Submitted by ub on Fri, 10/07/2011 - 23:06

Biking is a great way to see the city. It's good exercise, easy on the wallet and good for the environment.

It's even more fun to ride if you know where to go, where to find a good bike shop and how to connect with local riders. A city’s bicycle community can point you in the right direction for the type of riding you like.

Ir was in June of 2009 when the city reached its ambitious goal of building 200 bike-lane miles in all five boroughs. In just three years, it nearly doubled the citywide on-street bike network while reshaping the city's streets to make them safer for everyone.

In addition, bicyclists are thrilled to get 4.9 miles of bike paths physically separated from car traffic lanes; 20 sheltered bike parking structures; and 3,100 bike racks. This means that biking in New York City is safer and better than ever. When riding on the street, look for “bike boxes.” These are advance waiting areas for bicyclists at intersections, in front of the “stop” line for cars. They increase the visibility of cyclists stopped at red lights.

Bike Routes in New York City: The Manhattan Waterfront Greenway is a 32-mile long walking and bicycling path around the island of Manhattan. Most of it is away from cars, although there are several sections that require street riding. This is a popular path and perfect for a moderate ride.

Other Bike Routes: Mark your calendar for the annual Five Boroughs Bike Tour. These participants pedal by iconic landmarks like the Pelham Bay Park, Empire State building, Brooklyn Bridge, Prospect Park, Harlem, Central Park and the Statue of Liberty. More than 30,000 cyclists participated in 2010.

Public Transit: Overall, it’s great if you have a folding bike – they are allowed on board all trains and don’t require a permit. The regulations vary extensively. The Metropolitan Transit Authority Web site has all the details.