What’s the best way to see New York City? Without sitting on a bus or walking till your feet fall off? Biking, baby. If you asked me to do a bike tour of NYC twelve years ago, when I lived here, I’d laugh. The very thought of competing with the taxis or mobs of people would have been the death of me. But NYC has come a long way since then. With gorgeously paved bike paths taking you all through Manhattan and other boroughs, I was stoked to hop on a bike and go! I head to Bike and Roll NYC in Battery Park, rented a bike, and hit the road!
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Reviewing a lot of the different bike tour and rental companies, I decided on Bike and Roll. First, they have over eight different shops all over the City. They also offer guided tours or rentals.
At first, I truly debated the guided tour, but in the end, decided on taking the bikes out and exploring at our own pace.
Bike and Roll Review
Confession time. Even though I grew up in and around NYC, I never went over the Brooklyn Bridge. I mean, not even in a car. This historical monument is one of the easiest bridges to walk across, with some of the best views of Manhattan’s skyline. It was time to check it out.
Bike and Roll Battery Park
The shop is super easy to find. It’s located right next to the Staten Island Ferry, next to Battery Park. The staff is really helpful and if you’re not doing a tour, they give you a map of the bike paths and recommended routes. (The map saved us – a lot!) The best part was the bikes. They were new, very light, and in great condition.
To cross over Brooklyn Bridge you have to cross over most of the Downtown. Which is the fun part. Downtown NYC is considered to be not only known for the Twin Towers, 9/11, and Wall Street, but also it’s the oldest part of NY and most historical.
We crossed over the park with great views of the Statue of Liberty, memorials of immigrants, and war veterans.
Once you get out of Battery Park, that’s when the bike path really begins and has its own designated road so that you are either away from the cars or on the same streets, but they can’t enter your path. Just make sure you follow the same rules as the cars do.
Battery Park City
This is a newer addition to Downtown. Battery Park City is a residential area with parks, a Marina, shops, and buildings as well.
What a place! When you first enter it, you feel like you’re going to get clobbered by the people walking until you get to the path and see that there is a designated bike path and walking path at the Brooklyn Bridge. And beware if you’re walking because the bikers scream “BIKE PATH, BIKE PATH” even if you’re a tenth of an inch on the bike path. Needless to say, it was smooth riding the whole way for us.
This is one of the best neighborhoods of Brooklyn, right on the waterfront with adorable brownstones and manicured streets.
The benefit of doing a bike rental rather than a guided tour was that we could stop anywhere, anytime. Lunch was on the main street of Brooklyn Heights and a great spot to people watch.
Aside from being a travel junky, I’m also trading junky! So being in the Financial center of the world overlooking Wall Street, New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, and all the other imposing buildings is something that every person visiting NY and every New Yorker must do!
Historic New York
Did you know that New York City was the first capital of the US? I bet you didn’t! After George Washington was chosen to be the first President of the United States, he started his term in Downtown NYC. It was only one year before they moved.
My Take On Bike and Roll
Our bike ride was actually a date for my husband and me, since we don’t get to do much while traveling with our kids on our own. But with my parents nearby, we took a few hours to ourselves while the kids were being spoiled by their grandparents. However, this only gave us a limited time of about four hours.
I would have loved another 30 hours on a bike because it allows you to really get up close to all the hidden and not-so-hidden parts NYC has to offer.
But its not for couples only. We saw tons of families riding around on the safe paths. And Bike and Roll offered all sorts of bikes and accessories from child seats to tandem bikes.
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How to Rent Bikes with Bike and Roll New York
We did everything via the internet of their site. However, they have offices all over the City that you can simply walk in and rent.
If you want to do a tour, I would recommend organizing it beforehand so that you know which tour, the time, and when it starts.
Bike Rental NYC – One of the Best Ways of Exploring the City
8 thoughts on “Bike and Roll NYC: Best Bike Rental to See the City (You’ll Be Surprised)”
We cycled several times around town during our last visit to NYC and we felt much safer than we thought we would! In a huge city like New York, cycling is just a great way to get around. We can’t wait to get back on bikes when we’re back in town next week 🙂
It’s so fun. Next time I go with my kids. They will love it and it’s so safe.
have an awesome trip!
Being a fellow New Yorker, I’m still baffled… It was your first time crossing the Brooklyn Bridge?!! Wow!!
I know, what was I doing before this:)
This is such a great idea! Bike tours – guided or otherwise – are a perfect way to explore a city! You can cover so much territory, though at a pace that still allows you to take it all in – and as you pointed out, you can stop for a closer look whenever you feel so inspired.
How long (distance) was your bike tour? Any possibility of posting a map overlay of your tour to this article? Thanks for an informative post.
Our tour was around 5 miles. I’m looking at their site and they don’t have the map they give you when you’re there. But you can get an idea here:
I love, love, love NYC and am always looking for new ways to explore the city.