The Meditative Lull of the Greenway

If you’re looking for a long, relatively uninterrupted ride along the river, the Hudson River Greenway is your friend.

Of course, as with any place in New York City, you have to time it so you encounter the least number of human “road” blocks.

Last week, M and I went out for a ride along the Hudson River, on what was considered one of the hottest days of the week. Naturally. Because why wouldn’t you ride your bike for miles and miles unless it’s during a heat wave?

We started around 10 a.m. on Wednesday with an errand in Union Square. After lunch at Chipotle, we biked over to American Apparel. M had worn jeans and I convinced him—after a quick stop on the Williamsburg Bridge—that he should get some comfy shorts if we continue biking the rest of the day in the heat.

Suggestion accepted. American Apparel patronized. Shorts acquired.

Westward on 19th Street we continued until we came up to Chelsea Piers. After a short break here, we began our “ride” for the day, northward along the Hudson River.

We didn’t ride the entire greenway, though I doubt either of us would’ve been opposed to the idea. Unfortunately (not really) I have a Century Ride coming up and I didn’t want to risk an over-use injury of my knees. (The sad flip-side to this conundrum though is the serious lack of training.)

So up the greenway we went. At a pretty decent clip, too. We stopped at the Little Red Lighthouse, under the George Washington Bridge for a breather. That was our turnaround point for the day.

The view along the river is mighty pretty, even if there was a bit of haze from the heat. Scorcher day, remember?

View from the Little Red Lighthouse.
The not quite pretty view from the Little Red Lighthouse.
Click to embiggen

After a few minutes reading about the light house, re-hydrating, and eating a snack, we headed back south.


We were getting tired. Again, we took a break at Pier i Cafe, near 70th Street. We ordered some iced Americanos, but the coffee bar closes before 4 p.m. on the weekdays. Bummer.

Our wind-beaten faces covered in sweat, we stood there at the cafe counter. But all wasn’t lost on the coffee front. The lady helping us served us iced coffee instead. It’s no espresso, but it was satisfying enough to rejuvenate our spirits to get us home.

Or, at least enough juice to get us to the East River Ferry at 35th Street.

While discussing our route back home, neither of us were confident that we’d successfully get back over the bridge to Brooklyn without dismounting. But the train was out of the question because it was rush hour. We don’t want to be those jerks with dirty, greasy bikes on packed train cars.

So what about the ferry? It was an exciting thought as I have never taken the ferry here until that day.

At $5 a ticket per person (and bike), it was a no brainer. And bringing our bikes on and off the ferry wasn’t a hassle either. It was a lot easier than I imagined, and holy shit do these ferries move.

It took no time to get from Midtown to North Williamsburg. And it was an oddly pleasant experience to see bits of the neighborhoods from this transportation option.

The thought that we’d then have to bike from the ferry landing in Williamsburg to Bushwick didn’t even bother us. That part of the ride was a nice end to round out the day.

And now we have an “emergency” alternative to getting back into Brooklyn on those days we don’t think we can make it across the bridge after a long ride. And it’s during rush hour on the train.



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