Biking in Central Park - A Fun Tour on Two Wheels
With several miles of bicycling paths, Central Park is the perfect place to take your bike on a nice day. The park offers opportunities for every type of biker, from novice to advanced, with both flat and hilly terrain, and with a variety of distances you can travel. Even if you're just in town for the day and don’t have your own set of two wheels, there are many places you can rent a bike, either for an hour or for the whole day.
Central Park has three long-distance routes circling the park. The Full Loop around the park is 6.1 miles; the Upper Loop is 5.2 miles; and the Lower Loop is 1.7 miles. You can also cross the park at other specially designated locations to shorten the length of your ride.
Rules Every Biker Needs to Follow
If you bike in Central Park, you need to know the rules for when it's okay to bike on the drives and when you need to stick to the smaller recreation lanes. The rules may sound confusing, but you can get the hang of it. The park is closed to traffic every weekday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. the next day. (In addition, the East Drive is closed in the morning, and the West Drive is closed in the afternoon.) On the weekends, there is no traffic allowed from 7:00 p.m. on Friday through 7:00 a.m. Monday.
When the park is closed to driving, bikers must use the travel lane on the drives. When the park is open to cars, bikers can only use the outer half of the recreation lane. The inner half is reserved for runners and walkers. In addition, there are several other rules you need to follow:
» You can't bike on any pathways; those are reserved for runners and walkers only.
» Pedestrians always have the right of way. If you approach a crosswalk, you must yield to people crossing.
» You need to obey all traffic laws, such as signals and stop signs.
» You always need to travel counter-clockwise around the park.
» New York State Law says that all kids under 14 need to wear a helmet; however, it is recommended that all bicyclists wear one.
Bicycle Rentals and Tours
If you're looking to rent a bike and show yourself around Central Park on wheels, you can visit our reservation page and book a bike rental online.
You can also have an expert guide you around Central Park and show you many famous landmarks and attractions. Book a bike tour online to reserve your spot before your plan your trip.
Get in Shape Before You Go
As mentioned, there is something for every biking level in Central Park. However, if you're a novice who hasn't biked before and is curious as to what it's like, or if you're a more experienced biker who would like to get in shape at home before your trip to New York to try some more challenging terrain, you can look up some exercise bike reviews and purchase a bike that you can practice on at home.
When it comes down to it though, even though there are a few key rules to follow, biking in Central Park shouldn't be stressful. Allow yourself to have fun and take in the scenery no matter what your biking experience so far!
— by Kathryn Sucich
Kathryn Sucich is a freelance writer. She has ridden on some of the best exercise bikes at the gym, and at home owns a Giant Cypress comfort bike for biking around the neighborhood.