Bike and Picnic!

Since summer is here and it's the weekend, bicycling and picnicking seems to be the popular activity around these parts of NYC. When it comes to picnics and managing your goodies on bicycle, I like to create a unique yet effortless experience. Here are some easy tips:

NYC Bike Rides

Nothing gets me more excited about summer cycling than bike touring. I still have yet to make my rounds on routes throughout NYC but I've asked a couple of friends who ride here about their favorite paths and tips for the ride. Below are just a few routes to share and some stops to check out along the way.

Brooklyn Bridge
 Ride across Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan to Dumbo. 
Tip: Stop for a picnic in Brooklyn Bridge Park. You can also make plans for an evening ride and watch outdoor movies there. 
Here's a map of a sample ride.

The 6.1-mile loop through Central Park, treelined and often free of cars.  
Here's a map of the loop.

The Hudson River Greenway.
 Ride the waterfront path all the way from Battery Park to the Little Red Lighthouse.
Tip: Ride to Battery Park City. It has views of the Statue of Liberty and sailboats on the Hudson River.  In a few places—downtown, midtown and uptown—you can grab some bites to eat and cool off. Here's a map of the bike path around Manhattan.

Wondering how to plan a bike tour? Check out a post I did on D.I.Y Bike Tour Planning.
I'd love to hear about your experiences and tips. Anyone have any suggestions about Brooklyn?

Summer Cycling Hair

Recently I shared some tips on how to cycle and stay fresh in the summer. Although I swear by all of them, there is one issue I struggle with the most in handling the heat, my hair. I have long, thick and heavy brunette hair. It keeps my head warm during winter and overheats me during summer.

I love to wear my hair down but during the warmest seasons, I just cannot. I won't even bother wearing a helmet! One way I have dealt with this (while not wearing a helmet by choice) is by wearing it up, be it a messy or stylish bun, braids, pig-tail braids, pony tail you name it, I'm throwing my hair up when it's sizzling outside. It keeps me cool and still looking good on my bike. 

I'm a huge fan of up-do's during summer and probably have almost tried all of these styles Refinery29 recently published Helmet Hair, Begone! We’ve Got 5 Bike-Friendly Styles. They offer numerous great tips on hairstyles that are helmet friendlyWhat are some hair tricks you use during the summer to beat the heat?


NYT: Your Biking Wisdom in 10 Words

The New York Times recently released an interactive map for users to share in 10 words their biking wisdom in NYC. This wisdom ranges from route knowledge, tips and tricks, to streets to avoid. As a promotion of NYC's Citi Bike Share program, the map is to give riders information on what streets to ride and avoid and provide the city information on how to best plan for cycling routes and allocate new bike share stations. With 6,000 bicycles already on the streets, this is just the beginning as the bike share program is hoping to expand in other areas as far as Upper East Side and West Side of Manhattan, Queens, and farther into Brooklyn. With such expansion, new bike share programs are starting their way and will be released in various parts of the U.S. while NYT is expanding this wisdom to other bicycle friendly cities.

Bike NYC

Day by day I become a little more familiar with biking in NYC. It takes a lot of research, riding, and google mapping for me to get used to the rules of the road. Most days I have to prepare myself by reading other NYC cycling blogs about how to ride in this city. I'm glad the NYC bike community is large and full of information on how to handle these streets, it makes getting acquainted with the roads easier when you know what to expect. For those of you who want inspiration, information, and stories of life on two wheels in the Big Apple, check out some of my favorite sites below.

Gifts for Cyclists

bicylce gifts
Finding a gift for a bicycle enthusiast can be challenging when you're not sure what is appropriate for one. Recently I found a great site with great ideas for those who love bikes, a collection of gifts for cyclists ranging from iphone cases, bike planters, and a six pack bike bag for those summer picnics in the park. I recently had the pleasure of receiving a Po Campo bag from Uncommon Goods that was suited perfectly for riding around NYC on short errands, meetings, and dinner dates. The shipping was prompt and the anticipated experience with the product was exactly what I enjoyed from such services. There are so many other great ideas for gifts for fellow bicycle enthusiast or perhaps yourself. Above are just a few of my favorites, but there are tons of other great products that you can see here.

Finding the Best Bike

Finding the Best Bike

Tis the season to be bike camping. With many excited to get out onto the long road on two wheels under the sun, making the decisions for the right set of wheels is never easy, and finding the best road bike doesn't escape that. Between online shops, consumer reports and critic reviews, it’s hard enough finding any bike at all. To the rescue of all of us who have ever thrown our hands up and just hoped someone would come along to help, FindTheBest has created a way to organize the web, making the decision process a little easier on everyone. Not sure where to start? Check out their guide to choosing road bikes. The site allows you to choose which bike is best for you based on a number of factors, in addition, to allowing you to compare bikes and filter all of the important information necessary for making a decision, all served to you in one easy to read page.
Best of luck!

sharing on citi bike, nyc

I moved to NYC just in time for Citi Bike share to hit the streets and since then I've been following the excited social media and entertaining back lash on Citi Bike by some of NYC's elite media writers, show hosts, and publishers. I've heard it all, all encompassed in last weeks Wall Street Journal video in which editorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz griped all about bike share and cyclists in general. Most of us bicycle advocates would say this isn't surprising considering that we have to deal with this on a daily basis on the road. However, in reflection of hearing responses to the program, I would like to focus on the interesting, hilarious, and positive developments rather than the negative as the success of the program outweighs them. In celebration of this program, lots of informative articles and online tech have emerged to supplement the experience of Citi Bike Share. To me, this is big as information is able to make this program for the city more innovative. In sharing city bike share, here's a few sites that may tickle your fancy to know more, laugh, and ride when you come to NYC.

the high line

it's been one full week of living in new york and already i have been charmed by the city. although i couldn't say i'm a huge fan of the hot humid temperature that onsets allergy mayhem, i do love being here. with so much to do and so much to see, there really isn't enough time to spend getting to know a place well enough. after a weekend of picnicking in the park, a hip hop concert, and exploring with friends i was struck by the High Line, probably because as an urbanist you look for the old and new that makes a city unique. a public park built on a historic freight rail line above the streets of the west side in manhattan, the high line will definitely tickle an urban planners fancy mainly because it looks like a 3D model of a planning design and is just so creative on utilizing a freight line for a public park. if you ever get a chance to come to NYC, you have to visit this site, with so many unique buildings, street art, and lush green surroundings this spot makes a perfect trip to get away from the concreteness of manhattan.
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