Category Archives: Seasonal Cycling

Why You Need to Bike Across the Williamsburg Bridge

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By: Nick Shannon

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New York City is an amazing place to bike. Not only is it thrilling, but it gets you outside to enjoy the great views, parks, water, and array of recreational opportunities available (especially during the summer!). If you are biking in the city, you will want to go across its bridges to soak in as much of the culture of the outer boroughs as possible. Here are 6 reasons why you should add the Williamsburg Bridge to your next biking adventure.

6. Bike the bridge for a workout, or just enjoy a leisurely ride with a great view

It will only take you around 15 minutes, depending on your ability. Get in your workout and don’t let the incline stop you – you and your legs will thank you later! The gradual slope will give you cardio, build muscles, and increase your endurance all in one activity. You will also be flowing above the cars and past any traffic. Biking is the perfect way to avoid road congestion and unnecessary delays.

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5. Explore Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn for the day on a bike loop

It is the perfect bridge to bike as part of a loop. If you pick up a rental bike at Bike and Roll’s Battery Park location, you can go straight over the Brooklyn Bridge, explore Brooklyn Heights, then make your way north up the Kent Ave Greenway to Williamsburg. Enjoy an afternoon of delicious food and quirky shops, then cross the Williamsburg Bridge back to Manhattan to see more of the Lower East Side. The Williamsburg Bridge offers a utilitarian ride that is quick and enjoyable – something that New York commuters definitely appreciate. Pedestrians have a separate walk on the south side of the bridge and the path for bikes is on the north side

Link to map: https://goo.gl/maps/St5hQ791NAw

 

4. SMORGASBURG – the Brooklyn Flea Food Market

One of the coolest food events in the city on a Saturday is Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Over 100 local vendors sell their creative concoctions in what becomes a local food paradise. Try something you never thought you would, such as a ramen burger, truffle fries, a hibiscus doughnut, or mango on a stick with chili powder. You could go every weekend and still find something new.

TIMES: Every Saturdays from 11 am – 6 pm
East River State Park: 90 Kent Ave. (at N. 7th)

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3. ARTISTS AND FLEAS – Artist, Designer and Vintage Market

Just a block away from Smorgasburg, you will find the Artists and Fleas market where local artisans and designers sell their products. You will find one-of-a kind trinkets, jewelry, crafts, fashion and vintage- the perfect opportunity to get a gift for that special someone and it may be hard to not pick up something for yourself. You will feel good about supporting small business and makers, which is a great way to engage with the community. Enjoy just browsing the crafts, and get some time in with the dogs out front.

TIMES: Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am – 7 pm
70 North 7th Brooklyn
Williamsburg, NY

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2. YOGA ON THE FARM – evening yoga at North Brooklyn Farms

If you end up keeping a bike overnight and find yourself in Williamsburg in the evening, the perfect way to end your ride is with Yoga on the Farm. Stretch the muscles you just workout out on the bike and enjoy a little meditative practice to calm your mind in this big, bustling city. The view of the sun setting against the Manhattan skyline is the perfect excuse to stop and just breathe.

TIMES: Tuesdays from 6:45 pm – 7:45 pm
North Brooklyn Farms
320 Kent Avenue (@ S. 4th Street)
Brooklyn, NY

1. New York City is a great place to explore by bike. It is a great way to visit a lot of places, but still have the on-the-ground experience you miss from being in a car or on a train. There are so many bike lanes to take advantage of to get you from point A to B, or just to explore the boroughs. If you are just visiting, or don’t own a bike and want a weekend adventure, a bike rental is the perfect thing for you.

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The Williamsburg Bridge may just be the one thing that will spark your next NYC adventure. It is the perfect excuse to explore Brooklyn and lower Manhattan on your next day off. Its location and character make it an enjoyable place to bike, so go out there and start exploring!

 

 

 

 

 

Things to Do in New York

Rent a bike at New York City's Riverside Park

The question we hear most often is “What are some things to do in New York, and what is the best way to do them?” Visitors want to see and learn about Central Park and all the numerous sightseeing locations around NYC. Well, Bike and Roll NYC has the perfect solution … why not try one of our top-rated bike tours around the city? We offer tours of Central Park, Waterfront Greenway, Brooklyn Bridge, downtown, and we even have a combination bike and water taxi tour you can try. You’ll be accompanied by one of our expert tour guides, so not only will you get some great exercise, but you’ll experience the city in a whole new way, and you will learn something too. If you prefer to tour the city by yourself, we also have many bike rental locations scattered about Manhattan and New Jersey. You can choose from a wide assortment of bikes, including performance bikes, race bikes, tandem bikes and even quadcycles. We even cater to kids too, so you can be assured of getting the proper equipment for the entire family.

So, if you and your family or group are looking for things to do in New York, you can get more information on the bike tours and bike rentals offered by Bike and Roll NYC on our website at http://bikenewyorkcity.com.

Bicycle Tours, the best way to travel!

Guide stories

When you travel, consider bicycle tours as a way to maximize your experience! A bicycle tour is the single best means to explore a travel destination. More efficient and covering more ground and material than walking while providing a much more intimate experience than a mass transit solution like a bus or a boat tour. A bicycle tour also does not include the challenges faced by auto drivers such as parking issues; traffic and the constant need to pay attention to the road.

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Travel by Tandem

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A tandem bicycle rental is a terrific way for a couple to explore a travel destination. While bikes in general are more efficient than walking and much more fun than being confined in a motor vehicle, the tandem adds a special dynamic.

The tandem experience eliminates the worry of separating or losing your partner. Also, ongoing conversation is much easier than if attempting to travel together on separate bicycles. You can share the workload as well but beware, tandems are a little more challenging when navigating hills.

There has been some discussion about tandem bikes and relationships. According to Angela Hill of the Oakland Tribune, “They’ve been called everything from love machines to divorce accelerators”. As a rental operator, I recall the first tandem rental I ever facilitated was to a newlywed couple in San Francisco. Upon return from their ride I was apprised of some conflict along the way relating to the pecking order of operator management. The biggest issue seemed to be the lack of advance warning to the rider in back about forthcoming bumps. In the end, we all had a good laugh and the relationship did not seem any worse for the wear.

Tandems are a great product to rent as they tend to be more economical than renting two separate bikes. Additionally, most people do not own a tandem, so renting one is a means to try something new. They are not difficult to ride, but a few important rules apply. The rider in front always mounts the bike first and the first one on is always the last one off. The front rider always stabilizes the bike for the back rider when mounting and dismounting the bike. Communication is also very important. Advising when brakes will be applied or when shifting greatly improves riding efficiency. Advising on forthcoming points of interest also makes for a better experience for the rider in back. And yes, the front rider should alway advise when there are bumps in the road.

Bike and Roll NYC recommends a tandem bicycle rental experience for those who enjoy adventurous travel and sharing experiences with others. See bikenewyorkcity.com/rental/tandem-bike/ for more information on renting a tandem in New York City.

Credits

Byline: Darryll White

Photo by: kohlmann.sascha via flickr

Summer Streets 2012 — Saturday No. 1

Yes, I was one of those New Yorkers who was never around on Saturdays in August.  Then I started working at Bike and Roll and Summer Streets came into my life.

For those of you who don’t know, Summer Streets takes place every year during the first three Saturdays in August.  From 7am to 1pm on each of these days, the city shuts down Park Ave. and Lafayette St. creating a seven-mile car-free haven for pedestrians, bikes, roller skaters, and scooter-ers.  Plus, the southern two lanes of 72nd St. are roped off to create a bike lane into and out of Central Park.  For anyone north of the event and near the park, it’s the perfect car-free conduit to Summer Streets.

Let me reiterate the virtues of doing anything in New York EARLY!  The cops have blocked off the streets by 6:30am and the world is your oyster!  There are some spandex jackrabbits in the park, but peeling off onto 72nd St. means you’ve left it all behind.

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A Summer Day on Governors Island

We were looking for something special to do.  My kids are leaving for camp on Sunday, so we want to do something special and memorable on Saturday.  Since several weeks of separation are looming, my children are being very nice to me and agree to get up early to go to Governors Island.

I am one of those New Yorkers who doesn’t like crowds.  There are lots of us on this island of more than eight million and we use tricks to feel like there are far fewer people than those who actually share our space.

The first trick is to go wherever you are going early!  Visit any location that tourists and locals like to visit and you’ll notice that they are empty until noon or so on weekends.  The kids and I are up, dressed, breakfasted, and out the door by 8am Saturday morning.  We catch the subway down to South Ferry and were at the GI ferry terminal by 8:40am.

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Hudson River Park: Manhattan waterside destination

BETH J. HARPAZ | July 12, 2012 11:07 AM EST | AP


NEW YORK — In the last decade, the decrepit piers and industrial zones along five miles of the Hudson River on Manhattan’s West Side have been utterly transformed. Hudson River Park is now a destination that gets 17 million visits annually, with a bike path, green spaces, playgrounds and recreation ranging from mini-golf and skateboarding to kayaking and even stand-up paddleboarding.

Melissa Lopez rented a bike a few weeks ago from Bike and Roll at Pier 84, near 44th Street and 12th Avenue, and was amazed at what she saw as she rode downtown through the park.

“It was gorgeous, like a little nature haven, beautiful flowers, trees, and only when you looked over to your left (at the buildings), did you realize you were in between a concrete jungle and this beautiful river,” said Lopez, 29, who came in from her home in suburban Westchester for the day. “Everyone was doing something active – sunbathing, rollerblading, bike riding. There was one pier with a volleyball court with sand. I kept telling my boyfriend, `Are we really in New York City?'”

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You have to see it to believe it (Governors Island)

Picture this. A beautiful park, complete with lush grass and foliage as well as a historic buildings, completely surrounded by water, with a view of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Manhattan skyline.  If didn’t hate using clichés so much this would be where I started to call it one of New York’s “best kept secrets,” a real “diamond in the rough.”

In all reality though, I was shocked while biking around Governors Island. It is a tiny little island only 800 feet of the coast of Manhattan. Yet, somehow, there is almost no noise, no cars, and no people. Rather than weaving in and out of people and cars, overwhelmed by horns and chatter, I got to ride completely uninhibited by others.

 

Ever since the day I interviewed at Bike and Roll, I have been hearing about this amazing island. Even still, I must say, the promotional material certainly does not do it justice. You will have to experience the beautiful serenity of Governors Island first hand to truly understand that this rant isn’t even an exaggeration!

Summer Streets NYC (August 2nd, 9th, and 16th, 2014)

On three consecutive Saturdays in August, nearly seven miles of New York City’s streets are opened to the public to play, run, walk and bike.

Summer Streets is an annual celebration of New York City’s most valuable public space—our streets. Summer Streets provides space for healthy recreation and encourages New Yorkers to use more sustainable forms of transportation. In 2013, more than 300,000 people took advantage of the open streets.

Summer Streets is modeled on other events from around the world including Ciclovía in Bogotá, Colombia and the Paris Plage in France. The event is part bike tour, part walking tour, part block party—a great time for exercise, people watching, or just enjoying summer mornings. Passersby are weclome to participate in arts and crafts workshops, listen to musical performances, learn to salsa dance, eat healthy snacks, climb a 25′ climbing wall, soar through the sky on a 160′ zipline and explore a 179 years voice tunnel.

map_800w-1Held between 7:00 am to 1:00 pm, Summer Streets extends from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, along Park Avenue and connecting streets, with easy access from all points in New York City, allowing participants to plan a trip as long or short as they wish. All activities at Summer Streets are free of charge, and designed for people of all ages and ability levels to share the streets respectfully.

Summer Streets is a project of the New York City Department of Transportation. With nearly 7 miles of open streets, 5 rest stops and a seven-block-long art installation in the Park Avenue Tunnel – there is plenty to explore at Summer Streets. And remember, everything at Summer Streets is free!

Bike and Roll New York City is a proud Local Programming Partner of Summer Streets. Even if you don’t have a bicycle of your own, get out and enjoy the festivities by renting a bike from any one of our numerous city-wide locations.

 

Our Top 10 Favorite Summer Activities in NYC

Summer is in full swing and we love all that New York City has to offer during these gorgeous summer days! We’ve rounded up our top 10 favorite activities for you to enjoy during your summer in NYC!

1. Shakespeare in the Park

This free annual event is held at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park and is one of New York City’s most popular summer traditions.  Take advantage of free Shakespeare and enjoy performances of Much Ado About Nothing and King Lear this summer.

 

 

2. Visit Bryant Park

This 9.603 acre park located between 5th and 6th avenues  at West 40th Street is full of fun summertime activities.  Bryant Park offers everything from a great lawn perfect for sunning to a reading room with hundreds of books.  Enjoy outdoor activities such as ping-pong, chess and backgammon as well as great eats from Bryant Park Grill and Bryant Park Cafe.

 

 

Free Movie Night in NYC Parks (Photo Credit: nycgo.com)

Free Movie Night in NYC Parks (Photo Credit: nycgo.com)

3. Watch Free Outdoor Movies

Many New York City parks offer free outdoor movies at night during the week showing recent hits such as American Hustle and classics like Jurrasic Park.  So bring a blanket, some snacks and enjoy your favorite films outside.

 

 

 

 

 

4. Have Fun at the Today Show Concerts

TODAY brings the most popular musical artists to Rockefeller Plaza for the Toyota Concert Series every summer.  Artists include Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, and more!

 

 

 

 

Central Park Zoo (Photo Credit: nycgo.com)

Central Park Zoo (Photo Credit: nycgo.com)

5. Visit the Central Park Zoo

The Central Park Zoo is a 6.5 acre zoo located in New York City’s most famous park! You’ll find 130 different species living in the zoo from Snow Leopards to Tropical Birds.

 

 

 

 

 

Coney Island (Photo Credit: nycgo.com)

Coney Island (Photo Credit: nycgo.com)

6. Visit Coney Island

The Coney Island neighborhood in Brooklyn is full of fun!  From amusement parks and games to great food, Coney Island is a great place to visit for an exciting summer day!  Not to mention that Coney Island is the birthplace of the hotdog!

 

 

 

 

 

7. Take a Circle Line boat ride around Manhattan

With plenty of cruise options to choose from, Circle Line is the only cruise line dedicated specifically to sightseeing.  Spend a sunny day viewing the NYC skyline by boat!

 

8. Have a laugh at Comedy Nite at Splitty

Thursday night is Comedy Nite at Splitty! Known as a “moveable feast”, visiting Splitty’s makes you feel like you’re in the “camper of your dreams”. Click here for the comedian line up for the week.

 

9. Take in the views at a Rooftop Bar

There’s nothing like enjoying a refreshing cocktail and gorgeous Manhattan views after a long day of sightseeing.   Check out this list of the top 80 Rooftop Bars in NYC!

 

 

 

Bike the Brooklyn Bridge and Waterfront (Photo Credit: Bike and Roll NYC)

Bike the Brooklyn Bridge and Waterfront (Photo Credit: Bike and Roll NYC)

10. And last but not least, take a guided tour with Bike and Roll NYC!

Bike along the NYC Waterfront and head uptown to Central Park or downtown to the Brooklyn Bridge. Explore the wonders of Central Park or take in the amazing views from the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges.  All tours are lead by licensed tour guides.

 

 

What are your favorite summer activities in the city?