Over the last decade or so, New York has followed in the footsteps of its European peers and become increasingly bike-friendly, and cycling around Manhattan has become the hottest way to see the city and get some exercise. Citi Bike stations scattered throughout every borough offer wheels on demand to anyone who needs them, while dedicated riding lanes and greenways keep cyclists safely separated from automobile traffic.
For residents of SoHo’s new XOCO 325 condos, on-site bike storage means always knowing your two-wheeled key to freedom, health, and adventure is conveniently accessible, and perhaps most importantly, not cluttering up your home. For those mornings when you wake up and can’t wait to don your helmet, here are five of New York City’s best bike routes.
You can’t cycle in New York City without falling in love with the longest greenway in Manhattan and the most popular bike path in the entire United States. The Hudson River Greenway begins down in Battery Place and extends all the way along the west coast of Manhattan to Riverside Park, flanked by the Hudson River on one side and the glimmering skyline on the other. At 11 miles in length, it’s long enough to provide a great workout and a few hours of enjoyment, not to mention endless Instagram material; there are countless newly landscaped parks and art installations to explore along the way. We recommend packing a picnic; your biggest problem will be deciding which scenic spot to stop at for your lunch.
There are no cars on Governors Island, which helps it maintain a healthy detachment from Manhattan; while it feels like an extension of the city, the riding here is much more open. Ride down to Battery Maritime Building, where you can catch a ferry to the island every half hour; the ride only takes 10 minutes (perfect for getting in a good stretch pre- or post-ride). Once you reach Governors Island, you’ll find an incredible assortment of trails weaving all over its 172-acre expanse. We love the Revolutionary War artifacts there, including the famed Fort Jay, the art installations, and tree-lined field, and we’re always awed by the island’s views of both the Manhattan and Brooklyn cityscapes.
If you’re looking to ride a bridge in New York, the Williamsburg is the best choice. Not only does it provide its own breathtaking views of downtown Manhattan and northern Brooklyn—and quite a pump on the ascent—but the ride itself is far more enjoyable from a cycling perspective than the other bridges in the area. The riding area is wide, with a large, designated space for cyclists, so you’re not slipping in out and of selfie-snapping tourists every eight seconds, as you would encounter on the Brooklyn Bridge. The Williamsburg Bridge is about a mile and a half long, with sections to rest, take pictures, and enjoy the scenery at every few hundred feet. If you’re looking for a longer ride, get off the bridge in Brooklyn, head down to Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, and follow the bike lane along the water.
If the streets don’t thrill you enough, snag your ride from the dedicated bicycle room at XOCO 325, and head north to the Inwood/ Washington Heights section of Manhattan to reach Highbridge Park, the city’s first mountain biking course and the only place to mountain-bike in Manhattan. There are three miles of trails at Highbridge, ranging from beginner to expert, with trick parks and jump tracks as well. It’s a beautiful little gem of a park that not too many downtowners know about.
Staying to the north, car-free Randall’s Island caps off our list, with its eight miles of biking and running trails that take you through beautiful gardens, over bridges, and along the water for four and a half miles. The Randall’s Island biking experience is distinctive, but it shares at least one sensation with biking on equally car-free Governor’s Island; after you pedal around Randall’s Island for a while, you’re likely to forget you’re only across the bridge from the city. Or, at least you would forget, if you didn’t see it sparkling
in the distance.