Sunday, 27 April 2008

Le Tour de Manhattan

Yesterday Olivier and I rented some bicycles to go for a ride around Manhattan. We rather ambitiously decided to do a lap of the Island.

We joined the East River at about 13th Street and headed south. There was a cycle path next to the waters edge and we got great views of the bridges and city scape from river level. There were lots of runners out and about. Saturday morning is clearly little league baseball time. All around Manhattan we saw groups of under 10s playing in their smart little uniforms.

It was fairly easy riding as we cruised passed South Seaport, the Stattan Island Ferry and into Battery Park. The tourists were out in force to take the Ellis Island ferry. We were at our first landmark, the southern tip of the Island.

We turned north and headed up the western side of the Island following the Hudson River. The paths along the Hudson have a deserved reputation for being the best on the Island with smooth, wide lanes for cyclists and walkers. Olivier and I were both surprised at how quickly we were eating up the streets without having to stop for traffic lights every couple of blocks. The above picture was taken at the Chelsea Piers.

As we continued north the imposing George Washington bridge became larger and larger. We decided to cycle across the bridge so that we visit New Jersey for the first time. There are great sweeping views back across Manhattan from the middle of the bridge. About half way through Le Tour we stopped for a drink and cakes at a cafe in Jersey.

Back in New York we continued north up to Inwood Hill Park and found 218th Street which is the most northerly street on Manhattan Island. Needing to get the bikes back before the shop closed we turned south. Unfortunately there isn't a continuous path along the East River and what there is, isn't as well maintained as on the Hudson. We cycled through Harlem on St Nicholas Avenue. When we reached the top of Central Park we cut across to the river and cycled alongside Roosevelt Island before being forced to join 2nd Avenue around 56th Street. We cruised the final 39 streets back to the bike shop along the Avenue. It was quite frustrating to be stopping for traffic lights every few minutes after a couple of hours of uninterrupted cycling.

We got back to the bike shop 30miles and 5hr 45mins later, a little tired, but quite proud of our achievements. I've got a sore knee today.


  1. What a great tour! You have given me inspiration for one of my days in June :-)

  2. It's a great day out, I'd really recommend it.

    I was telling Mr Blue Eye's flat mate about it on Saturday night and I think he might give it a go next Monday.