Fast exits to Brooklyn: Four bike routes around the New York borough

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This article is part of a series of articles Cycling and a New York Guide From FT Globetrotters

Three years ago, before I moved from Washington DC to New York, I sold my bicycle. In more than 20 years of history, it is actually a relic-it is not suitable to be carried in a car to go to the east coast. In any case, cycling in New York City seems scary.

Living in the West Village in Manhattan, I did not miss my set of wheels. There is no place to put a bicycle in my small apartment, and I am lucky to be able to walk to work. But a year later, when I moved to Brooklyn and during the pandemic, I was ready to put on the helmet again.

Emily Goldberg rides a bike in Domino Park, Brooklyn © Laurel Golio

Although great Bicycle shortage in 2020That summer, I bought a hybrid bike, and I think it will help improve my commute when I finally return to the office. After a year and a half, I still work most of the time in my apartment, but cycling has always been a great way to spend time outdoors and explore my community.

People with parked bicycles on the streets of Williamsburg

Williamsburg’s streets are wider and easier to manage than Manhattan’s avenues © Laurel Golio

Even though car traffic has returned to pre-pandemic levels, the streets of Williamsburg are easier to manage than the avenues of Manhattan, and I have found plenty of bike lanes to provide more comfort. These are my four favorite Brooklyn bike routes.

1. City Hall to Gowanus (3 miles)

  • Fit: Ride the photogenic Brooklyn Bridge

  • Not suitable: Bon Voyage.Expect some bumps because the path across the bridge is made of wooden slats instead of sidewalks

  • for reference: Be prepared to avoid pedestrians-cyclists and walkers share the sidewalk on the bridge, there is no real separation

Globetrotter Brooklyn Bike Map, City Hall to Gowanus

Start at City Hall In Lower Manhattan, you can admire the impressive architecture at the seat of the city hall.If you need to rent a bicycle, there are several Citi Bike The pier in the area.When you are ready, join Brooklyn Bridge Promenade.

A sort of Dedicated bicycle lane It is expected that there will be more bridges by the end of this year, but now you must share the road with pedestrians, so please proceed with caution. This is a popular photo spot, so it is expected that many tourists will be in the cloud (or stick to the phone screen).

Admire the beautiful view of Lower Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge.  ..

Admire the beautiful view of Lower Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge. .. © A. Astes/Alamy

... Continue to Gowanus Canal, a new fashionable enclave

… And continue to the Gowanus Canal, a new fashionable enclave © J Feinstein/Dreamstime

Admire the impressive view from the bridge, and when you reach the other side, you will cycle through a section of downtown Brooklyn, then drive southeast through the tree-lined neighborhood Burren Mountain And enter Govanus, A former industrial area, is now very popular with hipsters, artists and creative people.

End your journey with a bite and a drink in the restaurant Lavender Lake Bar-its name is an ode to the neighbors, it is very polluted Govanus Canal. Yes, I realize that this does not sound Love the appetizing atmosphere, but the picturesque terrace and creative drink menu of Lavender Lake will soon attract you.Environmentalists may be interested in wandering across the street to witness Clean “black mayonnaise” Has fallen to the bottom of the canal.

2. Prospect Park Loop (4 miles)

  • Fit: Enjoy nature without leaving the city

  • Not suitable for: Riding on flat ground-there is a fairly large hill next to the bike path in the park

  • for reference: Make sure you ride your bike counterclockwise with the flow of other cyclists

Globetrotter Brooklyn bicycle map, Prospect Park Loop

The obvious starting point Prospect Park Ring Located in the Army Square, the main entrance of the park, there is a civil war victory memorial arch. This is a good place to start cycling-there is also a Citi Bike dock opposite the park entrance, which is easily accessible.But I suggest starting from the starting point two blocks west of the park and cheering at Park Slope’s winner bakery.

Don’t be alarmed by Winner’s line-it is likely to extend down the block in the morning-because it moves very quickly. Breakfast sandwiches, homemade English muffins and crumbly coffee cakes, and a cup of Java coffee are worth the wait.

After this, you will be ready to burn off these calories. (If you need to rent a bicycle, there is a Citi Bike dock near the corner Tenth Street and Seventh Avenue.) As you head east towards the park, Brooklyn’s iconic brownstone apartments will be lined up along your route.Enter the park near Prospect Park West With shellIf you are cycling in the warm season, you may hear live music playing.

Stop for an English muffin at Winner Bakery.  ..

Stop for an English muffin at Winner Bakery. .. © Winner Bakery

... Before reaching the green space of Prospect Park

… Before reaching the vast green area of ​​Prospect Park © Hemis/Alamy

Go counterclockwise on the paved road with other cyclists and runners Circle line around the perimeter of the parkNo need to worry about car traffic, you can enjoy the natural beauty hidden in the heart of Brooklyn in peace (but please pay attention to the few crosswalks and traffic lights).

When you ride by the lake on the left, you may temporarily forget that you are in the most populous city in the United States. In the warmer months, you may see paddle boats on the water.

Before long, you will go uphill for about a mile, but it is relatively gentle.This will take you to the east side of the park, where you will see Le Flac Center, Ice skating is provided in winter and roller skating is provided in summer. When you reach the northern end of the park, you will pass the Grand Army Plaza.

Continue along the path, before you know it, you will return to Bandshell to complete your cycle. Still refreshed after breakfast? Continue to walk one or two laps.

3. Greenpoint to Brooklyn Bridge Park (5 miles)

  • Fit: Dedicated bike lane from beginning to end

  • Not suitable for: Escape the city-you will be at domino with Brooklyn Bridge Parks, but there is a lot of concrete along this route

  • for reference: Watch out for runners on the bike path

Globetrotter Brooklyn Bike Map, Greenpoint to Brooklyn Bridge

This route starts with Green dot, A Polish enclave of a community and borough in northern Brooklyn.If you are interested in coffee before cycling, please go to the bustling cafes lined with cafes Franklin Street.

Continue west from there Brooklyn Greenway (You can buy Citi bikes at the corner of Huron Street and Franklin Street or India Street Pier). You will ride south along the normally quiet bicycle lanes of West Street, passing by a large number of new buildings in this rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.

Ride through Domino Park, which is the site of an old sugar factory.  ..

Ride through Domino Park, which is the site of an old sugar factory. ..

... It is now a public park for everyone to enjoy

… It is now a public park for everyone to enjoy © Laurel Golio (2)

It’s too early, but for your first real seaside view, swing Launcher Park Turn right on Kent Street.Return to the bike lane, and when you continue cycling, the street will match Kent Avenue, It will disappoint you Williamsburg seaside.Take a detour River Street Ride by Domino Park, The site of an old sugar factory, has been transformed into a park.If you are hungry, stop Takochina Enjoy fried chicken tacos (and margaritas) and enjoy the beautiful views of Manhattan in the open air.

Back to the Kent Avenue Bike Path, you will glide down the Williamsburg Bridge.When you pass Naval cemetery landscape,Turn right Flushing Avenue, There you will see Brooklyn Naval Shipyard On your right, on your left, Greenburg Neighborhood.

Stopped in Tacocina and tasted chicken tacos and tacos. .. ©Laurel Gorio

… Views of Manhattan © Laurel Golio

Turn right Navy street — I am sorry to say that that mountain is for you, but it is the only one.After climbing, you will ride your bike through Dumbo Community (an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and ride before reaching under the Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge Brooklyn Bridge Park Along the East River.

Here, as you slide across each pier in the park, you will enjoy wonderful views of the city.In order to complete your journey-and calm down-there is a kind of enjoyment waiting for you Pier 5. Some of the best delicious ice creams in the city are located Strange buddy, Which offers flavors including lemon shortbread thyme, carrot cake cream cheese and cinnamon milk sauce.

4. Williamsburg to West Village (7 miles)

  • Fit: Miles of continuous bike paths and plenty of sightseeing spots

  • Not suitable for: Avoid tourists

  • for reference: One side of the Williamsburg Bridge is for pedestrians and the other side is for cyclists.Make sure you are following the two-wheeled path on the north side

Globetrotter Brooklyn Bike Map, Williamsburg to West Village

Start your ride before departure Williamsburg Bridge Entrance South Fifth Square and South Fifth StreetIf needed, you can pick up the Citi Bike there and then jump onto the bike path. The hardest part of the ride comes first: the first half of the bridge is the steepest slope you see on this route.

Admire the urban landscape on both sides of the East River-a welcome distraction when climbing. Soon after, you will ascend to the top of the mountain and then down the coast into Manhattan.At the end of the bridge, turn left at the first intersection Clinton Street, You can continue along the designated bike path through the Lower East Side.When you run out of the road, turn right South Street. Here you can enjoy the beautiful view of Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge, and ride along the historic South Street harbor.

South Street Seaport © Brazil Photo Press/Alamy

Statue of “Fearless Girl” © Reuters/Brendan McDermid/Alamy

After about four miles, you will hit Battery ——The southern end of Manhattan.If you want to get off the bus for a quick sightseeing, please check Bowling Green, The oldest park in New York City, is also “Charging the Bull” statue.Nearby “Fearless Girl” The statue stands in its new home outside the New York Stock Exchange (it moved there from its original location across from the bull in 2018).

Go to the Hudson River Greenway and bike to The World Trade Center with 9/11 Memorial and Museum(If you want to extend your itinerary, this road extends to the west side of Manhattan.)

Continue along the bike path, passing Pier 40, You are in the West Village.There is a Citi Bike terminal at West 10th Street and Washington Street, You can return your bike before heading east to explore the countless restaurants and cafes nearby. To return to Brooklyn by subway, take the M train on West Fourth Street.

Map of Liz Faunce

Which Brooklyn cycling route do you like best and why?Tell us in the comments below

For more stories of this type, please visit ft.com/globetrotterOr follow FT Globetrotter on Instagram @FTGlobetrotter



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