Although we helmet heads are grateful for the 600 miles of designated bike lanes in NYC, let’s face facts: to most New Yorkers, biking in the city conjures up harrowing images of way-too-close encounters with agitated motorists and cabbies.
As an alternative, we recommend these three refreshingly bike-friendly, multi-level rides, which involve free beer, pizza and routes that weave throughout farms, vineyards, and the sea—all near NYC and accessible without, you guessed it, a car.
The Farm Ride | Saturday, August 14- Sunday, 15th | thefarmride.com
By August, it is more than likely you will have had enough of summer in the city. Catch up on some much needed fresh country air with the Farm Ride, a two-day tour of Amherst’s backcountry roads. Participants will “dorm” at the University of Massachusetts; three different types of accommodations will be provided, depending on your taste and budget. Saturday’s ride will be followed by a Saturday Night Dorm Party, and in true college form (thanks to Harpoon Brewery) free beer will be on hand all weekend.The tour promises to be mostly flat, with a few hills here and there, with routes suitable for beginner to expert riders. The trip is priced roughly around $250 per adult.
Optional Transportation: Round-trip transportation is offered for the Farm Ride in buses and charter vans. Two departure times are offered on Friday, August 13th, at 8:30am and 5:00pm, from 10th Avenue between 31st and 32nd Streets. A light meal will be served during the ride. Your bike will be escorted separately in a private truck that utilizes an exclusive bike safe system.
The North Fork Century Ride | Sunday, August 29th | norforkcentury.com
“Flat, Flat, FLAT,” goes the quote about the biggest draw of the North Fork Century Ride—aside from the scenic Hampton views and salty sea breezes. There are no significant hills to speak of on the 25-, 50-, or 66-mile routes (you can chose according to your ability and endurance), and only a few short ones on the 100-mile route. The ride will wind along low-traffic, quiet country roads through farmland and wineries around the coast of the Sound. Whether you opt for the shortest or the century route, free beer from Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. will be waiting at the finish line. Adult registration is approximately $79, and children 12 and under bike for free.
Optional Transportation: The optional transportation for this ride leaves from 31st Street and 8th Avenue at 4:30am the morning of the ride. The return buses will drop-off at 10th Avenue between 31st and 32nd Street.
Note: Registration for both rides can be completed online (see respective websites for details) or in-person, and prices do increase the closer you register to the ride date.
Pedal for Pizza | Gino’s Pizzeria, 548 Flatbush Ave. | pedalforpizza.com
Self-dubbed the “Pizza Pedalers,” a few good Brooklyn men started a weekly ride around town with two objectives in mind: train for a 100-mile trip in the fall and eat the best-rated NYC pizza. Past stops have included Il Porto, Totonno’s, and Nonna Apa. Anticipate a beginner-intermediate ride with a mid-way snack that isn’t “packaged in bar or gel form.” Rendez-vous point is at Gino’s at 7:00p.m. every Thursday.
Transportation: Bring your bike onto the Q train—or over a bridge—at Union Square towards the Prospect Park stop. Head southeast on Flatbush Ave until you reach 548.