Some cities around the world are recognized solely for their biker-friendly streets. European cities like Amsterdam and Berlin, for example, are perfect for exploring on pedals. While New York City is known for a great many things — its electric city life, its world-class culinary adventures, its flair — you may be surprised to know that getting around NYC on the seat of a bike isn’t as hard — or as intimidating — as it sounds. Don’t be deterred by rush-hour traffic and speedy cab drivers, New York City has plenty of trails and parks that cater to those who’d like to explore on two wheels.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Bicyclist heading to Manhattan on the Brooklyn Bridge in morning light with blue sky and wispy clouds.

Start your biking adventure by biking across the Brooklyn Bridge from Lower Manhattan. This famous bridge is part of a daily commuter’s lifestyle – many New Yorkers bike between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Make your way to Brooklyn Bridge Park, and bike at sunset across the designated bike paths to watch the city lights of the New York skyline shimmer against the East River. Whether you’re coming from Las Vegas to Miami, or Dallas to New York, you’ll enjoy cycling through these iconic sites — and maybe even snap a cool photo along the way! Visiting this park is high on any visitor’s list, but biking is even better when you can visit two boroughs and relax at the park after a nice bike ride.

Summer Streets

People walking from the work at the street in New York City at sunset time

If you’re visiting New York City in August, look out for summer streets. On three consecutive Saturdays, a stretch of New York City streets are open for pedestrians. This creates the ability to bike around city streets that are normally congested with cars, cabs, and buses. It’s a celebration of New York City’s public space and what better way to enjoy it than on a bike? You can bike this area from 7 a.m. through the early afternoon — free of charge.

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Central Park

spring landscape in the Central park, New York, USA

This is probably the quintessential biking experience in the city. This slice of green oasis smack in the middle of Manhattan is perfect for biking, especially since its terrain is varied. Enjoy scenic views on a flat bike path, or challenge yourself by going uphill. There are plenty of paths to choose from, depending on where you want to go. We recommend taking a bike tour so you can get the most out of your bike experience and for you to learn about this wonderful park.

Governors Island

Ron Governors Island / Lower Manhattan and river / From Governors Island, we can see both Hudson river and East river.

This little island just hundreds of yards away from the lower tip of Manhattan wasn’t always a place to explore. Governors Island is the latest tourist attraction to open up for New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy in the summer season. Since most of this area is large, green space, what better way to get off the congested island of Manhattan than to bike a bit on the island? Take a free ferry from Manhattan into Governors Island. You can bring your own bike or rent one on the island. Along the way, you’ll not only enjoy views of Manhattan, but lots of outside art pieces that are perfect to enjoy when you need to catch your breath.

Pelham Parkway Greenway

City of the USA: New York, Bronx architecture

Take your bike and head uptown — a place where you’ll forget that trendy Manhattan is close by. The Bronx is a cultural haven with plenty of green space for all to enjoy. The Pelham Parkway Greenway takes you on an adventure to many New York City landmarks. Bike along the way towards the Bronx Zoo to greet the animals, or continue towards Pelham Bay Park for some serious bike paths through the wilderness. This area will make you feel miles away from the city streets. The bike path continues to Orchard Beach and City Island — remote areas where you can also bike before the busy summer season. Next thing you know, you’re practically biking towards Westchester County.

Are there other spots in NYC you’ve cycled your way through? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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