The boy and I got road bikes this year so we’re always looking for somewhere fun to go cycling. We got word that an event in the city called Summer Streets was coming up so we decided to get together with a few others and make the trip out to the city to see what it was all about. Typically we don’t go to any events like this…but it was too good of a opportunity to pass up! Car free streets in the city from downtown up to 72nd street/Central Park….all without a FEE!
We decided it would be best if we drove out to Staten Island to meet up there and take the ferry into the city rather than driving our bikes into the city and looking for parking there. It was my first time on the Staten Island ferry! Nothing to write home about though…
When we got to Foley Square (or for normal people – across from the courthouses downtown) we were greeted with a busy festival underway. There was live music playing, an area for learning how to ride a bike, and even a sand castle being constructed!
Since we were already running late (streets opened to cars again at 1pm!) we got on our way and began the trek uptown. Since downtown is pretty congested, they couldn’t close off all of the cross streets to traffic, so every now and again we would have to stop and wait for the cars to pass – but there were volunteers at each intersection directing traffic. It was rather annoying at first because the constant stopping would cause bottlenecks, but once the blocks got longer and we moved further north it was smooth sailing…that was until we hit the midtown rest stop on 25th street and Park Ave! With large banners promoting “City Picnic” and a massive amount of people and bikes hovering around, we decided to stop and take a peek. Good thing we did! There were plenty of freebies and samples to be had!
The boy and I stood watch of all of our bikes as Eva, Mikie, Ron and Steve went into the picnic area to check out the goods. Look at all the goodies they came back with! Sorbet, yogurt, apple sauce, full sized Odwalla drinks, and some fruit bars!
The boy and his applesauce:
…he said it was only so so…I’m not a fan so I didn’t try any
From there we headed back up towards central park and stopped at Grand Central for another photo…I felt like such a tourist on Saturday!
We continued our trek up north towards Central Park and met up with a few other people along the way. The plan was to ride in the park and get out at Columbus Circle to meet up with some more people…but we hit a little hiccup and wound up all the way north in the park just in time to witness this:
Since we were so far north we thought it would be best to start making our way back downtown. We headed out of the park and onto the west side highway for our return trip home.
Stopping at Pier Cafe @ 70th street for a quickie lunch:
The rest of the ride downtown was pretty uneventful. The pavement was nicely paved for the most part so it was a smooth ride back.
Passing by the Freedom Tower…I heard in the news that it is rising at an average rate of one story per week now. We ARE rebuilding!
We even passed by the Statue of Liberty when we were riding through Battery Park!
Getting back to the title of the post…I think I’ve only been to Central Park about 4 times in my life. Thats right…born and raised in NYC and went to college just blocks away from the entrance to the park…yet I never really made a point of exploring. We covered a decent part of the park on our ride so I was able to see all that I’ve been missing. I hope to go back one day soon…perhaps to the zoo…or maybe even to just walk around with our cameras. It really is a magical and beautiful place.
Even riding down the West Side Highway and into Battery Park opened my eyes to the beauty of the city and what it has to offer. Hopefully we’ll be able to explore some more before the seasons change and winter approaches!
Since Summer Streets runs for the next two weekends, we are thinking of giving it another go next weekend!
The boy and I have apps on our phones that are able to track our routes when we bike…the boy’s seems to be better and slightly more accurate. Here’s a map of our route from Saturday: