Weekend Getaway: 2-Day Bike Tour of NYC
New York City may the most populated city in the US, but it doesn't take long to see a lot of the city's hot spots on a bike.
JetBlue and Delta Airlines offer non-stop, round-trip flights from SLC to JFK for $400–$600. A 30-minute taxi trip to Times Square is around $50, plus tip. Booking a hotel in the center of Times Square breaks the trip into two loops—Uptown and Lower Manhattan. For our NYC biking trip, we chose to stay at the newly-refurbished Paramount Hotel, in the Broadway Classic Room, $250/per night. The Paramount is half a block from Times Square in the heart of the Theater District, with dozens of coffee shops and restaurants all in walking distance.
Biking is the best way to get around the city. New York is in the process of implementing bike lanes on all major roads. In late 2013, they will be opening the city's first bike share program. For the average city biker, getting around New York is simple. Beginners may want to walk their bikes on the sidewalks in high traffic areas or during rush hour. Riders should take caution at intersections since most “New Yorkers” tend to push the traffic law limits.
As always, wear a helmet and proper safety equipment. There are plenty of places to lock up your bike and most times you will be able to park your bike in central area and walk around the neighborhoods.
Day 1—Uptown Manhattan
5 miles round trip, not including Central Park loop
7 a.m. Get an early start, grab a coffee at a corner coffee shop, and make your way over to Rockefeller Plaza to watch the live filming of the Today Show. Celebrities make daily appearances, and if you stay for the entire three-hour filming, you’re sure to feel a little star struck.
9 a.m. Walk down 5th Avenue and take in the sights of Armani, Jimmy Choo, and Saks. Take a Left on 55th and rent a bike at Central Park Bike Rentals, if you reserve online before your trip an all-day bike rental is $32 and comes with a bike lock and helmet.
10 a.m. Enter Central Park at Columbus Circle where Broadway meets 59th. Follow the one-way bike lane north throughout the park. Bikes can’t be ridden on the paved pathways that weave through the park, but you can walk next to your bike to view things like the carousel or one of several lakes. The entire loop will take an average rider 1–2 hours and does have some short inclines...
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