By Nicole Mylonas
I sat down with Darryll White, co-founder of Bike and Roll, to discuss the New York City Waterfront. In this two-part interview, you will learn about the incredible access that the waterfront grants to many New York City icons, what a great day along the waterfront looks like, why the waterfront is an important part of the NYC experience and how bicycling plays an important role.
Q: What motivated you to focus on the New York City Waterfront as a bicycling destination?
My first motivating factor was the NYC Greenway, which created the opportunity to offer a new, outstanding and safe bicycle experience in New York City. Since the Greenway primarily resides along the waterfront it is natural for us to make the waterfront an area of focus. A car free path goes a long way in terms of safety and the perception of safety.
While safety is foremost, our product experience is also very important. When I owned the Bike and Roll operation in San Francisco, our premiere and most successful product revolved around biking the scenic waterfront, across the Golden Gate Bridge and returning by ferryboat. In New York City, the waterfront greenway allows for bicyclists to connect iconic sites such as the Brooklyn Bridge, the 9/11 Memorial, the Statue of Liberty, Governors Island, Staten Island Ferry, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and more, with proximate water-transit along the way . Much like in San Francisco, people in NYC can bike the waterfront, ride on a famous bridge and return by boat.
A view of the Brooklyn Bridge
The Freedom Tower/One World Trade
Mayor Bloomberg’s vision, PlaNYC30, also motivated me to focus on the New York City waterfront as a bicycling destination. The plan articulated a vision to connect the five boroughs and specifically mentioned use of water transit and increased use of bicycles. By aligning our plan with that of the administration we were able to work in sync with an existing city initiative.
Q: How has the waterfront greenway helped change the perception of biking in New York City?
In the early 1990’s there was no bike path to speak of outside of Central Park and New York City was perceived by many as a dangerous place to ride. The addition of the waterfront greenway created a safe and significant network of paths to ride and as they say, if you build it, they will come.
A beautiful day for a bicycle ride in Central Park
The bike path also runs though many beautiful waterfront parks, which serve as a great place for residents and visitors alike to relax and enjoy the greenery, open sky and waterfront views while connecting with many great waterfront destinations. Thus, the Greenway has been integral in creating access to the waterfront.
The importance of the Greenway for biking in New York City cannot be overstated!
Q: Describe a great day on the New York City Waterfront.
Imagine a bike ride along the Hudson River, on a car-free Greenway, providing access to diverse neighborhoods, awesome iconic attractions, waterfront dining and connections to water transit that allow bikes easy access to all 5 boroughs of NYC. A great day for me would be to create my own combination adventure on the fly, stopping as I pleased and exploring new spots along the way. When hungry or when feeling like a change of pace, getting off the bike to sit somewhere and watch the world go by is a great option as well. There are so many terrific pit stops along the way.
Some of my favorite destinations include the picnic areas and the Boat Basin in Riverside Park, the Frying Pan and the Intrepid Museum in Hudson River Park, the Ice Cream Factory and Grimaldis in DUMBO the various concessions and skyline vantage points in Brooklyn Bridge Park, the bike path loop and Governors Beach Club on Governors Island and of course, the wooden plank bike path that crosses above the cars on the Brooklyn Bridge.
The Frying Pan
Boat Basin Cafe
The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
Find great concessions at Brooklyn Bridge Park
Ferry connections can be made all along the bike path and I enjoy very much adding a boat trip, as it gets me off my saddle for a bit and also provides another vantage point, along with access to Governors Island and the NJ shoreline. NY Water Taxi and East River Ferry provide excellent and convenient service along both the Hudson and East Rivers. For additional water tours I enjoy Manhattan by Sail and the Circle Line tours – both uptown and downtown.
The East River Ferry
After listening to that amazing description of a great day on the New York City Waterfront, I’m ready to hop on my bike right now! The freedom of being able to hop on and hop off of the bike to enjoy museums, restaurants and parks sounds perfect. I’m looking forward to more information as we continue this discussion in the near future.
Be on the lookout for part two coming soon!
By: Henry Nalle
I heard about Bike and Roll NYC’s Marketing Assistant/Language Liaison internship through the career center at my college. The internship was advertised as a great way to put foreign language proficiency to work while gaining experience in marketing, public relations, and international business—and that is exactly what it was! As a French major interested all of these fields, this internship seemed like the perfect intersection of my academic interests and professional pursuits.
What made this internship so unique was the fact that it was truly a learning experience. I was also able to work and interact with so many different people over the course of the summer. It’s as if this experience was three internships in one. In addition to working directly with Bike and Roll NYC, I also worked in conjunction with Alon Marketing Group and Nicholas and Lence Communications to make Bike and Roll’s products more accessible to foreign markets.
The work I did directly for Bike and Roll NYC consisted of translating all of Bike and Roll’s promotional material (websites, brochures, tour documents, etc) into French. Translating this material early in the program really helped me to familiarize myself with Bike and Roll NYC’s products and mission. What’s more, during my first week I was given the opportunity to go on two of Bike and Roll’s tours: the Inside Central Park tour and the Bike and Boat tour. I thoroughly enjoyed both these tours and they really got me excited about working for a company with first-rate products and superior customer service. I was always encouraged to give constant feedback on my experiences over the course of the summer. I even had the opportunity to collaborate with my fellow intern, Courtney, to draft part a manual that will serve as a training guide for future Bike and Roll interns.
One of the key components of my internship was my work in conjunction with Alon Marketing Group. Alon puts Bike and Roll into contact with hundreds of tour operators who put together tour packages and sell them to travel agents, who then sell them to tourists. As a French-speaking intern, I researched Francophone tour operators that offer tours to New York City. I also did substantial research on the French biking culture and how it would translate to an interest in biking in New York City. After completing this research, I drafted an email (in French) selling Bike and Roll NYC’s tour and rental offerings. I reached out to tour operators by tailoring this email to each operator’s interests as expressed on their website. Reaching out in French helped to break down the language barrier that may have previously prevented contact with these buyers. I also felt that I was actually doing something to help Bike and Roll while learning a great deal about the travel and tourism industry.
I also had the opportunity to work with Nicholas and Lence Communications, the firm that manages Bike and Roll’s PR. During my days at NLC, I made press lists of Francophone journalists and posted Bike and Roll tours to NYC event websites to help advertise and sell our product. I also drafted sales pitches and translated press releases in an effort to reach out to French-speaking tourists in NYC. My work with NLC exposed me to the world of Public Relations and served as an amazing opportunity to work with some real experts in the field.
Interning for Bike and Roll NYC was an amazing learning experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone with foreign language proficiency interested in marketing, PR, and international business!
What was your experience like as an intern? Tell us in the comments below!
By Courtney Laird
With a degree in Spanish from Colby College, I hoped to find a summer job or internship that allowed me to utilize my Spanish language skills daily. With the help of Colby’s Career Center, I stumbled upon the Language Liaison/Marketing Assistant Intern position at Bike and Roll New York City and became immediately interested upon seeing that the main responsibilities of the job focused around language skills and international business.
I knew from the first week that I would enjoy myself during this internship—from taking two tours to acclimate myself to the product, I realized that the culture of Bike and Roll is one steeped in fun and innovation and that their products are something you should definitely try!
The internship is comprised of three main segments: marketing with ALON Marketing Group, public relations with Nicholas and Lence and translating Bike and Roll’s brand literature and promotional material. All three segments work in harmony to increase Bike and Roll’s presence in international markets relative to your language focus—since I speak Spanish, I translated the promotional material into Spanish and contacted Spanish-speaking countries that provide the most tourism in America.
Using an online database full of travel agencies and Tour Operators, I located and contacted (in Spanish!) companies that spanned 10 countries in order to introduce them to the rentals and tours Bike and Roll offers here in NYC. Creating direct dialogue with international companies in their native language helped Bike and Roll enter a whole new business market—many of the companies I contacted responded that they would promote our services on their websites. I liked this process best—it was a great way to hone my Spanish skills in professional correspondences, to learn more about how sales and marketing function when pitching products and to create connections with people in various countries like Spain, Argentina, Guatemala and Peru.
I also really enjoyed translating the promotional documents. It was a great way to keep my brain alert, to learn new words and phrases and to practice the sometimes complicated process of translating. It was really rewarding to know that my work would be published for customers to use! It was also fulfilling to be able to incorporate and improve upon my existing writing skills in both English and Spanish—drafting emails, crafting a research project and writing blog entries allowed for ample opportunities to enhance valuable communication skills.
The interactive and direct experience of marketing and public relations (two fields in which I had limited experience) definitely enabled me to learn a whole new set of skills that prepare me well for a career in these interrelated fields. The opportunity to learn more about sales and marketing, coupled with the opportunity to use and improve my Spanish skills, made this internship invaluable. From working with a small company of friendly and knowledgeable people to expanding my professional network into Latin America, my internship at Bike and Roll NYC helped me locate my career interests and provided me the necessary skills sets for jumpstarting my career.
(by Andrea Doyle, Successful Meetings, February 25, 2013)
(By Marjorie Cohen, AM New York, January 16, 2013)
You’ve got a bike, maybe more than one, and can’t figure out where to put it in your city-sized apartment. You are not alone.
Although the city Department of Transportation’s 2012 figures on bike ridership aren’t out yet, Jill Guidera, campaign and organizing coordinator for Transportation Alternatives, predicts a “tremendous increase over last year. In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, there was a 200% increase in riders and we think that a lot of those folks have decided to stick with it.”
There’s plenty of indoor bike parking for Transportation Alternatives employees, but when Guidera gets home, she parks her bike outside her building.
“My fourth floor walk-up apartment is the size of a pencil box, so this makes the most sense,” she explained. “I rely on the know-your-neighbors security plan.”
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.
|All we can add is: Be careful out there and ride safely!
New York Times July 24, 2012
The eight wrongdoers sat inside a windowless basement classroom, serving a court-ordered penance for their transgressions. For the next 90 minutes, they would learn about the proper rules of the road, how to use hand signals and when to change lanes safely — even if most did not believe they had done anything wrong.
“He said I wasn’t in the bike lane,” said Kenny McKissick, a 32-year-old messenger. “But I was on the line.”
This spring, the Midtown Community Court began sentencing cyclists who had been issued tickets for certain offenses in and around Midtown Manhattan to a class to learn about bicycles and traffic.
Think remedial driver’s education — for bike riders.
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.
Are you looking for something exciting, fun, and new to do this summer? Do you enjoy being outdoors and staying fit? Then get ready to experience one of the most popular attractions in New York! Bike and Roll offers a wide-variety of bicycle rentals and tours around Manhattan, Central Park, 9/11 Memorial, Brooklyn Bridge, Hudson River, San Francisco, Washington DC, Chicago, Miami, and much more. These tours won’t only give you a great workout, but they will also teach you historic facts that you’ll remember forever.