A Scenic Urban Bike Ride
Outside of New York City
Images & story by Dwayne Burgess
North in the unfolds of New York City is a bucolic (Sub)urban scenic bike ride that passes through historic neighborhood Washington Heights and over the towering George Washington suspension bridge. The Bridge and River Tour, a ride that unfolds new wonders of escape as you meander your way outside of city lines and transition to a cool breeze and rolling hill tarmac with the Hudson River flowing downstream on your side.
Taken easily on a bicycle, this tour leads out west of Fredrick Douglas Circle and makes stops at the historic General Grants Tomb memorial and Riverside church, two staples to the Morningside Heights and known to many as the gateway to the cultural and intellectual Harlem neighborhood. Pedaling north you’ll ride pass beautiful Harlem row houses as you see in the distance the George Washington Bridge sharpen the depth of field.
With a short ride over the bridge nestled between the cliffs of the Palisades and Hudson River lays Henry Hudson Drive, also known as River Road to many native road cyclists. It’s where the love of nature begins, and for 16 miles it’s a place you can find the quiet amongst the noise of New York City.
As we spin our wheels on the Bridge and River Tour we get up close and personal with a stop underneath the George Washington Bridge to take in the picturesque view. It’s a special place to capture a photograph, especially with all the hard-working miles it took to pedal. The single-pointed focus of the bridge draws its converging lines right in front of you while the sounds of the traffic fade and the Hudson River burbles it’s way downstream. It’s a lot happening at once, and all unfolds in the most humbling counterintuitive way.
Back on the road, we traverse pockets of solitude with foliage from left to right and unexpected heights of the Palisades Cliffs. A short downhill descent into the hallmark of the Bridge and River Tour: The Ross Dock Picnic Area, a waterfront photo-ready view of the GWB (George Washington Bridge) and New York City in the background. Another grand moment from New York Cities backyard and a place to sit, relax and take in the view.
The Bridge and River Tour makes you feel far removed from New York City, providing beautiful sights and adventure all on the bicycle. It’s a place where nature joins the urban creating a clustered landscape of tranquility just several miles from home.