My name is Marshall and I rode in NYC – twice!
July 20, 2015
DAY 1: Central Park, NYC to River Road, NJ
My name is Marshall. I’m from the San Francisco Bay Area. I visited New York City to see my wife’s family. I decided while in town, I’d like to get a few rides in, so, I contacted GlobalCycleRides.com (GCR) and set up two days of riding. On the first day, GCR arranged for me to pick up a bike at the northwest corner of Central Park and was blown away by the service and the inventory available. They greeted me at the door and I was pleasantly surprised when they presented me with a top quality Fuji carbon fiber bike with Ultegra components. After putting on my pedals, they expertly sized the bike for me and I was ready to roll! Vasi, the GCR Ride Leader arrived right on time. After a quick introduction, we hit the road.
The ride started by cruising a few miles through the NYC streets to make our way to the George Washington Bridge (GWB). I would have been nervous biking through NY had Vasi not been such a confident guide. He used hand signals and voice commands and made if easy (and even fun) to negotiate the craziness in NYC. When we arrived at the GWB, we had to make a few tight turns on a narrow sidewalk to make our way to the main span. It was spectacular. From high above the Hudson River, we could see the shimmering skyscrapers of NYC and the lush greenery of New Jersey. Of course, we stopped to take a few keeper pics! When we arrived in New Jersey, we went back around under the bridge and started heading north through the Palisades Interstate Park. The road through the park was wide, smooth, and had almost no traffic. We were able to ride side-by-side and talk as Vasi pointed out the sites. The road consisted of nice rollers. About 15 miles into the ride, we encountered a challenging 500 foot climb up the Ranger Station. We took a quick bio-brake, refilled our water bottles, and started to reverse our route. When we got back across the GWB into NYC, we rode South on the Hudson River Greenway, a bike and pedestrian path along the Hudson River. We made our way to down to 70th street on the bike path where there was wonderful outdoor restaurant and bar on the Greenway facing the river. Of course, we had to stop for a cold refreshing beer. What a ride! It totaled about 32 miles with 2200 feet of climbing when I got to the apartment on West 74th Street. I slept well Monday night.
DAY 2: NYC to Nyack
One ride just wasn’t enough. I wanted more. So, GCR came through for me again on Day 2. I woke up at 6:00am. Had a quick breakfast. Got my bike kit together, and stepped outside the apartment on 74th Street. Greg, another GCR ride leader, was right there at 6:55am (5 minutes early!). Just like yesterday, we had some quick introductions, planned our route, and started to roll! We headed up the Hudson River Greenway, crossed the GWB, and rode through the Palisades Park to the Ranger Station. From here, we continued North through beautiful suburban neighbourhoods and quaint little towns until we reached Nyack, overlooking the Tappan Zee Bridge and the Hudson River. There were lots of photo ops! From Nyack we worked our way back to the small town of Piermont, where we stopped at Bunburry’s coffee shop. We met other local cyclists who frequented this refueling station. I couldn’t resist the double chocolate muffin in the pastry case. YUM!!! Nice mid-ride snack. From here, we decided to pace-line back to NYC along the main road (rather than the rollers through the Palisades Park.) Thanks, Greg, for pulling most of the way! After crossing the GWB and arriving back in NYC, we decided to take the city street back to drop off the bike. Today’s ride was 60 miles with about 3800 feet of climbing. It took just a few minutes to return the bike. Greg and I sat down at a nice outdoor café overlooking Central Park. Once again, we capped of the ride with a nice cold beer.
Thanks Vasi, Greg, and GCR for the great bike logistics, and the rest of the GCR team for a few very memorable days of cycling in the Big Apple! I can’t wait to come back.