With around 170 miles of designated bike paths, NYC is a surprisingly bike-friendly town. True, though, with around 120,000 cars on the road, 8 million pedestrians Jaywalking through intersections and countless derranged people who will probably try to throw things at you, it's still intimidating as all get out. But hey, at least you have those lanes. Most of the time.
And with the new public bike share program finally kicking off in May, it's about to get a whole lot friendlier. So, steel your nerves, dust off your fashion helmet and join us for what could be our first (and possibly last) ride around town. We've gone ahead and picked out some of the best trails:
Carroll Gardens to Coney Island:
Ocean Parkway was home to the United States' first bike path, way back in 1894. While some of the parkway has disappeared thanks to the Prospect Expressway, you can still ride the heavily tree-lined path from Ocean Parkway and East 8th Street in Kensington, Brooklyn, all the way down to Surf Avenue in Coney Island.
Hudson River Greenway:
This long strip of paved bike path hugging the Hudson River is a fave among bikers, and since its fully-protected route guides you from Battery Park City all the way up to the George Washington Bridge, it'll probably be where we get our cycle legs. Things can get a little backed up near the Intrepid and cruise ships of Midtown, but it's smooth riding in most other stretches.
If you truly don't want to worry about cars, hop the channel to Governors Island, one of the best car-free places to bike (and just exist) in the area. Though the bike loop doesn't go around the whole island yet, you'll still get plenty of tree-lined trails, cool old mansions and an abandoned army barracks, plus stellar views of Lower Manhattan and the NY Harbor.
Bronx River Path:
The Bronx continues to surprise us. Hit up this paved pathway that runs adjacent to the Bronx River Parkway for a more natural, forested ride from the city's northern limits up through Westchester. If you're not coming from the Bronx and want to save yourself a wicked ride to the trail's start, you can take Metro-North up to Mount Vernon West and purchase a $5 bike pass at Grand Central to bring your wheels along.
Pulaski to Williamsburg Bridge:
This path will take you on a scenic tour of North Brooklyn all the way from Long Island City to the Lower East Side. The Grande Hipster Tour kicks off at the Pulaski Bridge in Long Island City, Queens, and ends on Delancey Street on the Lower East Side. Fixed gear bike not necessary, unless you want to be cool.