There's some interesting riding to be found in and around the big city, and this Bike Hudson Valley website has some routes for New York City. But if you really want to know about bicycling in metropolitan New York, we suggest you get in contact with people and websites who focus more on the city -- see the links in Getting Around with your Bike in New York City.
When Ken was in grad school he was able to ride the wonderful Central Park loop two or three times in the midst of each week -- in low traffic in the middle of the day. Then on weekends we started exploring upstate, and we found our excitement pulled to the wonderful back roads of the mid-Hudson area -- discovering and enjoying and refining routes up there (see map).
So that's what this page is mostly about: How folks in the metropolitan area can get in on that upstate riding.
We do still find it fun to ride near New York City. One classic ride we do which is readily accessible to Manhattan and Bergen and Hudson country riders is the Manhattan to Nyack route. We usually start from the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge, but if it's a sunny weekend morning, we sometimes precede the main route with a ride across the GWB into Manhattan and down Riverside Drive to Central Park.
One good thing for a metro New York cyclist that there is great riding to be found upstate -- and it's in range of a daytrip.
You can also find partners for riding upstate. A good way to do that is to join a bicycle club upstate, since they will have lots more rides than us. The one we know best is the Mid-Hudson Bicycle Club -- they're fun people, and we ride with them a lot.
Train Access to upstate
One of the big advantages of New York City is its public transportation infrastructure. If you can get your bicycle to Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan (perhaps by taking the subway), then most times of the week you can take it along with you on a train upstate. There's also some possibilities with Amtrak from Pennsylvania Station.
See our page of routes near train stations.
Car Access to upstate
By car to the East side of the Hudson river:
A valuable road for getting to rides in Dutchess and Columbia counties is the Taconic State Parkway (but no trucks permitted).
Route 22 is also useful (reached by way of I-684).
To cross from the Westside, the simplest is to take the New York State Thruway to exit 17 (Newburgh), then I-84 East across the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge to the Taconic State Parkway or to I-684 and Route 22. Perhaps the fastest way to cross from the Westside is over the Tappan Zee Bridge to the Saw Mill River Parkway to the Taconic State Parkway (or continue on the Sawmill to reach I-684 and Route 22) -- but that navigation can be tricky to execute.
By car to the West side of the Hudson river:
The usual road for getting to rides in Ulster and Greene counties is the New York State Thruway, accessed from New Jersey by the Tappan Zee bridge, or from the George Washington Bridge by the Palisades Interstate Parkway, or from the Lincoln Tunnel by Route 3 and Route 17.
For rides further south, the Palisades Interstate Parkway and Route 9W are useful.