was whether or not to bring my bikes. After three years of mountain biking out my back door and dodging moose on the spectacular roads that traverse the spine of the Green Mountains, I wondered if it was worth lugging my trusty steeds down to the city that never sleeps, much less exercises. That fear of a dearth of riding now sits among the many debunked misconceptions I had about living in New York City. Cyclists "from away" may fling words like "delusional," "suicidal," or "pathetic" at city-bound riders, but don't listen to them. We will survive.

For many New Yorkers, bikes are more about interior decoration than transportation or recreation. This is understandable. Between gaping potholes, oblivious drivers shoving their doors into the street, and vocal drivers' reticence to share the road, New York City riding should be left to the messengers, right? Wrong. Although most regular city cyclists have plenty of war stories from their continual battle with drivers (I've been doored and hit from behind), it is possible to reduce the risks of riding around the five boroughs.

For an introduction to some less hostile streets around New York City, see GORP's Biking the Big Apple. Better still, you can easily get out of the city (even without a car) to find some great riding in our backyard. Here are a couple of road rides that are just around the corner (and just over the bridge), and there's plenty for mountain bikers too.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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