Central Park
  • Where:  the middle of Manhattan island, New York City.
  • 6.1 miles, gentle to moderate hilliness.

If you find you like it, you can do more laps, to make it 12 miles, or 18 miles.

Or, to ride some Manhattan streets, see the GWB - Central Park route, 21 miles.  

  • Highlights:  rolling hills with interesting curves and descents -- and many people of many sorts doing many different things.  All in the middle of Manhattan island.

For bicycling, we recommend choosing a time with fewer people -- early in the morning on a weekend, or mid-day in the middle of the week.

It is a miracle that a road this good exists in the middle of New York City.  If you can ride it when the pavement is in good repair and the crowds are low, it's a wonderful experience.  Ken has ridden this loop more times in his life than any other six miles.

  • Characteristics:  gentle-to-moderate -- more hills than most other parts of Manhattan Island.

Traffic:  Sometimes motor vehicles are permitted on the loop road, sometimes not.

But that's not the only traffic hazard.  To be taken seriously is the risk of collisions with rollerbladers, runners, oblivious walkers -- and other bicyclists.  

All of the loop is designated "One-Way" -- counter-clockwise.  But . . . other users may be going the right way, the wrong way, or cross-ways, or no way -- but always their way. 

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On your bike:  See Getting Around with your Bike in New York City. Overview Map of NYC Bicycling

By train:  Most times on weekends, you can start from a convenient station and put your bike on a train that comes into Grand Central Terminal or Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan.  For details, see Trains.  From there, you can either ride your bike or take the subway (not recommended in mid-week rush hours) -- see Getting Around with your Bike in New York City.

By car:  We recommend parking somewhere outside Manhattan and taking the train or subway in -- or riding in on your bicycle.  See the George Washington Bridge to Central Park route for one way to ride in from New Jersey. Overview Map of NYC Bicycling 

Alternate start points:  You can start at whichever access road around the edge of the  Park is most convenient for you.  Some landmarks inside the park to use as meeting points include:  the finish line of the New York Marathon near the Tavern on the Green restaurant, and the Loeb boat house. 

  • Map:  You may want a detailed road map of Manhattan to navigate to and from the start point of this route (see Road Maps).

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