Explore NYC with these Ride Ideas!

Long Rides Around NYC

With the New York City Century coming up, WE are working to make sure our legs are up for the challenge and are preparing by doing some longer rides. Most cyclists point to 9W and River Road/Henry Hudson Drive when asked about their favorite 30+ mile ride, (WE’re doing that this month also!) but there are plenty of options for long rides within New York City. WE asked one of our ride leaders, Elyse Bejasa, to tell us about a few of her favorites.

Of course, the length of the route depends on where you start your journey so you may end up doing more miles that day, but these are great ways to get those legs ready for the Century!

Please note that the routes listed below are suggestions and you should always consult a map before a ride.

Shore Parkway to the Beach
Right along the Belt Parkway is the Shore Parkway, a long stretch of a bike and pedestrian path that follows the coast line. The bike path takes you from Bay Ridge all the way to Coney Island, then picks up again and goes all the way farther east into Queens. Starting from Grand Army Plaza, this route is about 30 miles long. There are restrooms and water fountains to refill water bottles at Jacob Riis and Canarsie Pier.

Gotham Loop
One popular ride WE did last year was the Gotham Loop, which takes you along the outer edge of Manhattan, mostly on bike paths. It’s about 30 miles the whole way around the island and there are plenty of places to stop, take in some views, and use facilities as necessary. Additional information here.

Queens Parks Tour
I’ve only done this in pieces, but would love to try it all in one shot one day. Queens has some great parks that span out all over the borough. This route, which is about 27.5 miles with a start and finish at Astoria Park, takes you through 4 of them. Expect to be on local roads between parks, but on some nice shaded bike paths while in the parks themselves.

Have other recommendations? Let us know in the Female Bike Forum by WE Bike NYC!

Beating the Summer Heat – tips from WE Bike NYC!!

By Meg Ausen

WE Bike to Jacob Riis Beach!

This heat wave, huh? For most of July we have existed in temperatures in the upper 90s and humidity upwards of 60 percent. We have pedaled past endless mountains of hot trash and found ourselves surrounded by countless numbers of buses and cars, each radiating enough heat to make us feel like we are baking in a kiln, while they drive out of the city to escape this stupid heat. July is behind us but August has only begun – how can WE beat the heat while simultaneously staying active on our bikes?

  • LIQUIDS! Liquids top the list. If your thirst is only quenched with a cool beverage, WE suggest putting your water bottles in the freezer the night before you ride. Or pop some ice cubes into your water bottles before heading out the door. Also try adding some cucumbers, mint, basil, lemon verbena, ginger, chamomile, pineapple, watermelon, lemon/lime, etc etc etc for a refreshing twist! Drink LOTS and often. Add some electrolytes into the mix, because you lose a lot of those in this kind of heat and they are vital to your body’s performance.
  • Moisture wicking fabric dramatically alters a cyclist’s comfort level in hot temperatures. Particularly in high humidity, staying dry helps with your body’s cooling process. Body temperature regulation becomes more important at the extremes which is why this fabric is so helpful. If you are not able to get your hands on some moisture wicking fabric, wear loose fitting and breathable materials. Breathable materials are important for every body part you cover, including your seat and your crotch. Saddle sores often become more common when your skin doesn’t have the chance to breathe, and nothing ruins a ride like a saddle sore (or several)!
  • Cover up! This may sound counterintuitive, but with the right fabric, covering your arms and back can help. Not only does it protect you from a sun burn, but prolonged exposure to the sun increases the chances for sun stroke and heat exhaustion. Talk to someone at your local bike shop for recommendations for long-sleeved jerseys or consider a pair of sun sleeves.
  • Get off your bike and take more breaks. This takes some advanced planning so that you can still get from point a to point b on time, but WE suggest dismounting more often and finding shade (multitask: this is also a great time to drink fluids) more often during the summer. If you can, get into some air conditioning while dismounted.

Other Ideas:

  • Accessorize with a cold, wet bandana around your neck and/or under your helmet (if it fits comfortably under your helmet).
  • Wear sunglasses – the sun and wind tires our eyes!
  • Reapply sun screen often.
  • Put your bike clothes in the freezer prior to putting them on for a ride.

We often find ourselves in discomfort or pain when it’s too late. By following these tips you can prevent the heat from ruining your day and continue to enjoy your ride! Have ideas of your own? Please feel free to post on the Female Bike Forum presented by WE Bike NYC.

WE Bike NYC’s Hot Summer Weather Tips and our 100k Rapha Ride!

As we approach that infamously unbearable first week of August, WE wanted to share some of our FAVORITE HOT WEATHER RIDING TIPS that helped us through this super long ride!

  1. Replace your backpack with PANNIERS, which attach to a back rack and can hold all of your things away from your body! It’s hot enough with just the sun on your back. If you’re really committed to riding with a backpack, try sticking an ice pack inside towards the part that rests on your back.
  2. Dampen a handkerchief or cycling cap and FREEZE it overnight! The cold fabric will melt against your skin as you ride and cool you off! You might be a little wet and soggy after, but at least it will be water and not sweat.
  3. Get a light-colored HELMET with lots of vents! Those bucket-like skater-style helmets are super cute for fall, but they trap heat against your head in hot, muggy weather and can contribute to making you miserable. Also, black helmets are like black cars- they will absorb heat from the sun faster than lighter colored ones.
  4. DRINK TONS OF WATER. WE sweat more in the summer, and want to avoid dehydration or heat exhaustion. Get a second water bottle cage to hold a spare bottle, and remember to take a good hearty swig at every red light!
  5. HYDRATION POWDERS are your friend! They’re basically little packets that you can add to water to turn it into an electrolyte drink, like Gatorade but without all of the sugar! Get more from your water by carrying these with you on long rides!
  6. ALWAYS BRING SNACKS. Sometimes the heat can diminish your appetite, but it’s important to make sure your body has the calories it needs to keep burning energy while you’re on your bicycle. Peanuts, bananas, fruit, and other foods with natural sugars and protein will help keep you going!
  7. Look for clothing with MOISTURE-WICKING properties. Lots of athletic clothing these days is designed to help carry sweat away from your body. Just check the tags to see if the items you’re thinking of purchasing are made of these special materials!
  8. Get a pair of CHAMOIS SHORTS and never wear denim short shorts in the saddle ever again (at least for those epic rides)! Padded shorts intended for cycling are about a hundred times more comfortable than regular summer shorts. Especially for long rides, chamois shorts will never ride up, bunch, or chafe against your legs and crotch. It is definitely worth the investment!
  9. Try an anti-friction CHAMOIS CREAM to minimize sweaty friction around your nether-region… spending long days in the saddle combined with sticky sweat can result in painful chafing and saddle sores, and products like this are designed to reduce friction and discomfort!
  10. Cut the sleeves off of your tee shirts! Opting for sleeveless, spaghetti-strap, or racer-back style tops will give more room for air to move around your armpits, because it always stinks (literally…) to ruin a favorite tee with big pit stains!

WE Bike NYC’s Guide to Rockaway Beach Rides!

WE are so excited that summer is finally here, and WE can finally plan some easy breezy rides to the beach! Seasoned WE Biker Kristina Sepulvida is our local expert on finding the best spots to chill in the beach lands of NYC. After leading a super successful Taco-themed ride to Rockaway Beach in April, she wanted to share some of the great places WE found along the way so that others can plan rides of their own to this summery destination!

  1. William Fitts Ryan Visitor Center at Floyd Bennett Field: While technically not on the Rockaway peninsula, the Floyd Bennett Visitor Center is located right before you cross over the Gil Hodges Memorial bridge and has some of the cleanest public bathrooms this city has ever seen. If headed in from Flatbush, it is an essential pit stop for water, rest, and random historical factoids from their cheery staff of Urban Park Rangers.
  2. Pico NY: The destination for WE Bike NYC’s April Beach Ride, Pico NY is where the locals spend their Sunday afternoons. The tables are huge, food delicious, and there always seems to be a special happening. I recommend the chunky guacamole and camarones asada tacos.
  3. Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge: Straddling Jamaica Bay and taking you from the sleepy beach town paradise into the other sleepy beach town of Broad Channel before the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, the Cross Bay has a long slight incline but you’ll be distracted by the views of the water and planes taking off from JFK. Note: this is a “walking,” not “riding,” bridge.
  4. The fish sandwich at Rippers: Yes, the line is long. Yes, the deck is crowded. And yes, it’s next to one of the weirdest public bathrooms in all of beach history. HOWEVER, this sandwich has launched a thousand ships. Multitask and keep an eye on the line from your spot on the sand When there’s a break in the action, RUN. If there is no break in the line, suffer through it. You have time. You’re at the beach, so no stress, and you definitely need to refuel before heading back through the tight rope strung through a wind tunnel that is the Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge.
  5. Connolly’s: Bike racks, sub-zero air conditioning, electrical outlets so you can charge your phone before heading back, and pina coladas. Enough said.

WE Bike NYC is planning more beach rides in the upcoming months! We just wrapped up a ride to Orchard Beach on June 22nd and WE will check out Cedar Grove Beach on Staten Island on August 10!