July 11, 2010

Biking from Bay Ridge to Westchester County

I found this on youtube - a perfect video of what it's like to bike over the Brooklyn Bridge.

I've been getting into biking a bit more lately, and this past Sunday I decided to go for a long ride. From Bay Ridge to Hartsdale, NY, to pay a short visit to my Uncle Brendan.

I left at about 7am, before the sun was bad, and hung a right at Third Avenue. Third Avenue north of 65th Street is an industrial hell, but on early Sunday morning, it's not so bad. Even the nasty curved passage under the Prospect Avenue connector was easy.

Left turn on Ninth Street, right turn on Smith Street, left again on Atlantic Avenue, then a quick right for the few blocks along Adams St to the Brooklyn Bridge.

While the roads between Bay Ridge and downtown Brooklyn are not very bike friendly, once you hit the Brooklyn Bridge, you're where you want to be. The bridge is of course glorious, with a gentle incline that takes you past the tourists and joggers into the Oz of lower Manhattan.

Once in Manhattan, it only gets better. There are dedicated, protected bike paths along almost the whole length of the Hudson River in Manhattan now. I rode up to 181st Street, treated myself to a gourmet breakfast at the McDonalds on 181st and Broadway, then continued north on Broadway into the Bronx and Westchester.

I had plotted the route with Google Maps, which now has a " bike directions " option along with their driving, walking, and mass transit options.

The Google maps directions contained a significant error - its still in beta - , but I knew the terrain well enough to know how to keep going north. And when once in Westchester, I found the Harlem River Metro North line, and got to Hartsdale by following the tracks north as best I could.

I was a sweaty mess by the time I got to Brendan's house, but a cool shower and a few Budweisers took care of that.

As for the ride home? My cousin gave me a ride to 205th Street, and I rode the bike friendly D train home from there!

I like long distance biking and will do more of these runs.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have occasionally biked up to Westchester from Bay Ridge and coverall the ride along the Westside Greenway is pleasant, especially once you get above the piers and the masses. I always try to go into Riverdale and if possible stop by Wave Hill. Hope you enjoyed.