Check out our guide to summer bike rides, with suggestions for pedaling to the beach, to Manhattan and even all the way to New Jersey, here.
Here are two simple, but longer rides in Manhattan. If bridges bring you down, you can always take the East River Ferry and start your ride from Pier 11, which is right on the East River Bikeway.
Going Uptown: The bike helmets that Danielle Baskin handpaints for her business, Belle Helmets, are as beautiful as they are protective. And lest you think helmet wearing is lame, that’s precisely how Baskin got her start. “Wearing a helmet is important!!!,” she wrote to BB in an email. “I started painting helmets to force myself to wear my helmet, and then it accidentally turned into a business by word of mouth.”
Baskin said that in addition to riding to the Rockaways, she really loves the city scenery that comes with Manhattan trips. “I enjoy taking long bike rides up 1st Avenue to around 120th Street and then back down 2nd Avenue.” she said. “It’s interesting watching the city shift into different neighborhoods so quickly and being able to ride off a path and even in the middle of the street at some parts (but always look out for cars and always wear a helmet).”
From the Manhattan Bridge, when you exit onto Canal Street, go two blocks east to Allen, which turns into 1st Avenue north of Houston, and just ride north.
From the Williamsburg Bridge, turn right on Clinton or Suffolk from Delancy, ride a block up to Rivington, turn left and then ride the four or five blocks to Allen.
Baskin also noted that “Biking through the streets of the Upper East Side late at night is really awesome too; it’s eerily quiet and still, there are few cars around, and almost every shop leaves their lights on making the streets glow, so it feels like I’m moving through a city generated in a video game or like I’m Will Smith in I am Legend.” That is by far the coolest thing we’ve ever heard anyone say about the Upper East Side.
Little Red Light House: Chrysanthe Tenentes, BB contributing editor, recently posted some photos of her bike ride to the Little Red Light House on Instagram. It looked like so much fun that we asked her to share her route. The lighthouse is on the Hudson River, tucked under the George Washington Bridge, which you can also ride over, if you like. “I went down to Battery Park City to meet a friend and then up the West Side Highway path,” Tenentes said. “Typically I stop for lunch at the 125th Street Fairway.” She also likes to chill in the West Village before heading back to Brooklyn. “Cut across 9th street and 10th street going back,” she advises. “If you are doing the Brooklyn or Manhattan Bridge, you can probably ride around the bottom of the island [along the Hudson Greenway-Battery Park-East River Bikeway] since it’s so narrow down there.”