This past week I had the pleasure of going to NYC with my fiancé Jeff. He was speaking at a conference and invited me along. I took the train to NYC which was awesome. I just love the train. No 2 hour arrivals, no TSA, no forced removal of clothing. It’s just fabulous!
I arrived at Penn Station. I was going to take Uber but I decided to be a New Yorker and try the subway. I’d never been on the subway in NYC and I was nervous. I bought my ticket, got my luggage stuck in the turnstile and proceeded to board the train. 10 stops later I arrived at my destination ready to see the city.
I wanted to see NYC too not just the touristy parts but the stuff that locals and natives love about it. So I booked a bike tour to see Harlem. I hadn’t been there since the late 80’s so I had no idea what to expect. Unfortunately, my tour was cancelled due to low signup. But I didn’t let that deter me; i rented a bike from I Bike Harlem and off I went to explore the city. It was beautiful. I went past Marcus Garvey Park, The West African Shopping Village where I bought a lot of stuff, ( Don’t judge me, I had a basket I needed fill) then on to the Apollo Theater. While riding there and later in lower Manhattan, I learned a few things:
- Bikers are everywhere. Not just messengers anymore but regular people.
- Very few people bike in spandex. Most are wearing regular clothes and using their bikes to get from point A to point B.
- NYC has 2 amazing greenways. The Hudson River Greenway that runs along the Hudson River from Battery Park all the way up town. It’s totally car free and is a beautiful ride. The other is the East River Greenway which runs along the East River and again car free.
- Take CitiBike for one-way trips. They have them all over the city. They have a $101 security deposit per bike you check out. It’s $12/ day for a bike ad unlimited 30-minute rides.
- And finally, traffic signs and signals are merely a suggestion. I’m joking- sort of. You will notice that everyone moves all the time. They sometimes ride against traffic, in bike lanes in the wrong direction, in between cars, and thru stop signs and lights.
Biking in New York is not for the faint of heart but if you can handle the traffic and mobs of people you will enjoy every minute of bicycling in The Big Apple.
Have you ever biked in NYC? What was your experience like?