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Riding Bicycles in Central Park

Cars aren’t the only means of leisurely transportation in New York anymore.  As a matter of fact, more and more people are starting to ride bikes.  A favorite sight-seeing location of the majority of New York biking natives and tourists alike is Central Park.  Bicycle riding has been going on in Central Park dating back to as early as 1880, when you were only allowed to ride between the wee hours of 1:00 AM and 9:00 AM.  Some of the first bicyclists were a group called the League of American Wheelmen who would hold annual meetings there every May.  Even though bicyclists were taking chances by attending these meetings because of accidents and poor riding conditions, the group prevailed.   Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, those who wanted to ride bikes in Central Park were better protected, using things like helmets and elbow pads.  As far as time is concerned, the hours of when bikers are available to ride have changed.  Once restricted to morning hours only, riders now have the freedom of roaming around Central Park at almost any time of the day or night.

One of the main reasons why Central Park is such a fan favorite among bicyclists, amateur and professional, is because certain parts of the park have different terrain levels.  Some are inclining; others are flighty, and so on and so forth.  Depending on what mood you’re in or how long you want to ride for, there are three different bicycling routes you can take.  If you’re not looking to ride for a very long period of time, there are different cross points at various locations.  Of the three designated routes you can take, the shortest is 1.7 miles.  The intermediary route is 5.2 miles.  Finally, the longest route is 6.1 miles.  While bike riders can enjoy the sights of just about every pathway there is, there is only one exception to the rule, which are the pathways. 

As far as actual bikes are concerned, you have a few options.  You can bring your own bicycle, if you’re so inclined.  If not, that’s okay, too.  There are a variety of bike rental stores and locations you can visit.  You have the choice of shopping online, or in person.  There is no right or wrong way about renting a bicycle.  Whatever you can afford is what will work.  As long as you have the proper identification, safety wear and rental fee, you should be fine.  If you have young children, this is especially important.  According to New York state law, all children under the age of 14 are required to wear a helmet.  Failure to do so can result in an expensive fine, or worse, jail time. 

As mentioned earlier, bicyclists can ride around Central Park at pretty much any hour of the day.  However, like any public establishment, the park does have closing hours.  The park is generally closed between 1 and 6:00 AM.  On weekdays, Central Park is closed to traffic between the hours of 10 AM and 3 PM, then again from 7 PM to 7 AM.