From taxis and trains to treading concrete, there are plenty of ways to navigate NYC. But the most cost-effective, scenic and cardio-conscious method of them all is the bike. Thanks to the Duane Street Hotel’s convenient Bike Program, guests can borrow complimentary bikes, helmets and locks to see the sights of Lower Manhattan swiftly and safely. Here’s your guide to biking Lower Manhattan.
Cruise the coast
Just a couple blocks from the Duane Street Hotel is the Hudson River Greenway and its well-maintained bike path. Sweeping views of One World Trade Center and an up close and personal perspective of the West Side’s eclectic architecture make it one of the most pleasant places to ride in the city. Continuing south toward the tip of Lower Manhattan, past Battery Park City, is the East River Greenway. You’ll get up close and personal with the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges while working your way up the East Side. Head a couple blocks inland on the East Village’s colorful residential streets and step inside the graffiti-lined walls of Decibel. Located on bike-friendly 9th Street, Decibel serves over 100 different types of sake and will help you rehydrate from the ride.
Explore the heart of the city
If you’re looking for a more high-energy ride, many major streets maintain bike-specific lanes that cut through the busiest parts of town. Lafayette Street’s bike path extends north to south through Nolita, Soho and finally City Hall Plaza, where you’ll pass Downtown staples like the Lafayette Grand Cafe & Bakery, the Puck Building and shops on Canal Street. Another option is to start in the West Village at the top of Bleecker Street. Park outside village favorites Magnolia Bakery and Bookmarc NY for a pastry and a book. Then continue through the heart of Greenwich Village, eventually reaching the border of the East Village at Bleecker Street’s end.
See the parks
Get away from the concrete for a minute and embrace New York’s greener side. Bike lanes make Lower Manhattan’s best parks easily accessible. Battery Park is a great pit-stop if you’re sticking to the island’s perimeter, since it’s the middle ground between the East and West Side Greenways. Washington Square Park, smack dab in the center of Lower Manhattan, is easy to get to from all angles and its iconic stone arch at the foot of Fifth Avenue remains one of Downtown’s must-see landmarks. Tompkins Square Park is the epicenter of life in the the East Village and puts the neighborhood’s gritty artsiness on full display, with an always-packed skatepark plotted next to the park’s musical act of the day.
New York is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, which means the streets are busy. Always be alert and aware of your surroundings. Be on the lookout for joggers, illegal parkers and skateboarders trying to make the bike lane their own. You can cover a lot of ground on a bike in the city, but don’t rush. No matter how eager you are to get to the next site, it’s always better to get there in one piece.