Biking Around Manhattan

Last Saturday I biked around Manhattan. My goal was to stay as close to the island’s waterfront as possible. I biked in a clockwise direction starting from 96th street and the Hudson River on the West Side and biked north.

Biking Manhattan - Geo-Tagged Images

Biking Manhattan - Geo-Tagged Images

There are two maps that I use for figuring out bike routes to follow in New York City:

The Manhattan Greenway is an excellent bike path and covers much of the approximately 32-mile circumference, but there are still significant gaps. When not on the Greenway , I biked on the street (on marked and non-marked bike lanes) and a couple times on the sidewalk.

The biggest gaps in the Greenway are along

  • the northern part of Manhattan, north of Dykman Street.  There is no Greenway path along the waterfront. But you can bike through Inwood Park and then take the street-based bike lane along 218th Street heading east until you reach Amsterdam Avenue. Once you are on Amsterdam heading south, there are no bike lanes until you reach Dykman Street and the Harlem River Greenway.
  • portions of the Harlem River from 125th street to 155th. But there is now a new park along the waterfront that currently extends from 132nd street to 145th street. This park includes a class 1 bike lane. And it appears that the bike path and park space along this route are in the process of being extended.
  • the east river from 37th street to 59th Street (or 63rd street) — on Saturday I had to exit the East River Greenway at 63rd Street because the exit ramp at 59th Street under the Quensboro Bridge was closed. It’s unlikely that there will be a riverside greenway in this neighborhood anytime soon since it would require going around the United Nations.
  • the East River Greenway just south of the The Water Club on 30th Street and past the Waterside Plaza until you reach the continuation of the bike path on 25th street. You can either bike on the Waterside Plaza sidewalk or on the street against traffic.
  • the southern tip of Manhattan. Due to construction and a lack of marked bike paths, it is not clear how one should bike the area near the ferry terminals and into Battery Park – I used a combination of streets (going against traffic) and sidewalks.

Slideshow and Geo-Tagged Map

As I biked around Manhattan, I took a lot of pictures with my iPhone. My goal was to take shots of key milestones and geographic markers that I would reference when I drew the map (my next post) of the path I followed when biking around the Island.

Here is the slideshow and you can also view a map that shows the location where each of these images was taken:

Most of the photos in the above slideshow I took on Saturday when I biked around Manhattan. On Sunday I went back to take more shots of the East River bike path south of 37th street.

You’ll notice that there are few shots of the Westside Greenway south of 125th street. This portion of the Greenway is the most crowded bike path around the island and also the easiest to follow.

Geo-Tagging Image with an iPhone

One reason I shoot all my pictures with my iPhone is because photos are automatically geo-tagged. But this geo-tagging capability does not work that well. About half of the photos I placed on my bike map, I had to reposition. For example, some pictures I took in Inwood Park were stamped with a geo-tag that indicated that they were taken in New Jersey–not even close.

About Doug Fox

Doug Fox is a New York City tour guide, urban explorer and waterfront enthusiast. Email Doug at: nyctransported [at] gmail [.] com