Thursday, July 26, 2007

Fridays Around Manhattan (on Thursday)

Fridays, as in Bike Friday, as in Mike and I circumnavigated Manhattan yesterday. 50 miles of biking, including retrieving the kids from camp (11 miles alone). The exact route is detailed at the bottom of this post for anyone who cares to take out a map and figure it out. I am trying to get Mike to upload his GPS map and will link to it when and if he does it. (On the other hand, I am trying to figure out how to do it myself and have several reference tabs open. Watch for an edit to this post.)

Basically, we dropped the kids off at camp and then rode as close to the rivers as possible while still mostly keeping to marked bike routes. Upper Manhattan involved some serious hills and everything south of 40th Street was pretty flat. Since, except for our breakfast stop, we rode pretty continuously, there is little in the way of NYC lore here. If we repeat the trip with the kids there will be more history.

Photos courtesy of the new and improved Bike Cam.The path leading to the Little Red Lighthouse and George Washington Bridge. (The person is me.)The George Washington Bridge.The hill leading up from the Little Red Lighthouse. Yes, I am walking my bike. If you look carefully, this gives a very good feel for the steepness of this hill. The incline actually starts well below the level of the roadway in this photo.Inspiration Point.Bridges leading to the Bronx.St. Nicholas Avenue.
Overpass leading from the Greenway to York Avenue about 60th Street.

The northern end of the island is very hilly and left me rather tired though I did manage to climb all of the hills except the Little Red Lighthouse hill (and I did more than half of that one, only giving up on the very last, steepest part of the incline). We saw some lovely homes and even passed the Dyckman Homestead.

After 22 miles of riding, we stopped for a picnic breakfast in Carl Shurz Park and relaxed on the grass in the shade of a tree. Revived, we continued on our way, cheered that the rest of the trip was relatively flat. Oops, forgot that nasty hill on York Avenue and then another one or two milder ones on Second Ave. No big deal, relatively.

Down and around the tip of the island, passing the "evil metal plates" and heading back up to Chambers Street to pick up sandwiches for dinner. The back to the Greenway and home for lunch. Yes, after a two hour rest we then headed back out, on the bikes, to retrieve the kids from camp. We left an hour early because I was concerned that I would be too tired to bike quickly. Turns out I had much more energy then I did in the morning and climbed the hill on Riverside Drive relatively easily. We were half an hour early to get Squidette so we rested in a nearby park for a while. By the time we got home the ride had finally set in and I was downing much liquid after finally getting clean.

I admit that I am the first to defend my city against those who would malign it but I have to admit that it is dirty! After 5 hours on a bike, mostly on or near traffic, I was covered in soot and debris that adhered to my sweat and sunblock sticky skin. For the time being, I am clean but, it is time to finish the painting ...

Detailed route follows as interpreted from the GPS track. A street or two may be missing so use this at your own risk.

We started at home, rode up the Greenway adjacent to the West Side Highway, exiting the greenway at 95th Street. We then rode up Riverside Drive to 112th Street and deposited Little Squid at camp. Uptown on Broadway to 122nd Street to deposit Squidette and the over to Claremont. Right on Claremont to Broadway to Dr. Martian Luther King Jr. Blvd to 12th Avenue, across the Fairway's parking lot to Fairway to secure breakfast provisions. Then back to 12th Avenue and back on to the Greenway. North on the Greenway to the Little Red Light House. Up the hill (I did not make the last bit this time) continuing North to the stairs at the end of the Greenway. Following the signs we resumed riding on the streets at Staff Street turning east on Dykeman to Seaman Avenue. Seaman (north) to West 218th Street. East on 218th Street past Baker Field to Broadway. North on Broadway to the Broadway Bridge (but not over it) to 9th Avenue (no kidding!). 9th Avenue east and then south to West 215th Street. 215th to Broadway, Broadway southeast to 204th Street. 204th to Sherman Avenue to Academy to Nagle Avenue to Dyckman, east to the Greenway heading south along the Harlem River. South along the Greenway to the Harlem River Drive to St. Nicolas Place. South along St. Nicolas to 151st Street to St. Nicolas Avenue. South along St. Nicolas Avenue to West 120th Street to the East River Greenway and then south to Carl Shurz Park. Rest stop for breakfast and a "natural" break.

A brief detour to our favorite bike shop and then back to the Greenway heading south. Down the stairs at 79th Street (definitely easier to hike a roadbike onto a shoulder then schelping a Bike Friday down those stairs!) and south to the end of the Greenway at about 60th Street. Over the overpass to York Avenue. South on York to 55th Street. 55th West to 2nd Avenue and 2nd Ave South to 38th Street. At this point we followed the signs heading east on 38th to the Greenway only to find the gates locked. South along the service road of the FDR to 35th Street where we were able to reconnect to the Greenway and then stayed along the East River all the way to the southern tip of the island. We continued to follow the greenway around the tip and then headed north on the Hudson River side. A brief stop on Chambers Street to pick up sandwiches for dinner and then back to the greenway and home.


penny said...

I'm tired just reading about that. You guys are amazing!

Dave Daniels said...

I've gotta say, my thighs hurt reading all that. 50 (FIFTY???) miles is a lot in a day. Wow.

Cookie said...

Ya'll are amazing.

knittin'_kitten said...

That is a lot of biking! I am amazed how much biking you can do in the city, I did not realize it was as bike friendly until reading your stories! Have you affixed a camera to your bike or do you ride with one hand as you snap pics?

Anonymous said...

I so enjoy seeing your pictures of the city. Thanks for posting them.

That was quite a ride. Makes my 30 minutes on the treadmill and my weigh routine seem paltry in comparison. LOL

Kristen said...

What a neat ride. 50 miles on a hot summer day and with hills - whew!