Must-See Jamaica Bay: Biking
Outdoors & Recreation
by Alyssa Grossman, 05/15/2012
One of the greatest ways to experience Jamaica Bay is on two wheels. And thanks to a proliferation of trails including the Jamaica Bay Greenway, 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 the end of June 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 and surreys, for exploring the scenic paths running along the shoreline and throughout the region The outfit also rents paddle boards, boogie boards and kayaks for cooling off after your ride. They also have beach chairs, beach umbrellas and sand toys available and will be adding more Jamaica Bay locations this summer, including Jacob Riis Park, Riis Landing, Canarsie Pier and Marine Park.
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. The annual Rockaway Bike Parade in May brings out eccentrically dressed riders for a celebration of "human-powered transportation," and Queens Bike Bonanza in July features a bike swap, riding lessons, helmet giveaways and themed activities for kids. Check nps.gov for the most up-to-date information.
Here are just a few of Jamaica Bay's offerings this season:
Bike Around Floyd Bennett Field at Floyd Bennett Field Ranger Station
Grab your bike and a helmet and meet up with a park ranger and other riders for a four-mile outing. The ride runs from 10am–12pm.
Bike to the Salt Marsh Nature Center at Floyd Bennett Field
Beginning at 9:30am, set off on a trip to the Salt Marsh Nature Center. A park ranger will lead a building tour and provide background information on the animals in the Marine Park area. From there, participants are welcome to explore the center's nature trail. Reservations are required. Call 718-338-3799.
Brooklyn Waterfront Epic Ride
This annual ride lets participants take in waterfront views while pedaling 40 miles from Greenpoint to Rockaway Beach. For more information, visit brooklyngreenway.org.
Queens Bike Bonanza at Rockaway Beach
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. The event begins at 12pm at Beach 59th Street and Rockaway Boulevard. For more information, visit nyc.gov/parks.