Here’s a great way to spend a beautiful September afternoon in NYC.
Get on your bike and head to the West Side. Head down to the Hudson River at around 68th street (the ramp down is just in front of Trump’s big apartment houses along the West side). When you get down to the river, head north.
Think about stopping for a free kayak ride.
But the road and Mr TBTAM (Hmmm…he reminds me of someone…) beckon. So off you go.
As you head north, you’ll pass the 79th street Boat Basin (where Tom Hanks had his boat docked in “You’ve Got Mail”).
Remind yourself to come back for burgers and beer at the Boat Basin Cafe before it closes for the season.
Don’t stop to join all the folks hanging out on the grass, though that seems like a great plan for another day.
Around 86th street the path takes a little detour up into Riverside Park, giving you a chance to stop for a minute or two to admire the 91st Street Garden (site of the final scene from You’ve Got Mail…)
At 91st St, take the path back down to the river. Here, the crowds have thinned and you can do some more serious biking.
At St Clair St, near the Fairway Market, you must leave the path for a few blocks.
This gives you a chance to ride under the West Side Highway
and, if you are hungry, you can stop for Barbecue at Dinosaur Barbecue (nice review here).
But there’s no time to stop. Follow the signs back to the River Path – you’re heading for the George Washington Bridge!
Enjoy the culture shift north of 125th street. Boom boxes are playing salsa music, fishing poles and Spanish food carts line the riverside,
and there is some very serious volleyball going one.
Not far past the volleyball courts, the path along the river narrows abruptly. A sign will tell you that this is the path for walkers.
So you’ll head to the right and take the bike path (over on the far right in the photo).
This will take you through the woods and along the railroad bed.
You will emerge to gorgeous views!
Now it’s just a short ride to the George Washington Bridge.
If you have the energy, stop for a quick game of tennis at the free courts in the shadow of the Bridge. (Directions to the courts are here)
More likely, though, you’ll want to ride up and see the Little Red Lighthouse.
Now it’s time to take a break. Relax along the river, sit on the rocks, enjoy the boats and barges as they sail on the river. (We saw one barge loaded with antique railroad cars.) Marvel at the fact that you are in New York City on a beautiful day in September, feeling the breeze off the river.
When you’re rested, head on back. Don’t worry – other than the foray up to Riverside Park, the path has been completely flat, and you feel great.
And the ride back will be just as spectacular!