Inside the Brompton Bike Tour!

by JACK on OCTOBER 24, 2013

Source: NYCeWheels

As many of you know, once a week we lead guided bike tours, taking a fleet of bright yellow Brompton Bikes all around nyc, enjoying the sights and exploring some of the best biking routes the city has to offer. My name is Jack, I have the pleasure of leading the tours, and I thought it would be fun to post some pics from a ride this last month so that readers could see what the tour is all about.

Let’s take a look:

Bromptons for all!

002-300x199Riders meet at NYCeWheels bike shop Saturdays at 3pm, where we get everyone set up with Bromptons and helmets (at no cost) before heading out. The Brompton bikes used for the tours are M3Ls fit with the Shimano Dyno hub.  The bikes are 2012 models, so won’t include some of the newer Brompton upgrades featured in the 2013 models.

Before the ride starts I usually eye the attendees of the day, trying to get a sense of riding experience and stamina. Usually I can spot a few overachievers in the bunch, greasing their chains and adjusting their ultra tight windproof bike shorts, but most riders tend to be in the beginner category.

Occasionally, when the majority has that adventurous gleam in their eye, we’ll take the Bromptons farther afield, into Queens, Brooklyn, or up to the GW bridge, but typically routes prioritize bike lanes and light traffic areas like parks, islands and promenades. The pics below feature one of my favorite rides, the Randall’s Island tour.

Randall’s Island

Randall’s Island is located in the East River, adjacent to the uppereastside. Technically still a part of Manhattan, the island is mostly made up of big open fields where NY locals gather to play recreational sports and kids come for micro soccer tournaments. To enter the it’s best to take 84th st towards Carl Schultz park…

001-1024x680At the end of the street you’ll run right into the east river. Take a left and head north along the east river bike path, enjoying the stunning river views to your right:

0051-1024x680This bike path runs up to 125th before getting cut off by buildings and endless construction. But around 103rd street, there is a pedestrian bridge which leads straight over to Randall’s island.

009-edit-1024x680Once on the other side, the Brompton tour swings south, curving counterclockwise around the edge of the island, right on the east river. Some of the best shots of Manhattan can be seen from this angle:

0061-1024x680Along this stretch there are usually outdoor urban art exhibitions – sculptures embedded with shinning glass, billboard sized colorful mosaics, or more subtle statements like oddly designed picnic tables or arbitrarily placed viewing decks.

012-1024x680As you continue along the south side of the island you’ll cross under the RFK bridge, shooting overhead into Queens.

As you continue up north along the east side of the island, you’ll eventually come to “hells gate,” a beautiful stone bridge constructed in the 30′s as a train pathway between the Bronx and Queens. In one of the coolest stretches of the tour, the bike path goes underneath the bridge itself, passing though the characteristic stone arches that hold it’s weight.

018-680x1024This sub-bridge runway is a straightaway that dead ends at the north edge of the island where a small stretch of water separates Randall’s Island from the Bronx. From here, we turned right, riding along the waters edge for a while, looking over at the old factories that line the north end of Queens, before heading back south towards the pedestrian bridge.

026-1024x680As you head south back towards the bridge, you pass Icahn stadium, site of track meets, sporting events and summer concerts, and then enter a small wildlife conservation site, riding over a bridge that looks out over native plants and marshy wetlands. Seemed like a natural place for a group shot!

029-1024x680What a great crew! Thanks again for all who came on the ride, including my good friend Newton Dixon, notorious kick scooter speedster, recently converted to the Brompton fold. I had a blast riding with you all!!!

Looking forward to the next brompton bike tour. Sign up today!!

Jack