Must-See Jamaica Bay: Biking
Outdoors & Recreation
by nycgo.com staff, 05/28/2014
One of the best ways to experience Jamaica Bay is on two wheels. And thanks to a proliferation of trails—including those of the Jamaica Bay Greenway [PDF]—riding events and rental options, it's never been easier to pedal your way around the area. If you're not a bike owner, start at Aviator Sports & Events Center at Floyd Bennett Field, where you can pick up your wheels for the day (bikes are available from mid-April to the beginning of October) and even ride along former runways from the City's first municipal airport, where numerous world records were set or broken during the Golden Age of Aviation and beyond. Wheel Fun Rentals offers a wide variety of bikes, including tandems, surreys and cruisers, for exploring the scenic paths running along the shoreline and throughout the region. Pick up your wheels at the company's several Jamaica Bay locations. At Marine Park, you'll also find paddleboards, boogie boards and kayaks for cooling off after your ride. The Jacob Riis Park branch has boogie boards as well as beach chairs, beach umbrellas and sand toys.
Amateurs and athletes alike can get even more of the sport this summer, thanks to a lineup of bike-centric events for every age and ability level. Queens Bike Bonanza in July features a bike swap, riding lessons, helmet giveaways and themed activities for kids, and the annual Rockaway Bike Parade in September brings out eccentrically dressed riders for a celebration of "human-powered transportation." Check nps.gov for the most up-to-date information.
Here are just a few of Jamaica Bay's offerings this season:
Queens Bike Bonanza at Rockaway Beach (Beach 59th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard)
Get into the cycling spirit with a full afternoon of free activities. Among the day's offerings are a bike swap, children's lessons, helpful tips for riding safely, complimentary helmets and crafting sessions. For more information, visit rwalliance.org.
Family Bike Ride at Aviator Sports, Floyd Bennett Field
Families can go for a 2-mile bicycle ride with a park ranger on a loop that heads across Floyd Bennett Field and back along the Jamaica Bay Greenway. Reservations are required by calling 718-338-3799.
Brooklyn Waterfront Epic Ride
This annual ride lets cyclists take in waterfront views while they pedal the 40 miles from Greenpoint to Rockaway Beach. Those who want to begin from Rockaway Beach can start at Aviator Sports, on Floyd Bennett Field, for a shorter 14-mile route. Start times for that jaunt range from 11am to 12:30pm. For more information and to register, visit brooklyngreenway.org or call 718-338-3799 to find out more about the Rockaway Beach segment.
Rockaway Bike Parade at Beach 59th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard
This event is a celebration of biking and the Rockaway community, and this year it will have a West Indian Carnival theme—expect many folks to come dressed in all manner of fanciful outfits. The parade begins in front of Firehouse 59. For more information, visit rwalliance.org.
Dates and times are subject to change. Check online or by phone for advance confirmation.