6 mile intermediate route
Starts at McCarren Park, ends on Roosevelt Island
A- McCarren Park
B- Queensbridge Park
C- Roosevelt Island- Southpoint Park
D- Roosevelt Island- Four Freedoms Park
E - Roosevelt Island - The Cafe at Cornell Tech
While DC might be known for its cherry blossoms, don't think you need to travel out of state to see some peak blooms this year. New York City has blossoms to rival the best of them, and in multiple locations all around the city. If you weren't able to grab tickets to get your peep on at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden this year, fret not because there are plenty of places you can cozy up to some pink flowers without a reservation. Before the pandemic, I never went out of my way to soak in the sights of the flowering cherry blossom trees. Things have changed this year, and a bike ride to enjoy these fabulously pink petals seemed like a great way to spend a sunny weekend day. This route plays off of the Perfect Waterfront Route I last posted, both because it is a convenient ride from where I live in Ridgewood, but also because it is a great route to enjoy spring! I took a different friend on the ride this weekend and she was in awe of the park paths that are currently lined with all types of blooming flowers. On this route, instead of going up to Astoria, head over to Roosevelt Island via the Roosevelt Island Bridge and start your exploring! Hop into the saddle and pedal yourself to some petals!
Similar to last week's route, this route begins in McCarren Park. From McCarren Park, it's a straight shot down Manhattan Avenue (exciting news, it's recently been repaved), and then over to Eagle Street to hop onto the Pulaski Bridge. If you want more info on the beginning of this route, head on over to the Perfect Waterfront Route page to get some info on how to connect to the Roosevelt Island Bridge. Once you get over to the Roosevelt Island Bridge entrance, take the bike path on the bridge and head on over. Beware here that part of the bridge is grated, which makes for a pretty unpleasant riding experience, but just be sure to go slow, or if you have thin tires you can always walk your bike on the sidewalk for this portion. While I appreciate that this bridge has a bike path, I would appreciate it more if the lane was protected. The unprotected bike lane connection makes accessing Roosevelt Island by bike unpleasant, and I am sure that people would travel there more frequently if it was a protected lane. Until last October, I had actually never visited! When exiting the bridge, be aware that bikes and cars mix on the off-ramp and cars are coming around the turn rather quickly. My advice for dealing with this portion would be to take as much space as you need, even better would be to take the entire lane. It's exciting to hear that plans are in the work for a dedicated bike ramp off the bridge, however it doesn't look like much movement has happened on that front since the idea was proposed in 2017. I saw all this to not deter anyone from riding this bridge, but just to keep in mind that this portion of the ride is best suited to a more experienced rider.
Once you have emerged out of the off-ramp, take your first left and you can quickly connect to the waterfront bike path. Once you are on the waterfront bike path, you will quickly come upon some amazing cherry blossom action! There are rows of these bountiful blossoms at Southpoint Park, even more at Four Freedoms Park, and if you end up biking around the entire southern tip of the park and emerge on the west side, you will see some truly magnificent trees lining the waterfront of the East River. If you're looking for a quick snack, I didn't do too much research into great places to eat on Roosevelt Island, but we did find enough for a group of people to snack on at the Cafe at Cornell Tech. The cafe also has a bathroom that the public can use, which is always key in my book! You could take your snack and go sit under a cherry blossom tree or eat it out on the public plaza in front of the cafe, either one would be a great option.
I only had time for a short route when I did this one, but if you were feeling adventurous and looking to stretch your legs, you could either bike over the Queensboro Bridge or take your bike on the tram to get to Manhattan. Both would be great options for getting over to Central Park, where you can catch some blooms at Cherry Hill and the Conservatory, among other locations. Check out this guide from the Central Park Conservancy on where to spy the best trees. Other options for where to spy some peak blooms are Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Cherry Walk in Riverside Park, Sakura Garden, Greenwood Cemetery, of the Queens Botanical Garden. Shoutout to this guide for the inspiration and tips! Enjoy your pedal to the petals!
Hi! I'm Rachel.
I'm creating curated bike routes in all 5 boroughs of NYC. Routes include downloadable route map, descriptions of the bicycle infrastructure, and suggestions on places to eat and things to see. Enjoy!