Bicycling in New York City Is Fun!
Metro North Railroad Bike Passes
Bicycles are allowed aboard MNR trains at most times outside of rush hours and major holidays. · A $5 lifetime Metro North Railroad Bicycle Permit is required. On weekdays, a maximum of four bicycles per train is allowed.
Bike Adventure in New York
My “very significant other” and I have been bicycling in New York City for 20 years, and loving each experience!
We live in Connecticut where we learned that we could get a bike pass on Metro North for a very nominal fee.
125th Street Station Harlem
We take Metro North from New Haven to 125th Street Station (Harlem) and ride over to the Hudson River bike path . It is a little difficult getting the bikes off the train and down to street level via a small elevator, but it is perfectly doable. We ride from 125th Street to Battery Park.
The Hudson River Greenway
The Hudson River Greenway is the longest greenway in Manhattan, running along the West Side, from Dyckman Street in the north to Battery Park in the south, mostly through Riverside Park and Hudson River Park. A gap in West Harlem was filled in early October 2008 with the opening of the Harlem Piers bike lane. A roughly 10-block detour in the west 80s, where a walkway had crumbled into the river in the late 20th century,was eliminated on May 20, 2010, when the rebuilt section of greenway was opened.
The Hudson River Greenway is the most heavily used bikeway in the United States.The majority of it is close to Hudson River water level, except the portion north of George Washington Bridge where it climbs steeply, to approximately 160 feet (49 m) and includes Inspiration Point, with views of The Palisades in New Jersey across the river and of the George Washington Bridge to the south,
Being “foodies”, we have found that we can stop along the way to savor delicious treats, starting with ribs at Dinosaur BBQ on 125th Street! The Fairway Market is also nearby and worth a visit. Trying not to stuff ourselves, we share our order and enjoy sitting at the outside tables watching folks come and go.
After a nice “bite” we get on the bike path and ride along the Hudson River.
And more food!
79th Street Boat Basin
If we have not stopped at Dinosaur BBQ we will stop at the 79th Street Boat Basin Café which also has outdoor seating. We can lock our bikes and enjoy a cool drink, a salad or a tasty sandwich. The prices are reasonable and the service is great. It is an ideal place to stop.
When we get to the dock at 72nd Street we have another treat!
Free sit-on-top kayaks are offered for public use in protected Hudson River (May-October). After you sign a waiver and strap on a life vest, you climb into your kayak from the water-level floating dock and float away for 20 minutes. There is a location at the 72nd street dock and at Pier 96 close to 56th Street. The locations are operated by volunteers who offer instruction as well as life vests for the 20 minute kayaking experience. As the dock is a floating dock, the most problematic part of the kayak experience for me was trying to get OUT of the kayak! Being older and a bit chunky, I am a somewhat clumsy in these situations. I finally just had to throw myself at the dock, and had visions of being somewhat like a beached whale! Still, it was fun and I would do it again.
The free kayaking programs provide an opportunity to create a personal connection with the waterfront, regardless of age, income or location, and it also serves to educate communities about how far New York environmentally pro-active organizations have come in cleaning up the Hudson River.
You do get a bit wet, but that is just part of the fun!
Fishing from the Pier
As we continue on our bike path towards Battery Park we come across FREE fishing at some of the piers. Equipment is provided but locations may change from time to time. We have enjoyed taking yet another break from biking to spend a few minutes dangling a line off the pier.
The trail from 125th Street to Battery park is about 11 miles in distance, but we have made stops along the way to entertain ourselves and refuel, so we don’t that we have gone very far. We are up for the ferry ride to either Staten Island or Governor’s Island! My preference is Governor’s Island because it is flat, and car - free on the bike trails. Both ferries are free of charge.
Governors Island is a 172-acre island in the heart of New York Harbor. Yards away from lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, it's easily accessible by ferry and open to the public during the summer. Opening day is May 1st.
In 1966, the Island was transferred to the United States Coast Guard. The Island became the Coast Guard's largest installation, with a self-contained residential community of approximately 3,000 and a commuting population of another 1500. Under the Coast Guard, the Island was the home of the Atlantic Area Command, the Maintenance and Logistics Command, and the Captain of the Port of New York.
Over the years, Governor's Island served as the backdrop for a number of historic events. In 1986, the Island was the setting for the relighting of the newly refurbished Statue of Liberty by President Ronald Reagan. In 1988, President Reagan hosted a final meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev on Governors Island, and in 1993, the United Nations sponsored talks on the Island to help restore democratic rule in Haiti.
As a cost cutting measure, the Coast Guard closed its facilities on Governors Island. All personnel were relocated by September 1996. It was the end of an era for the thousands of Coast Guard and Army families who had called the Island home.
The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the 92 acres north of Division Road as a local Historic District in 1996.The same 92 acres had been designated as a National Historic District a decade earlier in 1985
The federal government sold 150 acres of Governor's Island to the people of the City and State of New York for a nominal cost in 2003. Provisions in the deed ensured that much of the Island would be used for public benefit. It is now a beautiful park enjoyed by thousands of New Yorkers and tourists alike.
The rules below apply to all areas of Governor's Island.
- No smoking.
- Pets are not permitted unless they are working dogs with proper permits and documentation.
- Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
- Catch-and-release fishing is permitted on the Island, but all visitors over 16 must have a valid New York State fishing license.
A Full Day of Fun. Time to Go Home
By the time we have biked around Governor’s Island and explored the former Naval Facility it is time to start our return home. We take the Ferry back to Battery Park and make our way along the bike path with Grand Central Station being our next destination. We board Metro North at Grand Central for the 2 hour ride back to New Haven. We are usually exhausted but happy with our adventure.
The next time we take the bikes to New York, we will concentrate on Central Park which offers wonderful opportunities for exploring by bicycle. And we still have to explore all the bridges in New York, most of which are easily accessible by bicycle.
Hudson River Greenway Part One
Hudson River Greenway Part Two
Biking Just For Fun
What type of bicycle do you have?
Hudson River Greenway
The Hudson River Greenway can be accessed at 125th Street and will take you all the way to Battery Park. It's a great ride.