by Elizabeth Kennedy, 08/03/2009
This weekend, pick up a new set of wheels. Whether you're on a bike, board or blades, you can explore NYC through a variety of (mostly free) two-, three- and four-wheel options (and get some exercise, too). It's already August, so get out there and savor every summer weekend that remains.
Central Park Moonlight Ride
Most people head out of the park when twilight nears, but this Friday, you and your fellow night owls can bike around the moonlit paths of Central Park. These rides occur on the first Friday of every month, and upwards of 50 riders of all ages attend. Just grab your bike and helmet (and light, if you have one) and head to Columbus Circle at 10pm to meet the group before departing for an after-hours 10-mile tour of Manhattan's largest green space. This is the safest—and probably most fun—way to see the park after dark. The Central Park Moonlight Ride is free and pre-registration is not required.
Free Bike Fridays at Governors Island
Save your gas money—and the environment—by spending the day on two wheels with Free Bike Fridays. Governors Island is home to New York City's first sustained bike-share program—which means visitors to the island can borrow complimentary bikes, courtesy of Bike and Roll, for up to one hour. Head over with the family or a friend to pedal around and enjoy the scenic views. With free wheels for both adults and kids, this could easily become your new summer Friday-afternoon routine.
Spend Saturday doing something different—like, say, Rollerblading down the middle of Park Avenue. For three Saturdays in August, Park Avenue and connecting streets from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park are closed to traffic and open to walkers, runners, bikers and skaters. Summer Streets is a great chance to wander the City without worrying about car traffic.
Roller-skating in Coney Island
Let's roll, people. Dreamland Roller Rink transforms into Dreamland Discotheque on Sundays, so strap on the skates. From 3 to 7pm, the Coney Island establishment will be playing '80s, new wave and disco classics to keep you grooving into the night. Dress in your favorite period finery (anything shiny or neon is strongly encouraged) and receive a discount. Tickets are $10, or $8 if you wear a getup.
Skateboarding School School may be out for summer, but boarding lessons are still on. Beginner, intermediate and advanced skateboarders are all welcome to take part in Skateboarding School at locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Group classes cost $30, or spend $70 on an hour-long private lesson. In both, you'll learn about everything from proper posture and safety to rad tricks like grinds, nollies and 180s. (What are "nollies," you ask? Get to class and find out!) Luiz Louie, founder of the school, is a professional skateboarder with more than 10 years' experience teaching both adults and children how to skateboard. Check out the school's site to sign up.