Wow! We just found out that if you have a AAA Northeast membership, you are now entitled to up to 2 bicycle pick ups each year. This means that if you are out riding your bike and you have a breakdown, you can call them and they will drive you home or to a bike shop with your bike. As long as it’s less than 10 miles away, it’s free. Then it’s the standard towing mileage after that. What a wonderful resource! Check out the details at AAA.com/bicycle
Have you ever wanted to do that one “big ride” to challenge yourself? Riding my bike to Montauk from my apartment in Brooklyn was the first time I had ever dared to ride more than 100 miles in one day. It was 1998. I was only 23 years old. I had just finished college. I had started a new job…and I decided to train all summer to meet this goal.
I wanted to do this ride one-way…and take the LIRR back home when I was done. Back then, you couldn’t bring your bike on the LIRR Montauk branch before Labor Day. So I waited until the week after. I remember going to the Hagstrom Map Store on 43rd Street and 6th Avenue to buy all the maps I would need to plan my journey. The ride would be about 115 miles long…if I didn’t get lost. I spent a ton of time trying to figure out what roads to ride, how to do this, etc. But I couldn’t wait! I had only been to Montauk as a kid with my parents. Now I was ready to go there on my own…on a bike!
The ride exceeded my expectations. And when I saw that lighthouse at the end of the ride it blew me away. I went down to the rocky beach below the lighthouse and I saw about a dozen fisherman casting their lines out into the surf. One guy was holding a huge fish he had just caught. I wondered if his feeling of accomplishment was similar to mine. I had caught a huge prize of my own…riding to Montauk!
Since that first ride, I have ridden to Montauk many times. Each time I learned a little more. I discovered how to use the trains effectively to do different kinds of rides. I learned where to camp. Where to get a good dinner. And were the best scenery was.
Three years ago I decided to put all of this knowledge into the first bike tour we ever offered at Gotham Bicycle Tours: Our Montauk and Eastern Long Island bike tour. It’s all the highlights of my many bike trips to Montauk condensed into a weekend that you can experience. Since not everyone wants to ride a hundred-plus miles, we have several different routes to choose from between 16 and 60 miles…each one designed to give you a feeling of accomplishment when you reach THE END! And forget about pouring over paper maps! We have all the routes figured out for you, and you can get turn-by-turn navigation from a GPS app on your smartphone. Doing a bike overnight to Montauk and the Hamptons has gotten easier than ever!
A favorite pastime for many cyclists is to do a big ride that ends at a craft brewery destination. There’s nothing better than enjoying a beer at the end of a big ride! But getting back on that bike after drinking that beer can be tough going…or even dangerous if you’ve had a few too many. Unless the brewery you’ve ridden to is next to a train station, or you’ve made plans to have someone pick you up, riding those final miles after your brewery ride can be a challenge.
That’s why we came up with our Captain Lawrence Bicycle Tour. Captain Lawrence is a locally famous brewery…you can find their beers in many stores and restaurants throughout the tri-state region. And to ride to Captain Lawrence is relatively easy….its about a half-mile away from a great rail-trail. But because rail-trails are in the locations where trains used to be….unfortunately there’s no easy way to get home with your bike if you don’t want to do any more riding. And that’s the situation we were hoping to remedy with our bike tour.
Captain Lawrence is a great brewery to experience, and given its proximity to New York City, it should be easy ride for anyone from the city to do…and now it is! Check out our ride details on our website! With lunch, rail-fare and a ride back to the train included…it’s an unbeatable value for an all-inclusive day trip from the city!
We are glad to be back for the second year of OutdoorFest! OutdoorFest is a 10-day outdoor adventure festival that aims to connect New Yorkers to live healthier and more adventurous lives. Look for us at the Outdoor Adventure Expo on Sunday June 19th from 12-5pm or ride with us the week before on Sunday, June 12th!
Gotham Bike Tours is pleased to participate in National Bike Travel Weekend, June 3-5, 2016.
Are you interested in the idea of doing a bike tour with your family (including your kids)? During the past year one of the most frequently asked questions we received from potential customers was “Can I bring my kids on this bike tour?” So we decided to try to put together a tour that was family friendly. And the best way to do this is to ask people with families what they prefer.
So please, if you are interested, take our quick 10-question anonymous survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.
As passionate cyclists and campers, Bronx residents Lukas Herbert and Laura Willis have introduced friends to their avocation and hope to see their fellow city riders discover the joys of multiple-day bicycle touring. But they know an impediment exists.
“While bike riding is becoming hugely popular here, a lot of people do not have access to personal vehicles, which poses a major obstacle for doing a bike tour,” Mr. Herbert said in an email.
Enter Gotham Bicycle Tours, which the couple started this spring to offer three-day, two-night bike tours just outside the New York City metro region.
“Fortunately, we have a mass transit system that permits bikes, so we are setting up these tours with 100 percent access to mass transit,” said Mr. Herbert, an urban planner with Westchester County, specializing in bicycle and pedestrian work.
“The idea is to remove as many barriers as possible to get people out on a bike overnight,” he said. “Then, if they do our tours, maybe they’ll graduate to a bigger, longer tour or strike out on their own. Regardless, the goal is to increase bike traveling, which is a good thing.”
Four tours are scheduled, two that traverse the Hudson Valley ($275 a person) and two along eastern Long Island and out to Montauk ($295 a person). The trips start at commuter rail stops outside the city.
Aside from not doing the actual pedaling, Gotham is making the outing as easy as possible for travelers by mapping scenic routes, planning meals and arranging accommodations (bed-and-breakfast options are sometimes available for noncampers).
Gotham staff will shuttle riders’ gear and even the cyclists themselves if they get too tired. Technical assistance is available for everything from a flat tire to tent setup (tent rentals are available too).
Adventure Cycling: Bike Bits Vol. 16, No. 10, May 21, 2014
Lukas Herbert of New York City recently launched a small bike-touring service called Gotham Bike Tours. It’s aimed at introducing people to the bike overnight concept by leading them on three-day, two-night tours just outside the New York metro region. “While bike riding is becoming hugely popular here, a lot of people do not have access to personal motor vehicles,” Lukas said. “This poses a major obstacle for doing a bike tour. Fortunately, we have a mass transit system that permits bikes, so we are setting up these tours with 100 percent access to mass transit.” The idea, he added, is to remove as many barriers as possible to getting people out on a bike overnight for the first time — or even the second or third time. “Then, if they do our tours, maybe they can graduate’ to a bigger, longer tour, maybe even strike out on their own. Regardless, the goal is to increase bike traveling, which is a good thing.” Tours upcoming this summer include two in the Hudson Valley and another pair on eastern Long Island.
Upcoming Bike Tours
Would you like more information about our tours?