We’ve decided that the best way to see the city, given my mobility issues with knees, is to rent bikes. Overnight, we’ve been in email contact with the Central Park Bike Rental shop at 348 West 57th Street and we arrive at a price for a 6 day rental and set off in the subway to Columbus Circle and then a short walk to the shop.
We’re soon set up with a couple of nice comfort bikes with front suspension and seat suspension with a basket on Lynette’s bike, helmets and a couple of locks. Then, it’s off on the first of many great cycling adventures through the streets and cycleways of New York.
As we ride, we pass a huge variety of riders with everything from the lycra brigade to families and other riders like ourselves. The occasional shirtless inline skaters whizzes by and to our right the Hudson River is edges by piers, cruise ships, heli-pads and a range of pleasure craft; with pleasant parks and sitting areas to take a rest and a cool drink.
By this stage we’re getting used to the ‘keep to the right’ rule after some driving and cycling, but it can still be confusing.
Battery Park is one of the many areas which have been re-developed relatively recently and now provides a sweep of cool spaces and parkland, as well as access to various ferry terminals.
As with any popular outdoor space, there are crowds gathered around the buskers who manage some high energy dance and gymnastic routines with some slick chorus patter to encourage the punters to give generously.
As we continue around to the Staten Island Ferry terminal, another group of street performers have attracted a large crowd in the heat as they made some great moves in the glare of the afternoon.
After a look around some of the waterfront pier developments at the Southern end of Manhattan, we have lunch in a small health food place in the financial district and then wind our way through the streets of lower Manhattan in what was the original part of New Amsterdam. As this area grew in the early days, the streets have names and are aligned in a much more haphazard way then the grid pattern which begins as we get further uptown.
We manage to negotiate our way through Soho to the southern end of the East Village and then take advantage of the on-street cycleway which runs up 1st avenue until the mid-thirties.
Finally back to the hotel amongst a tangle of taxis and hire cars