Author Topic: Setting out from New York City.....Good idea or not?  (Read 2207 times)

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Offline bobbys beard

Setting out from New York City.....Good idea or not?
« on: February 20, 2011, 05:44:21 pm »
Hi all, I'm flying in to NYC from the UK and plan to start cycling south along the Atlantic coast route. I've never been to the US before and wonder if it's really a good idea to make New York my introduction to cycling in America! Anyone had any experience biking through NYC?

Any suggestions for a quieter town close to NYC to start from? I plan to buy my bike etc when I arrive, so recommendations for good bike shops would also be greatly appreciated    :)

All advice gladly received.

thanks!!

Offline jamawani

Re: Setting out from New York City.....Good idea or not?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2011, 06:44:56 pm »
You can take the SeaStreak Ferry from Manhattan to the Highland Shore of Jersey and find bike shops, beaches, and a paved bike trail, too.  Take the JFK Express into Manhattan from JFK - then enjoy whatever you wish in Manhattan before heading down to the Battery and the ferry pier.  On your ferry ride, you will pass the Statue of Liberty and go under Verrazano Narrows Bridge.  Avoid the late afternoon rush hour on weekdays.

http://www.seastreak.com/

Offline knolltop

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Re: Setting out from New York City.....Good idea or not?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2011, 09:02:08 am »
You can take the SeaStreak Ferry from Manhattan to the Highland Shore of Jersey and find bike shops, beaches, and a paved bike trail, too.  Take the JFK Express into Manhattan from JFK - then enjoy whatever you wish in Manhattan before heading down to the Battery and the ferry pier.  On your ferry ride, you will pass the Statue of Liberty and go under Verrazano Narrows Bridge.  Avoid the late afternoon rush hour on weekdays.
http://www.seastreak.com/
Believe this journal documents using this ferry to escape NYC.
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=Rogkr&page_id=172820&v=pK
+-+ Michael +-+

Offline bobbys beard

Re: Setting out from New York City.....Good idea or not?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2011, 09:13:22 am »
Thankyou so much, both of you! That's exactly what I'm going to do. Must admit, I was feeling a bit intimidated about trying to negotiate the big city, but this looks like a lot of fun!

Offline litespeed

Re: Setting out from New York City.....Good idea or not?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2011, 10:19:24 am »
By all means take the Seastreak ferry if you are headed south. It costs more than the train to, say, Long Branch (only available to bikes on off hours and weekends) but the ferry is a lot more fun and infinitely more scenic. If you want to go north out of the city you can ride the trail up the east side of the Hudson River, cross the George Washington Bridge and head north on 9W. If you want to go straight west you will have a lot of congested towns to pick your way through unless you go through them on a train to some place like Morristown.

Don't worry too much about bicycling around New York City. The drivers are among the best in the world. They really know how to look six ways at once. Don't forget to look left when you step off the curb. I almost got killed when I first landed in Scotland and, looking left, almost stepped off the curb into traffic.

Here is a New York City bicycling map in pdf: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/bike/map_complete.pdf
Here is a map and listing of NY bicycle shops: http://www.mapquest.com/?le=t&q=Bicycling+New+York%2C+NY&maptype=map&ICID=mq_localoneclick&flv=1&vs=map
Here is a source for bicycling maps of New Jersey: http://www.nj.gov/transportation/commuter/bike/tours.shtm
« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 08:40:38 am by litespeed »

Offline shorecycler

Re: Setting out from New York City.....Good idea or not?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2011, 10:26:05 am »
riding in NYC at first is very intimidating but once you realize that you have the best form of transportation to get around the city that feeling quickly dissipates and it becomes very enjoyable. Its the best way to see the city imho with the ferry being second because you can see it from the outside. You should enjoy it, and know that its not as hard as it may seem to escape if needed. good luck! 
Enjoy the Ride!

Offline bobbys beard

Re: Setting out from New York City.....Good idea or not?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2011, 05:11:21 pm »
Brilliant, thanks everyone! So glad I posted here.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Setting out from New York City.....Good idea or not?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2011, 09:39:54 pm »
What a wonderful idea to start in New York City! I use to commute to work there, by bicycle and although not for the faint of heart, you would be fine. You will also be able to find a bike you like, lots of shops. I agree with all, about the Ferry, from SS Seaport to Long Branch. Not sure of the schedule. How long are you going to be in the States and what time of year? From Long Branch you might want to head south to Cape May, beautiful Victorian Mansions. I would take the Ferry South from Cape May to Lewes, Delaware. If you have time, pick up the ACO Atlantic Coast Route. If time is short, I would head towards Annapolis, Md. the home of the U.S. Naval Academy and then to our nations capital, Washington, D.C. You can take a flight from D.C. back to NYC. Next trip, you could start from Maine and head to Boston and down to to Newport, RI along the southern coast of Connecticut through New London, New Haven (Yale University), Westport to N.Y.C. Have a great trip.

Offline bobbys beard

Re: Setting out from New York City.....Good idea or not?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2011, 05:49:55 am »
Hi Tourista, I've got a visa for (hopefully) 6 months, starting the end of May. My original plan was to get a train down to Florida and bike the Southern tier to San Diego, then up to LA, but seeing as my training is going well, I decided to add the Atlantic coast too. This will give me a chance to acclimatise to the heat gradually as I make my way south.....well that's the plan anyway. it's been such a long winter that I've forgotten how tough biking in the heat can be.

It all sounds so great. The biggest problem will be deciding where not to go!

Offline Tourista829

Re: Setting out from New York City.....Good idea or not?
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2011, 08:49:32 am »
Bobby's Beard, Since you have six months, here is another idea. If you are thinking of doing the Southern Tier, fly into San Diego and start there, in May. You will avoid the strongest heat. The winds may be more favorable going west to east. Once you get to St. Augustine you may want to take the ACO's Fl. Connector to Fort Myers Beach. Take the ferry to Key West. Then Ride from Key West and head north to Miami and Points North. (The winds usually will be out of the south in July, August, & September) If you have the time, head north from NYC to Maine. You should be done in early November.

Another option is to start in NYC, head to Fl. then take the Southern Tier to San Diego and head along the west coast north to Seattle. If you had a year, then connect with the ACO Northern Tier eastbound to Bar Harbour, Maine and then back to NYC. Now that is a trip!!!

We purchased a light touring bicycle in the UK at SJS Cycles. You might want to talk to Andy Blance and see if they could ship you over a Thorn Club or Nomad to the States. Their accessories and upgrades are very reasonably priced. (Plus they cater to touring cyclist more so than we do in the US) My girlfriend's Thorn actually handles and rides better than my Comotion. (and I love my Comotion)  http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/

Offline indyfabz

Re: Setting out from New York City.....Good idea or not?
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2011, 10:09:50 am »
If you are talking about Adventure Cycling's Atlantic Coast route proper, another option is to cycle the bike trail along the Hudson to the Midtown dock for the New York Waterways ferry and take that to Hoboken, NJ, home town of Frank Sinatra and the birthplace of baseball.  (Note that if you go on the weekends, the ferry lets you off at the north end of town.  During the week, the ferry sails directly to the historic train station.  It's an easy ride between the two.)  From Hoboken, you can get a train to Port Jervis, NY, which is on the Alantic Coast Route.  It's a relatively long (roughly 2.5 hrs.) but beautiful ride.  Check New Jersey Transit's web site for schedules and rules about when you can take a bike.

One advantage of starting in Port Jervis is that you get to cycle through the beautiful Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, where you might see a bear.  From Port Jervis to Lambertville, NJ the route parallels the Delaware River, partially in NJ and partially in PA.  It's quite pleasant.  If you wish, you can take a shaded, well-surfaced bike path for the last 20 or so miles, from Frenchtown, NJ to Lambertville.  And there are two very nice places to camp along this stretch--Worthington State Forest, just across the river from Delaware Water Gap, PA and Bull's Island Recreation Area (reservations recommended on weekends), which is along the bike trail about 8 miles north of Lambertville, NJ.

Offline bobbys beard

Re: Setting out from New York City.....Good idea or not?
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2011, 11:12:05 am »
Tourista, that's freaky! i actually live a few doors away from sjs cycles!!!!! seriously.  :o
i did think about asking in there, but they're slightly more expensive than other local shops. plus i reckon it will be cheaper and easier to buy in the states. i'll contact a shop in advance, so it should be ready for when i arrive. i'm not overly fussy about what bike i have, so long as it works....

i bought a RTW flight, so have to fly into new york and out of LA, otherwise, I agree the opposite direction makes more sense.

Thanks indyfabz. i haven't ordered the Atlantic maps yet, so will check that route out when I get them. Not too sure I want to meet a bear though!

Offline indyfabz

Re: Setting out from New York City.....Good idea or not?
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2011, 01:31:53 pm »
Thanks indyfabz. i haven't ordered the Atlantic maps yet, so will check that route out when I get them. Not too sure I want to meet a bear though!

I am sure many people don't equate bears with the state of New Jersey, but in 2010 the state its first hunt five years.  Chances of a sighting are still low.  The chances of a close encounter even lower.  But they do exist.  Last year there was an 800+ lb. black bear killed across the river in PA.  That same bear had once been tagged at Walpack Bend, which is in the Delaware Water Gap Nat'l Recreation Area.  The point of mentioning bears was to give you an idea of how relatively unpspoiled the area is.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Setting out from New York City.....Good idea or not?
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2011, 08:45:56 pm »
Well it's a small world after all. At the time we wanted a sport tourer and needed a bike that fit. She had long legs and short torso. SJS Thorn Audax MK3 fit was second to none for women. I can assure you, their prices were much less. There are alot of bike shops in NYC. My concern, in the States, the only reasonably priced touring bike, out of the box, that I would ride, is the Surly Longhauler Trucker.(L750 pounds) Not readily available at bicycle shops. (touring bikes are a rare bird over here) You will need a bike that can mount front and rear racks and a good set of waterproof bags.

Offline andresimonpietri

Re: Setting out from New York City.....Good idea or not?
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2011, 07:31:11 pm »
In Oct, 2010, I rode from NYC to DC on AC's Atlantic Coast route.  To get out of NYC, I took the PATH train to Penn Station, Newark, NJ and started on the New York City Spur at Penn Station.  It worked fine.  Enjoy.