Sunday, July 01, 2012

THE Ride 'Round Manhattan

Ever since last fall's Tip to Tip Fun Run I've wanted to do one more full-length Manhattan adventure. We'll call it The Ride 'Round Manhattan. Never mind that today's weather included a heat advisory, when we get the biking itch you've just gotta ride! The ride was to leave our apartment in Bedford Park to venture to, and around, the entire Island. Dominic estimated it would be about 32 miles. We were in no rush, so after throwing a couple bottles of water and books in my basket we set off to Spuyten Duyvil Bridge

Who knew we lived so close to the upper tip of the Island! When I did the Tip-to-Tip run it took me an hour by train to get to 218th where the 1 train leaves you on the edge of the island. It's only three miles and 15 minutes by bike from our house. Getting to Manhattan was no problem at all. Getting on that first Hudson River parkway was slightly more difficult. Here's Dominic checking out the map of the more than 700 miles of on-street bike lanes and park space for bicycling.

This is the Little Red Lighthouse at Jeffrey's Hook. Pretty quickly you drop down to the river parkway and can ride for miles from Harlem down to the Chelsea Pier

By 10:30 a.m. we had made it to Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan. It was heating and we were ready for a little rest, so after saying hello to Lady Liberty we stopped under the pier to get out of the sun, admire a below-bridge taco truck street festival, and munch on some fruit leathers.

As we made our way back up the East River all the major landmarks started popping up. To Dom's left here is the Empire State Building.

I have the best husband in the world. Since the ride was a birthday activity to celebrate my new year he found the perfect spot around 97th where we could pick up a four-course picnic lunch for Central Park. Fancy!

Central Park has it's own, relatively small, Conservatory Garden between 104th and 106th. We took our lunches to this location where we knew we could find a quiet, shady respite from the heat. We unpacked our salads, sandwiches, rice pudding, chips and jelly belly snack packs. I thought we were alone - except a gathering wedding party - until we looked up in the terrace... We had guests!

 The bridal party and guests. We felt so bad for those poor groomsmen in suits. Hot, hot hot!

As you ride along this side at Harlem you have to cut into the city to ride on the streets for a bit. I didn't mind because it was a pretty quiet Sunday afternoon, but we had to put a little more attention into the ride than on the West side where you have a dedicated bike path.

Apparently New Yorkers who bike or walk to routine destinations report better overall health. Believe it or not, regular physical activity like biking burns calories, improves mood and makes people healthier.

 None of this mattered to Dominic as we approached the house. We were hot and tired.

The Ride 'Round Manhattan from door-to-door was 34.5 miles. Totally worth the effort - despite the heat! We came home, took cold showers and watched When Harry Met Sally (neither of us had seen it). Happy July! is an online resource guide to free or low-cost fitness opportunities like boxing, fishing, hiking, horseback riding - that's right, horseback! - kayaking, soccer and more.

One site I wish we could take more advantage of but don't is Shape Up New York. The city offers free adult fitness classes taught by expert instructors at parks and other community sites.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You two amaze me. You take fitness to a different level. Most people stay indoors during a heat advisory which they issue as it's not safe to be outdoors?!?!??!
Looks like fun though.