Start surrounded by trees and end with your toes in the sand as you ride the length of the historic Ocean Parkway Greenway, which in 1894 became the country’s first bike path ever. With most of the path in the shade and a relatively flat ride, you’ll have an easy-breezy time cruising through neighborhoods like Kensington and Midwood as you make your way down to the beach. The whole thing should take you no more than an hour each way.
For something a little more rugged and off the beaten path, you can take your bike up to Manhattan’s northern tip and explore Highbridge Park’s dirt jump park, skills loop, and freeride trail, all of which feature drops and steep inclines for those looking for a real challenge. The speedway trail offers less bumps for beginner riders. You can check out the Highbridge trail map here.
If you’re looking to bike at a leisurely pace in the company of thousands, you’ll feel right at home along the Hudson River Greenway, which stretches from Battery Park and runs through Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, and into Riverside Park. As a cyclist on the busiest bikeway in America, you’ll definitely deal with some congestion, especially near Chelsea Piers and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, but it’s worth it to take in views of the city to the right and New Jersey’s skyline and the Hudson River to the left.
Although Central Park offers three different bike paths, we’re all about the park’s longest route, which rides along the interior perimeter. For a longer and more challenging ride, cyclists can simply add laps and take in the pretty views of the Park’s sprawling 843 acres of greenery, water, statues, and more. You can check out Central Park’s biking map here.
In the event you’ve never been to Roosevelt Island, biking your way around the entire thing is a great excuse to go and explore the place nearly 12,000 New Yorkers call home. The sights you’ll see include the spooky Smallpox Hospital, which dates back to the 1850s, views of the city from Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, and Blackwell Island Lighthouse, which was built in 1872.
Here’s a fun way to spend your Saturday or Sunday: bike to the beach! Hop on the ferry to Staten Island, and bike along the coast, riding underneath the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, through Fort Wadsworth, through South Beach, and eventually to Midland Beach. It’s roughly 6.5 miles each way, but you can take a break halfway to take a dip in the ocean and grab a slice or four from Big Boys Pizzeria. You’ll earn it!
Another biking adventure that calls for a ferry trip is Governors Island, and you can climb aboard from Lower Manhattan or Brooklyn Bridge Park. You can bring your own bike or rent one when you arrive, set out on the island’s easy 2.5-mile path, and see mansions, barracks, and views of the New York Harbor. Because there are no cars allowed on the island, you can count on some of the safest biking you’ll find in the entire city.
Starting in Greenpoint and ending in Red Hook (or vice versa), bike along the edge of Brooklyn and check out some of the best views in the entire city—and world. Bike racks all along Brooklyn Bridge Park make it easy to stop and take pictures with the ultimate backdrop: the Manhattan skyline. Plus, vendors selling all kinds of treats are always there to help you refuel and keep on grinding out the miles.