7 Great Biking Cities (and Which Trails to Ride)

A motorcycle is a recreation changer when exploring a brand new metropolis: It’s low cost, speedy and a enjoyable manner get in some train whereas on trip.

From a 1,300-foot climb in Bogotá to a 22-mile, best-of-Paris loop (don’t fear, there’s wine and ice cream on the finish), seven writers supply their favourite rides in cities identified for his or her city trails.

Head south alongside the waterfront from the statue of Hans Christian Anderson’s Little Mermaid, and also you’ll quickly cross Kastellet, whose cute crimson barracks belie its standing as an energetic army base, earlier than crossing the cobblestone sq. that’s house to the royal palace, Amalienborg. (Preserve a watch out for Prince Frederik, who incessantly pulls up to the gates on his cargo bike.) Zip previous the candy-colored homes of the previous harbor, Nyhavn, and again down to the water’s edge, the place the previous metropolis provides manner to the sharp angles of the Royal Library and the chunky structure of Blox, which homes the Danish Design Center. From right here, you possibly can flip left instantly to sail over Lille Langebro, the town’s latest bicycle bridge, or pedal on to the serpentine Cykelslangen. Both manner, you’ll land within the harborfront neighborhood of Islands Brygge, whose swimming space is a favourite spot for winter bathing and summer time tanning.

A brief jaunt north brings you to the tall masts of the artist Olafur Eliasson’s Cirkelbroen, or Circle Bridge. From there, zigzag your manner towards the Opera House, stopping on the close by Hart bakery for buttery pastries. Persevering with roughly north will convey you to the dramatic swoop of CopenHill — the Bjarke Ingels-designed energy plant and concrete ski slope — and from there, it’s solely somewhat additional on to the Refshaleoen space, the place you will discover pure wine and extra swimming on the dockside restaurant La Banchina, or tasty fried-chicken sandwiches within the backyard at Amass restaurant. Sometime, you’ll have the opportunity to return to the place to begin by way of another bridge, however for now, a harbor ferry that departs from the dock exterior Amass makes the crossing. And sure, it takes bikes.

Distance: 7 miles.

Issue: Simple.

Good for youths? Sure.

The place to eat/refill your water bottle: La Banchina, Amass, Hart.

Time to experience: 30 to 60 minutes, with no stops.


In cycling-mad Colombia, nothing places a finer level on the nation’s frenetic obsession with using than a Sunday morning in Bogotá, when 70 miles of the town’s usually gridlocked streets are closed to motor autos. From 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., an estimated two million individuals — almost 1 / 4 of the town — take to the streets on two wheels for the closure, known as Ciclovía, a mass-participation occasion courting to the mid-Seventies.

However the true fanatics begin even earlier. On Bogotá’s east aspect, an avenue leads to the close by city of La Calera (the street begins simply throughout from a park). There, cyclists start congregating earlier than dawn to experience a 3.7-mile, 1,300-foot hill climb known as Alto de Patios. By 6:45 a.m., a deluge of riders 4 and 5 abreast pours up the hill. The street, just some car-widths throughout, cuts fairly oxbows by means of dense cloud forest because it ascends into the Japanese Hills.

Not like the laid-back vibe throughout Ciclovía later within the day, cyclists right here jockey for place. The throng of riders is speckled with followers wearing reproduction black-and-scarlet Ineos Grenadier jerseys of Egan Bernal, a Tour de France and Giro d’Italia winner from Colombia. And everybody, from would-be racers in Lycra to households with youngsters on rusted-out clunkers, sprints for the King of the Mountain end line atop Patios, simply shy of 10,000 toes, as if there have been actual prize cash at stake.

With the correct pacing, it’s a experience that anybody in cheap form can do. At flatter stretches, roadside stands supply stools the place riders can relaxation and down a café con leche or fresh-squeezed orange juice to fortify for the journey forward. Finally, everybody hits the highest for views; on clear days, cyclists are rewarded with the jumble of the town that sweeps out from the verdant foliage under.

Then it’s all backslaps and good cheer as cyclists peel off to the myriad hill stalls and cafes to linger over aguapanela, a bracing sugar-cane infusion that makes Gatorade style like water, and arepas con queso, cheese-stuffed masa muffins accessible on each nook in Colombia.

Distance: 7.4 miles (there and again).

Issue: Difficult. A 1,293-foot climb, however loads of locations to relaxation alongside the way in which.

Good for youths? Older youngsters who’re accustomed to using will do high-quality. Youthful kids will need to cease alongside the way in which for snacks and a relaxation. (They received’t be alone.)

The place to eat/refill your water bottle: Roadside stands.

Time to experience: 30 to 90 minutes, relying in your pace and for those who cease alongside the way in which.


The Hudson River Greenway is the most well-liked biking route within the metropolis. Using this path by means of a collection of linear parks on the western fringe of Manhattan is your likelihood to fall in with locals whereas cruising alongside the mighty river that helped make New York the powerhouse it’s.

You’ll be able to hop on the Greenway, which is a part of the island-circling Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, at a number of factors alongside its 13-mile size between Battery Park, on the southern foot of the island, and Inwood, on the northern tip. However think about launching from the intersection of (*7*) off Tribeca, the place views of the river open up (and there’s a Citi Bike dock; $15 per day). Pedal north and maintain your eyes peeled for cultural scorching spots.

In your proper, throughout West Avenue: the High Line and the Whitney Museum of American Art. In your left, rising from the river: Little Island, an undulating panorama atop what seem like champagne coupes or upside-down garlic heads, relying in your standpoint. Simply north of it, one other mini park has simply opened to the general public atop Pier 57 (and, come June, will function an out of doors cinema for the Tribeca Competition).

Persevering with north, previous the Intrepid aircraft carrier and slips the place cruise ships dock, there’s a small sculpture park. The bike path then veers barely inland in Riverside Park, slicing a large swath across the West 79th Street Boat Basin, now being renovated. However the river stays in view and, quickly sufficient, you’re again alongside it. Up forward, the George Washington Bridge looms, a brawny feat of engineering connecting New York to New Jersey.

The final stretch of the Greenway entails a killer hill. As a substitute, flip round on the base of the bridge and meet a treasured native landmark: the Little Red Lighthouse, immortalized in a 1942 picture book beloved by many New York households.

Distance: 13 miles, one-way (size of the complete Hudson River Greenway).

Issue: Simple.

Good for youths: Sure.

The place to eat/refill your water bottle: Seize a seat with a river view at Pier 57’s City Winery at fifteenth Avenue, off Chelsea.

Time to experience: 1 to 2 hours of pedaling — or up to a day for those who cease to discover alongside the way in which.


Paris is a metropolis remodeled by bike lanes. Mayor Anne Hidalgo has already spent 150 million euros ($158 million) growing the primary stage of the town’s bike plan, geared toward making the town “one hundred pc bikeable” by 2026, when it plans to have added 112 miles of protected biking paths.

This 22-mile loop takes benefit of the brand new biking infrastructure, mixing in lots of the metropolis’s major sights and loads of inexperienced areas.

From Place de la République, comply with Canal Saint-Martin north. Early within the morning, the bike lane is usually abandoned, save for a number of joggers. A brief experience leads to Bassin de la Villette, which has playgrounds and park benches with tender morning gentle. In the summertime, the town transforms this part of the canal into an outdoor swimming area.

Flip round and experience south alongside the canal to Rue Amelot, within the eleventh Arrondissement. The quiet aspect avenue leads to Place de la Bastille. This generally is a tough roundabout, however after hitting Boulevard Henri IV, it’s a straight shot to Île Saint-Louis, the place you’ll be rewarded with views of Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower.

After biking alongside the Seine, the route cuts into the Left Financial institution for the longest climb of the day, which finishes on the Pantheon overlooking Luxembourg Gardens.

From right here, the trail rejoins the Seine, following the river to the Eiffel Tower. After crossing the Pont d’Iéna and a brief however steep climb previous Trocadéro, the route winds by means of traditional Haussmannian structure to Bois de Boulogne, a park two-and-a-half occasions the scale of Central Park. The lake is an ideal picnic cease (you possibly can swing by the close by Desgranges to choose up your lunch, together with their “Passy Ardour” baguettes).

The route returns alongside the Proper Financial institution of the Seine, passing the Tuileries Garden and the Louvre. After using alongside the river’s banks, return to avenue stage at Pont Louis-Philippe to cross Île Saint-Louis.

Again on the Left Financial institution, the route leads to out of doors dance squares at Jardin Tino Rossi, the place individuals salsa and waltz alongside the riverbank.

The ultimate part takes you over the Pont d’Austerlitz, and follows Bassin de l’Arsenal previous picturesque houseboats to Bastille and again alongside Canal Saint-Martin.

End the experience on a small aspect avenue close to République the place you’ll discover Folderol, a wine and ice cream bar. Their collection of pure wines and housemade ice cream is a well-earned reward for hours of biking.

Distance: 22 miles.

Issue: Simple to reasonable. About 500 toes of elevation.

Good for youths: Sure. The components with essentially the most visitors are the Bastille roundabout and the realm close to Trocadéro.

The place to eat/refill your water bottle: Close to République: Dreamin’ Man for espresso, or Mamiche has wonderful pastries and sandwiches. Close to Pantheon: Treize au Jardin, for its beautiful and relaxed terrace. Close to Île Saint-Louis: Le Peloton Café, for espresso, waffles and bike experience; and Berthillon is a Paris traditional.

Time to experience: 2.5 to 4 hours, relying on stops.

Bike repairs: La Chouette close to the beginning of the route for any bike tuneups. Pleasant employees and really educated.


Washington has been bullish on biking in recent times. Various authorities businesses and nonprofits oversee and preserve miles of devoted lanes, bike-friendly roads and gravel trails by means of the capital, Virginia and Maryland, making the better Washington space one of the bike-friendly areas within the nation.

One roughly 20-mile loop in Northwest Washington and Maryland — a neighborhood favourite — meanders by means of Rock Creek Park and Georgetown and alongside the Potomac River and the C & O Canal, offering a scenic window to the realm’s colonial historical past, very important waterways and plentiful inexperienced areas.

Begin by biking south in Rock Creek Park, a densely forested valley in the course of the town that runs roughly north to south from the Maryland border. The park’s devoted bike path meanders for miles subsequent to the fortunately effervescent creek, previous the Nationwide Zoo, over stone bridges and up wooded hills. It’s a downhill journey at each twist and switch. On weekends, the park’s major artery, Seashore Drive, is closed to automobiles, offering extra street for bikers. There’s an added bonus in the summertime: The verdant greenery shields you from the new solar; to keep away from the worst of the realm’s infamous humidity, nonetheless, it’s finest to bike early within the morning.

Trip alongside the creek to the Potomac River, close to the Georgetown and Foggy Backside neighborhoods. Many bikers take a proper on the river by means of Georgetown, the place you possibly can benefit from the space’s brightly painted and lovingly restored historic homes, to choose up the Capital Crescent Trail.

The Capital Crescent, a devoted bike path, was as soon as the 11-mile Georgetown Department of the B & O Railroad and now runs parallel to the C & O Canal, one of many nation’s main transit arteries earlier than the arrival of the railroad; components of it at the moment are preserved. On the Capital Crescent, you ascend barely as you glimpse rowers from Georgetown College and different boaters on the Potomac, and experience by means of the hovering Dalecarlia Tunnel or over one of many many rehabilitated railroad bridges. As you bike in a northeast path, you’ll be surrounded with lush greenery.

Within the area, there’s an incredible quantity of labor at the moment being accomplished to expand bike trails and different public transit options; consequently, one department of the C.C.T. is at the moment closed. So benefit from the detour, which is able to take you previous lavish homes within the Maryland suburbs of Bethesda and Chevy Chase as you bike east on streets to choose up Seashore Drive once more.

Inexpensive bike leases might be discovered on the many docking stations operated by Capital Bikeshare.

Distance: 20 miles.

Issue: Average, with 300 toes of elevation, at most.

Good for youths? Sure. Many sections on the C.C.T. are flat and on devoted trails, and the no-cars rule in Rock Creek makes it a family-friendly choice on weekends.

The place to eat/refill your water bottle: Georgetown supplies ample locations to choose up meals or drink, with Baked and Wired promoting scrumptious “cakecups” in numerous flavors and with virtually overwhelming frosting. Many benches might be present in Georgetown and Rock Creek and on the C.C.T. for impromptu picnics.

Time to experience: 2 to 3 hours, relying on stops.


Right here’s a simple route that takes you thru quintessential Geneva, with a cease within the United Nations space, a cruise alongside a lakeside promenade, a fast dip within the lake, then a swing previous the town’s historic heart.

From the Cornavin train station, head north up the gently sloping Rue de Montbrillant and into the guts of Geneva’s worldwide district. Cease for a wander across the plaza in entrance of the town’s iconic Broken Chair, simply in entrance of the primary places of work of the United Nations in Geneva. From there, coast downhill to the shady and manicured Parc Mon Repos, then alongside the lakeside promenade of the Quai Wilson, taking in views of Mont Blanc within the distance if the climate is nice.

Set off throughout the Mont Blanc Bridge, at Lake Geneva’s westernmost tip, then pause for a photograph of the well-known flower clock within the Jardin Anglais. From there, proceed alongside the lake and previous the Jet d’Eau — a fountain that shoots greater than 400 toes into the air. Then lock up your bike and go for a swim (or simply lounge on the sand) on the public seashore at Baby-Plage.

For the ultimate leg, head again alongside the lake, then wind across the fringe of Geneva’s Outdated City (the Vielle Ville) to the Plaine de Plainpalais, the place you possibly can ogle a creepy statue of Frankenstein’s monster, who committed murder alongside this very stretch in Mary Shelley’s well-known novel. From there, it’s a brief experience again to the practice station.

Distance: About 7.5 miles.

Issue: Simple; one reasonable climb, however in any other case principally flat or downhill.

Good for youths? Kids want to have the opportunity to navigate some street visitors in locations.

The place to eat/refill your water bottle: La Buvette des Bains, alongside Quai Wilson.

Time to experience: 1 to 3 hours, relying on stops.


“The Wiggle” started as a footpath for the unique individuals of San Francisco, the Ohlone tribe. The squiggly path by means of the town’s heart permits walkers (and now bicyclists) to bypass the town’s legendary hills and luxuriate in a principally flat journey from downtown to the shining jewel of the west coast, Golden Gate Park.

It was already an excellent park for biking, however latest efforts by Car-Free JFK and others have efficiently closed the park’s central artery, John F. Kennedy Drive, to automotive visitors seven days per week. When biking it, you’ll seemingly share the street with a mixture of retiree cyclists, preteen skate boarders and enthusiastic disciples of the “Godfather of Rollerskating,” David Mills.

Begin on the Civic Center BART station, a simple connection to the complete Bay Space. Take Market Avenue southwest to the Wiggle, which begins on Duboce Avenue behind a big Safeway retailer on the nook. When you get to the park, for those who’re not within the temper for pretzels or meals truck fare, keep to the south on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, passing the AIDS Memorial Grove, to simply attain the eating places and retailers of ninth Avenue. The spicy veggie pho at Sunflower Garden Vietnamese consists of chunks of king oyster mushrooms and loads of crunchy and juicy toppings.

Different ninth Avenue favorites: an outpost of the Oakland cooperative bakery Arizmendi, Green Apple Books and Ebisu Sushi.

Re-enter the park and take Stow Lake Drive round Stow Lake after which choose up JFK Drive, meandering peacefully by means of car-free paths and previous award-winning landscape design. Heading again, experience downhill to Market Avenue by way of Web page Avenue, a chosen “Gradual Avenue” that limits automotive visitors. Restored Victorian properties in all hues and pleasant neighborhood bars line your path. Wholesome Bakery, with bike racks out entrance, has scrumptious strawberry galettes and fudge brownies to take house. It’s a clean 10 minutes again to the BART station or different downtown locations.

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