Bike New York in the Fall: the best rides and resources
Like to bike New York in the Fall? Despite the City’s reputation as a place filled with crazy cabbies and pushy pedestrians, this is actually a terrific town for bikers, especially in these few months of crisp, but not too cold, days and evenings. There are lots of great biking options–long rides and short, organized groups and rogue adventures, rides for exercise and rides for fun–so the best places to bike New York in the Fall really depend on what you’re looking for on any given ride. That said, here are a few of our favorite New York City fall bike rides and bike resources.
Anyone can bike the loops in Central Park–there are at least five different routes, all good rides in their own way, ranging from 1.5 miles to a little over 6 miles, some hilly, some not–but on evenings or weekends when the weather is particularly nice, if feels like everyone is doing exactly that. Another solid NYC biking alternative is the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway path, 32 miles of river- and harbor-front views that extends around the entire perimeter of the island. Unsurprisingly, there are stretches here that can get pretty jammed up when the conditions are most lovely, but if you’re looking for something leisurely and pretty, this is a great ride. Plus, of course, it gives you a great “bragging rights” story if you choose the complete circumnavigation of the island. Ten years ago most of these Waterfront Greenway paths didn’t exist, and we are grateful for them.
If you’re looking for something a bit more organized (and, not incidentally, more social), there are plenty of group bike rides and races in New York City, too. The NYC Century Bike Tour–100 miles, four boroughs, one fabulous day–was a few weeks ago, but you can explore some or all of the route with a few friends here. In the Spring, the annual NYC Five Boro Bike Tour is an excellent event, as tens of thousands of cyclists embark on a 42-mile trek from Battery Park, up to the Bronx, down through Queens and Brooklyn, across the Verrazano to Staten Island. Also in the Spring is the famous Montauk Century, a ride that takes you 100 miles out, to literally The End of the country.
One of the best ways to bike NYC in the Fall is to join one or more of the dozens of smaller groups and clubs that go on rides every weekend, both within the city and out of town. The Five Borough Bicycle Club, for example, sponsors the Montauk Century and organizes terrific rides for all levels year round. They even offer bike repair workshops as part of the modest annual membership fee. Another active group is the New York City Cycle Club, which organizes daily early-morning and evening rides, as well as longer weekend adventures. And Meetup.com has dozens of neighborhood- and/or activity-specific groups for bikers of all abilities, temperaments and desires.
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