As a cyclist it can be hard to find the best roads to ride on. That's why we compile our Cyclist's Guides to Cities. This month we've tackled New York City's best group rides, loops, restaurants, and bike shops.
While we're not from the city, we grew up near by and spent multiple seasons racing on teams from New York City. We've enlisted the help of some of our friends and former NYC superstars (thanks Jayson and Neil), to come up with some local favorites. Despite being a huge city, population wise, NYC is surprisingly easy to get around in and has great riding nearby, as well as one of the most organized and community supported racing and riding scenes. Check out our guide below.
The Best Routes
Just over the bridge (The George Washington Bridge is The Bridge), you'll find a narrow twisting road that's almost entirely free of cars sitting between the banks of the Hudson River and the Palisade Cliffs. The perfect loop for an easy spin or hill repeats up Alpine Hill. You can continue up 9W to Nyack or Bear Mountain, and start/finish at Strictly Bicycles which is just a few blocks away.
The go-to quick ride for Manhattanites. A rolling loop around the perimeter of Central Park will have you surrounded by skyscrapers and home to over 25,000 trees. The park is closed to cars on weekends and most evenings, however you'll have to watch out for joggers and horse-drawn carriages.
The Brooklyn alternative to Central Park. A bit less busy, closed to cars at lunchtime and evenings, as well as having great lighting for those evening rides. Also the host to weekly racing, and great food trucks.
9w to Nyack
This route is a little more low-key than Bear Mountain. You get the same great rolling designated bike route of 9w, but you'll end up in Nyack. A little town right on the Hudson. Be sure to stop at The Runcible Spoon for coffee and pastries.
You'll be amazed that a ride exists this close to New York City. Head north out of the city on 9w, a rolling "highway" was first built in the early 1900's. As you ride up the Hudson you enter Harriman State Park the second largest state park in New York. The roads up here are largely free of cars, and you'll guaranteed to see hundred of other cyclists. The final climb up to the peak of Bear Mountain is a solid 4.5 miles at 5.2%. You might even be able to see Manhattan from the summit.
Group Rides / Races
Floyd Bennett Field
Races are held here every Tuesday evening from May through August. If you ride to the race you can get a tour of almost every neighborhood in Brooklyn. The course is at an abandoned airfield, the first municipal airport in New York City. More info here: https://www.nycbikeracing.com/
See our Prospect Park loop above. Races are held here almost weekly throughout the spring and summer.
Red Hook Crit
If you're in NYC late April, you've gotta check out the Red Hook Crit. Started by David Trimble in 2008, it's a combination of crit racing on track bikes. Fixed gears and no brakes. It has the quintessential NYC twist on bike racing (Remember that Madison Square Garden was built for track racing at the turn of the century). Well designed, artsy, good, hard racing, and awesome afterparties.
Held every May, GFNY is the true Gran Fondo experience. A harder version of our Bear Mountain loop with everything from riders just trying to complete the course and have a good time to a full on race with some of the best pro and amateur riders in the country. Well organized, and with multiple events worldwide. The founder, Uli and his wife both have been using Airport Ninja's since 2017.
Hop Kee ($)
OG Chinatown. Located in a basement on Mott Street this hidden gem has become more well known because of Anthony Bourdain's stellar review. A "secret" more traditional Chinese menu is combined with Cantonese styled classics.
21 Mott St, New York, NY 10013 | http://hopkeenyc.com/
Burger Joint ($)
No frills burger joint hidden (good luck finding it!) inside Le Parker Meridien. I'll say no more...
119 West 56th Street, New York, NY 10019 | https://www.burgerjointny.com/
ZuriLee Pizza ($$)
A Caribbean and globally inspired pizza joint. Run by a mainstay family of the NYC cycling scene, the Burrowes.
755 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11226
The Cannibal ($$)
We'll just let their description convince you, "...is your local butcher’s restaurant — named as an ode to the “greatest cyclist of all time,” Eddy Merckx."
113 E 29th St, New York, NY 10016 | https://www.cannibalnyc.com/
Gotham West Market ($$)
Described as one of the best food halls in the world. This place has it all: pop-ups, ramen, tacos. Only in NYC.
600 11th Avenue, New York, NY 10036 | https://gothamwestmarket.com/
Minca Ramen ($$)
One of the oldest ramen shops in NYC. This is an East Village hole-in-the-wall you can't miss.
536 E 5th St, New York, NY 10009 | http://newyorkramen.com/minca/
The Bike Shops
Close to Central Park this is one of our favorites. Great selection of gear, but really known for their bike fits, winter cycling classes, and training camps.
1842 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd, New York, NY 10026
Awesome shop with 2 locations. Grab an espresso from the shop while you get your bike serviced, and be sure to check out their killer custom jerseys and bottles.
66 2nd Avenue (Between 3rd and 4th Street) | 590 W. 45th Street (at 11th Avenue)
Your one stop shop in Brooklyn. They have everything you could imagine. Lightweight wheels, Pegoretti custom steel frames, Assos clothing... Plus, Mario Cipollini was just there to launch a new frameset.
105 5th Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11217
Located in SoHo you'll find a full calendar of events, from race viewings to weekly group rides. The perfect place to start or end a ride with a full cafe menu.
159 Prince St. New York, New York 10012
While not actually located in NYC, this shop is just on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge. Anytime you leave Manhatten to go ride up River Road or 9W, you'll be passing right by this high end shop which makes it a popular meeting point.
2347 Hudson Terrace. Fort Lee, New Jersey, 07024