A Tandem Ride for Two – Happy Valentines Day!

New York City may be one of the most romantic destinations in the world, which is why it is the perfect city to spend the day with your sweetheart on the most romantic day of the year, Valentine’s Day! Except, the big dilemma remains every year: Where to go? What to do? What would make this year even more special?

For those with an adventurous heart, a bike ride along the Hudson River, Brooklyn Bridge and, of course, Central Park is a classic option to spend the day. With this wonderful warm winter we’ve been having, there is no better way to explore this lovely city has than by bike.

Of course, it is also about the stops, so here we have gathered some of the most popular spots couples visit on this amorous day:

  • the 2020 Times Square Valentines Heart, perfect for a selfie
  • the American Museum of Natural History’s annual event called “Romance Under the Stars” in its Hayden Planetarium
  • Ice Skating at Wollman Rink or Lasker Rink inside Central Park
  • Bow Bridge, an iconic proposal spot for many,
  • Bethesda Terrace in Central Park, or a meal at the Boathouse overlooking the Lake
  • The Empire State Building, for breathtaking views of NYC

As for sweet treats and chocolates to share and gift to your special someone, shops like The Sweet Shop, Li-Lac Chocolates, Mariebelle, M&M’s World, Max Brenner and Hershey’s Chocolate World are great stops for a lively sugar rush!

At Unlimited Biking we equip you with all you’ll need to sweep ‘em off their feet on this very special day, so don’t forget to stop by to grab your ride, or give us a call at 212.749.4444 to book in advance for this sweet day!

Best Things To Do In Central Park – Holiday Edition!

As the most-visited attraction in the most-visited city in the western hemisphere, it’s easy to forget that Central Park was originally created as a place of serenity, tranquility, and relaxation. The vast majority of New York’s 65 million annual visitors come during the warmer months, when the park overflows with excitement and activity. For that reason, the winter is when it truly lives up to its full potential as a natural oasis, 843 acres of majestic, pastoral earth, living in direct contrast to its surroundings: the around-the-clock whirlwind of steel, glass, and humanity known as Manhattan. 

This is not at all to say winters in Central Park are dull. Still at the core of the Big Apple, the city’s signature buzz doesn’t end at the park’s borders. The winters are simply when the landscape’s peaceful beauty fuse best with the inspirational hustle and bustle New York is so famous for. Many have seen the tranquil images of a fresh snowfall over cobblestone bridges, hills, and frozen ponds. But not everyone knows about how much fun the park can be during the colder months. Below is a list of our favorite things to do this winter in Central Park:

  • Visit the Central Park Zoo. The winter sees reduced fares, and is the liveliest time for the sea lions, seals, and snow leopards. You can feed a penguin or head to the children’s zoo to see the only cow in Manhattan. The nearby Delacorte Clock plays holiday carols and features bronze statues of animals playing instruments
  • Go rock climbing. While scaling the boulders in the North Woods or Rat Rock near the park’s southern entrance, you’ll forget you’re in the middle of a big city and feel like you’re in an arctic tundra
  • Visit the Arthur Ross Pinetum, a four-acre arboretum with 17 varieties of winter trees, designed for New Yorkers of the 1800s to feel like they entered the center of an evergreen forest
  • Go cross-country skiing with skyline views. The most popular areas are the bridal path, Great Lawn, and Sheep Meadow. Skiis can be rented nearby at sporting goods stores such as REI and Paragon
  • Sign up for an Amazing Race-style Scavenger Hunt Adventure. With two route options and smartphone assistance, the park can transform into a giant, fun-filled, educational board game

  • Recreate scenes from classic Central Park wintertime movies: Elf’s snowball fight at Pinebank Arch, Home Alone’s Pigeon Lady scenes at Gapstow Bridge, Sheep Meadow or Tavern on the Green for Mr. Popper’s Penguins, and for the skating scenes in Serendipity or Love Story, you can go…
  • Ice skating: Choose Lasker Rink in the north for a more relaxing experience with views of the Harlem Meer and North Woods, or Wollman Rink in the south for more convenient access to midtown and dramatic views of the city skyline
  • Enjoy the music of Central Park without the big crowds. Whether it’s choral performances below Bethesda Terrace, Beatles sing-a-longs at Strawberry Fields, or one of the many buskers stationed throughout the park (the saxophonist near the Balto statue is exceptional), there is no shortage of sweet sounds.
  • Go birdwatching. The ramble is home to 275 varieties of migratory birds and winter is the perfect time for spotting Downy Woodpeckers, Song Sparrows, American Robins, and the incredibly rare Eastern Screech Owl. December 15th is New York’s annual Christmas bird count, while birdwatching tours happen throughout the week
  • Build a snowman. Build a whole snow family. Make snow angels. New Yorkers, especially on Sheep Meadow and the Great Lawn tend to get creative with their snow creations

  • Go shopping. Columbus Circle Holiday Village, The Dairy Visitor Center, and the vendors along 59thstreet are all popular options. For $10,000, you can buy a small piece of NYC real estate in the form of a park bench with a personalized plaque inscription
  • Go to the Winter Jam Festival in January, a free annual sports festival featuring snowboarding lessons, curling, ice bowling, dodgeball, a Doggie Snow Zone, and a heated reading room. Equipment is provided at no cost
  • Check out the brand new Landforms exhibit at the Charles A. Dana discovery center to learn about the park’s geological foundations, archaeological history, and how its rocky terrain shaped the outcomes of The Revolutionary War and the War of 1812
  • Attend the 23rd annual Holiday Lighting Festival on December 5th. This joyous event combines cookies, cocoa, Christmas carols, a cameo from Santa Claus, and a flotilla of trees on the Harlem Meer
  • See the city from the highest point of the park, Belvedere Castle. The winter months offer the clearest, unobstructed views of the West Side’s iconic Art Deco and Renaissance Revival apartments, the East Side’s stunning museum mile, the uptown and midtown skylines, along with the official weathervane for the city of New York
  • Enjoy a plethora of options for chowing down. The winter months offer a significantly more relaxed dining experience at Central Park institutions The Boathouse, Tavern on the Green, and The Met’s Dining Room. Inside the park, you’ll find a multitude of food carts offering everything from Belgian Waffles to Colombian Coffee. There are also countless restaurants alongside the park with breathtaking views
  • Beat the cold by staying active. The tennis courts, basketball courts, and bike lanes are open year round. Winter is the perfect time for discovering one of the many spectacular jogging loops in the park. There’s a reason the largest marathon in the world happens to end here. The New Years Eve 4k run through the park is legendary

Like any public park during any season of the year, fun and relaxation are the main priorities for its visitors. Central Park is no different. What makes it different is that it’s in the middle of a city with over 800 languages spoken on any given day, a world capital for culture, media, commerce, entertainment, research, art, and technology, the home of the United Nations, the birthplace of Rockefeller, Roosevelt, Remy Ma, and the rollercoaster. The city so nice, they named it twice. 

The point is that something as simple as sitting on a park bench and watching people pass by has a high likelihood of becoming magical. Some would call it the most beautiful park in the world. Few would disagree that it’s the most different from its surrounding environments. This is especially true in the winter, when the large crowds are replaced by snow-covered countryside, and it becomes again what its designers intended on creating: A patch of nature for New Yorkers to escape to, for serenity, tranquility, and relaxation. Plus, it’s fun!

 

Five Best Locations to Bike in New York City

Even New Yorkers who were born and raised in the concrete jungle will admit that sometimes they, too, feel like tourists in their own city. Every corner turned reveals endless possibilities — broadway-worthy street performers, five-star quality meals compacted into tiny food trucks, unique characters that you wouldn’t believe existed unless you saw them for yourself. Walking through New York is an adventure in itself. Now imagine how the possibilities multiply when a bike is involved! Many neighborhoods in New York are extremely bike-friendly, even having their own designated lanes. We compiled a list of some of the best biking spots in New York City that both expert riders and beginners could enjoy.

1.) Hudson River Greenway

We want to start off this list with the one, the only, Hudson River. This 11-mile bike route is one of the most popular biking destinations in New York and with good reason. The scenic landscape over the glistening river waters creates a spectacular juxtaposition alongside the iconic city skyscrapers. This location is greatly enjoyed and preferred by beginner riders since the entire trail has a designated bike path, meaning you will not ride on the street or encounter any cars along the way. The bike trail includes a two-lane path, allowing cyclers to ride back and forth as they please. A must-see along the Hudson River Greenway is Riverside Park, one of New York City’s most notable waterfront parks. This park is great for instagram-worthy photoshoots, soaking in the sun and taking in the magnificent view from all angles. We also encourage our travelers to visit the Intrepid Museum located right on the water of the Hudson River. This fascinating museum holds some of the most historically substantial American military and maritime artifacts and exhibitions.

2.) Battery Park

The entire 11-mile Hudson River Greenway bike route may be overwhelming to beginner travelers. It is nearly impossible to take in all of the attractions at once so, we recommend our travelers to split up the route over a two-day span. Battery Park is located at the southern tip of the Hudson River Greenway and offers its own day’s worth of adventure. There are many stops along the bike route that we highly recommend seeing such as the Highline, Statue of Liberty and the Wall Street bull!

3.) Central Park

Central Park is a no-brainer destination in New York City, on bike or foot. With a 6-mile perimeter around the park, there is plenty to see and do. Lay in the green lawn of Sheeps Meadow while taking in the breathtaking landscape of the surrounding city. A short trip away leads you to the remarkable architecture of the Bethesda Terrace which lies parallel to the Bethesda Fountain, a popular location for wedding shoots, graduation pictures and various movie scenes! Joining one of our Central Park Guided Bike Tours is a great way to learn about all of the famous landmarks hidden away in the tremendous park. You will be able to see all of the major sightseeing points in the park as well as other hidden gems, all led by one of our beloved local guides. 

Rent bikes at our Central Park Location!

4.) Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most popular biking routes we offer at Unlimited Biking. The must-see scenery overlooks the East River and the city landscape, making it a highlight spot for photos. The bridge connects Manhattan and Brooklyn so you can explore both boroughs in just a few hours. With a distance of a little over one mile, the Brooklyn Bridge bike route is perfect for beginners. After riding the Brooklyn Bridge, make sure to explore the neighborhood of Dumbo full of unique art galleries, delicious NYC style pizza, and incredible architecture.

Book a Guided Tour with Unlimited Biking at the Brooklyn Bridge!

5.) South Street Seaport

Last, but certainly not least, is the South Street Seaport district along the East River of lower Manhattan. The Seaport district is a buzzing hub that highlights New York City’s vast culture but also commemorates the area’s significant and fascinating history. Enjoy the sight of some of the oldest architecture in downtown Manhattan, an astonishing view of the Brooklyn Bridge and a leisurely ride along the bike lane on the boardwalk. As a central point for entertainment, shopping, and cuisine, South Street Seaport is definitely not a destination you want to miss!

Our locations:

56 W 56th Street New York, NY 10019

346 W 57th Street New York, NY 10019

Pier 78 455 12th Avenue New York, NY 10019

111 W. 110th Street New York, NY 10026

38 Park Row New York, NY 10038

Make the Most of NYC’s Fall Weather with These Outdoor Activities

The start of cooler weather doesn’t mean that it’s time to hibernate indoors just yet. There is still plenty of fun to be had outside in the crisp autumn air. If you’re looking for ideas for what to do, we’ve put together the perfect list of NYC’s best autumn outdoor activities

Go Apple Picking!

Autumn doesn’t just mark the comeback of pumpkin spice; it also means that it’s apple season! What better way to celebrate the return of fresh, juicy apples than to head to an orchard and pick some yourself. Unfortunately there are no apple orchards to be found within the city limits of NYC, but there are a few right outside the city: Harvest Moon Farm in North Salem, NY is just a 90-minute train ride from Grand Central Station, and in Warwick, NY, you’ll find Masker Orchards, a cute Hudson Valley farm that’ll let you eat the apples while you pick them. 

Visit a Rooftop Farm!

Everyone’s been to a rooftop bar by now, but we doubt that you’ve stepped foot onto a rooftop farm. And luckily for you, you don’t have to travel outside the city for this experience. Head over to Brooklyn to visit Brooklyn Grange and Eagle Street Farm. Between them, they produce over 50,000 pounds of produce each year, and perhaps, with your tour, you’ll get to sample some of what they’ve grown. If you want more of a dining experience, check out Bell Book & Candle, a restaurant that doubles as a rooftop vegetable garden. 

Take a Fall Foliage Ride up the Hudson River!

Taking a bike ride up the Hudson River Greenway is always fun no matter the time of year, but the fall foliage makes the ride during autumn particularly special. Experience the best plumage Manhattan has to offer, riding north from the garden haven of Battery Park City to Inwood Hill Park at the very top of the island. Along the way, make sure to stop at the Cloisters or Fort Tryon Park. From there, you’ll be treated to a view of New Jersey’s Palisades.

Get lost in a Maze!

Nothing says fall fun like wandering through a corn maze. You’ll find NYC’s only corn maze at the Queens County Farm in Floral Park, Queens. This year, the three-acre labyrinth is shaped like the iconic Universphere, which is reason enough to check it out. But if you need more reasons to head over to the farm, they also have pumpkin picking and a haunted farmhouse. 

Take a Walking Tour!

What’s better than taking a walk in the fall? How about adding a tour guide to make it a walk to remember? With the cool weather and the hints of fall foliage, this is the perfect season to take a walking tour. Luckily for you, this is something that your favorite bike rental company excels in, too! We offer walking tours of both Central Park and Brooklyn Bridge so you’ll get up-close and personal to your favorite NYC sites during the city’s favorite time of year.

Rider Recommendation: Prospect Park

While it’s often overshadowed by its more popular Manhattan counterpart, Prospect Park is one Brooklyn attraction that can’t be missed. Both parks were designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux; however, these park masterminds actually considered Prospect Park to be their masterpiece, a chance to correct the mistakes they made when they designed Central Park a few years earlier. At first glance, these green oases are very similar but upon your visit, you’ll find that Prospect Park is more “natural” than Central Park and much quieter. Make sure not to overlook these things the next time you stop by “Brooklyn’s backyard”:

Grand Army Plaza

As the name suggests, Grand Army Plaza is the grandest entrance to Prospect Park (which has seventeen entrances total). It’s impossible to miss this massive arch with several bronze statues jutting out of it. Called the Soldiers and Sailors Arch, these statues give homage to the “Defenders of the Union” during the Civil War. The inner curve of the arch also features carvings of President Abraham Lincoln and Union General Ulysses S. Grant. If you’re brave enough to cross the busy intersection to get a closer look at the arch, you’ll also be treated to a small park separate from Prospect Park, decorated with other sculptures and a mermaid fountain.

Prospect Park Carousel

Just a quick walk from the Prospect Park Zoo is the wildly whimsical Prospect Park Carousel. This functional work of art has been a delight to both children and adults since the early 1900s. Like most other carousels, this one is equipped with a fleet of horses –53 in all– but quite unusually, it also features a deer, a giraffe, a lion, and two dragon chariots. Something else that makes the Prospect Park Carousel unique: it’s one of the few wheelchair-accessible carousels in the country. There’s no reason why anyone should miss out on the fun. 

The Ravine

There’s a reason why Prospect Park is considered a “natural” park. Unlike with Central Park where trees and bushes had to be imported, the designers of Prospect Park worked with Brooklyn’s native forests to create the woodsy Ravine. Step into the Ravine today and you’ll think that you’re in the Adirondack Mountains. Along with being a great place to escape the city without actually leaving, the Ravine is a prime spot for bird watching. While you’re there see what other wildlife you can spot. 

Need a bike for your adventure through Prospect Park? Stop by one of our Unlimited Biking locations and we’ll set you up with the perfect ride.

A Cyclist’s Guide to the Jamaica Bay Greenway

Out of all of NYC’s “greenways” the Jamaica Bay Greenway is probably the only one that actually lives up to its name. This 19-mile cyclist and pedestrian loop in southern Brooklyn and Queens runs along a wildlife refuge that’s the largest of its kind in the city. The area is teeming with all sorts of fauna and flora, as well as a few historical gems. There’s a lot to see and do on one of the longest bike rides in the city, so here are a few of our recommendations that will help you make the most of your ride.

Go birdwatching at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

Birdlovers rejoice! The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is paradise for both birds and birdwatchers. Over 70 species of bird regularly nest within the refuge’s 9,000 acres, but over 200 species have been sighted here. Spend some time among the calm of the refuge’s wetlands, salt marshes, and woods and you’ll see warblers, egrets, all kinds of waterfowl, and much more. With all the wildlife around you, you’ll forget that you’re in the city.

See antique planes at Floyd Bennett Field.

Floyd Bennett Field has had a lot of past lives. In 1928 it was a municipal airport, but during World War II the federal government decided it would be of better use as a naval air station. Today Floyd Bennett Field doesn’t see as much action, but it is dedicated to preserving the history of its glory days. Stop by the Field’s gorgeous art deco terminal, which has now become a museum of the airport’s history. Then check our Hangar B, where you can get up close to WWII -era planes. If you’re visiting on a Tuesday in the summer, don’t miss the 2.3-mile bike race around the field.

 

Venture through the abandoned ruins of Fort Tilden.

Unlike Floyd Bennett Field, this military base hasn’t been given a new 21st-century purpose. Ever since the base was decommissioned in 1972, the area is slowly being reclaimed by nature. If you’re a fan of venturing into abandoned buildings, Fort Tilden is the spot for you. Just beware of the poison ivy.

 

Take a swim at Jacob Riis Park.

Jacob Riis Park, like a lot of places around the Jamaica Bay Greenway, has a military backstory. This park was previously a naval air station but now it’s one of New York’s favorite public beaches. The relatively uncrowded beach and the art deco bathhouse are some of the main draws, but locals also take advantage of Jacob Riis’ opportunities for surfing and golfing, too. The 88-acre park is divided into 14 bays, but FYI, Bay 1 is considered the “adult” part of the beach, since it is frequented by nudists. 

Interested in biking the Jamaica Bay Greenway and seeing these sites?

Stop by one of our Unlimited Biking locations to pick up the perfect bike for your journey.

Biked the Brooklyn Bridge? Now Try These Brooklyn Bike Paths!

Most cyclists visiting New York are already aware of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, the two mile ride from the Brooklyn end of the Brooklyn Bridge down to the neighborhood of Red Hook. But there is much more to cycling in Brooklyn than that. We’ve made a list of the best bike paths in Brooklyn that will help you explore this massive borough by bike.

Ocean Parkway Greenway

First on this list is the Ocean Parkway Greenway, which actually became the country’s first designated bike path in 1894. Like many of New York City’s beloved features, Ocean Parkway was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux, who aimed for Ocean Parkway to resemble the grand boulevards of Europe. See if you get these European vibes as you ride the five-mile lane from Prospect Park down to Coney Island.

Coney Island Boardwalk

Take in the ocean air and marvel at the world-famous amusement park as you ride down the Coney Island Boardwalk. Spanning from Sea Gate to Brighton Beach, this 2.1-mile path is only open to cyclists from 5 am to 10 am, but you’ll find that a ride over the Coney Island Boardwalk is a great way to start your day.

 

Shore Parkway Greenway

This 5.5-mile bike path is the most picturesque one on our list. As you follow the path down the southwestern coast of Brooklyn you’ll have views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor, in addition to getting an up-close look at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and Fort Hamilton, NYC’s only active military base. Take this ride around sunset for an especially memorable experience.

Prospect Park

No Brooklyn biking list would be complete without mentioning Prospect Park. Another urban gem designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux, Prospect Park contains a 3.35-mile loop for cyclists that was recently declared car-free. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out Grand Army Plaza, the Prospect Park Zoo, and the Ravine.

In need of a bike that can withstand all your Brooklyn adventures? Head over to one of Unlimited Biking’s stores and we’ll get you sized for the perfect bike for your journey.

NYC Summer Streets 2019!

This August, Unlimited Biking is partnering with Summer Streets to provide

for individuals participating in the highly anticipate event of the summer!

Unlimited Biking will be present with 75 complimentary bikes at three rest stops along the seven miles of Summer Streets:

We will have a wide range of sizes available, including kids bikes! All rentals will include helmets, baskets/bike bags and a map! Bikes are available on a first come, first serve basis, and an active credit card must be on file in order to rent.

Should the complimentary bikes run out, guests can visit any of Unlimited Biking’s six store locations around Manhattan in the following neighborhoods for a FREE HOUR bike rental!

To get a head start on our Check-In Process, visit our website here!

Should you have any questions, please give us a call at 212-749-4444 or email us at sales@unlimitedbiking.com

See you on the Streets!

New York’s Best Food Tour!

Interested in turning your All Day Bike Rental into a Self Guided Food Tour?

Here is our foodie bucket list with the ‘must eats’ and favorites from real New Yorkers!

  • $1 Slice Pizza (2 Bros Pizza)
  • Cannoli (Ferrara Bakery & Cafe)
  • Bagel & Schmear (Black Seed Bagels)
  • Chicken & Waffles (Sweet chick)
  • Hand Pulled Noodles (Xi’an Famous Foods)
  • Shack Burger (Shake Shack)
  • Corned Beef or Pastrami (Katz’s Delicatessen)
  • Dim Sum (Nom Wah Tea Parlor)
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie (Levain’s Bakery)
  • Pierogi (Veselka)
  • Babka (Breaks Bakery)
  • Ramen (Ivan Ramen)
  • Ice Cream (Morgenstern’s, Ample Hills Creamery)
  • Fresh Pasta (San Marzano)
  • Korean BBQ (Jongro BBQ)
  • Donuts (Dough Doughnuts)
  • Falafel (Mamouns)
  • Dumplings (Vanessa’s Dumpling House)
  • Shaved Ice (Grace Street Cafe)

Now that you’ve got your list, get out there and eat! And we’ve got the bikes to get you there!

Get Your Blades On!

Did you know that rollerblading is not only a fun way to get around the city but also a way to improve your balance and coordination skills like no other activity?

Let’s take a minute to evaluate all the health benefits rollerblading will have on your body:

  • Rollerblading is a full-body exercise
  • It’s easy on your body, but strengthens your muscles and cardiovascular system
  • Rollerblading is a great calorie burner

Some smooth rollerblading hot spots of New York:

Central Park

Whether you do the full loop of 6.1 miles or the smaller loop of 1.7 miles, Central Park is always filled with rollerbladers! Join the dozens of neon-clad party-goers at the public Roller Disco on Saturdays by the bandshell!

Note: Central Park has a counter-clockwise one-way-system. So always skate with the flow and pay attention to the pedestrians.

Hudson River Greenway

Welcome to the longest greenway in Manhattan, stretching from the George Washington to Riverside Park all the way down to Battery Park.

At the most southern point, you will find the South Ferry Station. The ferry usually leaves every 30 min – 1h depending on the time of day and goes to Staten Island and back with passing by the Statue of Liberty, should you want to blade by Lady Liberty.

East River Greenway

Towards the end of the above mentioned, the Hudson River greenway will connect to the East River greenway at the intersection of Wall Street and South Street.

This greenway will lead you along the East Side from Battery Park back up to 125th Street in Harlem.

Note: There are some very narrow parts on the route, so do slow down for your own safety.

With all the fun always remember: Safety First!

  • Wear a helmet, knee and elbow pads
  • Eyes on the street even if you are skating on a quiet path
  • If you skate one of the busier streets, skate with the traffic, provide signals so others know where you are planning on skating next
  • Be prepared for the dark in case you lose track of time: lights and reflective closing