Riding with rhododendrons

A Bike Month celebratory spin along the blooming roads of Central Park turned into a trail ride on an island just over the East River. The evening was too beautiful to stop, but to ride 20 minutes from the tranquility of the Park to the tranquility of the trail, took me through the hush of the upper east side, the rhythms of Spanish Harlem and over the intensity of  afternoon traffic on the FDR. It was worth it, not just for the joy of discovering a new part of the city but to be in the midst of the criss cross of borough bridges connecting over the island. The Hells Gate Bridge, named with great foresight, would be the last bridge to collapse if humans disappeared, giving Ward Island a feel of a special sanctuary.

A pedestrian bridge links Manhattan with Ward Island at east 102 street, and from there the bicycle track edges around the parklands passing horse stables, playing fields and a huge psychiatric hospital. Spectacular colors cultivated along the shoreline make the view to Gotham look like a vision rising up out of the water. It was hard to imagine a time when it would not be full of people. But just to be sure, I rode back over the bridge down to Gracie Mansion and then headed south for home…

park1park2park3best bridgeeastpurplewoodlandother siderockmanhattan viewview

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7 Responses to Riding with rhododendrons

  1. How good is that bike ride Thank you for the view.

  2. tony says:

    yes what a great bikeride,maybe i,ll get to NYC and explore by bike-so much more enjoyable than the big red open top buses.your posts give me inspiration…no need to haggle with the peddle cab people in central park-just rent a bike and get out and about.

    • Absolutely Tony. A bike is the best way to go and the city is developing new routes all the time – like the one around Ward Island. You can just start and stop as you like. The ride along the east river from 33rd downtown is a beauty & not so busy. Tomorrow there will be people in all those waterside parks having barbecues for Memorial Day…

  3. lorna wilbore says:

    What a wonderful ride and of course the best time of year. Enjoy.

  4. Santorina says:

    Gorgeous photos! 🙂

  5. Lyndl Marshall says:

    What an explorer you are. You and your bike bring such pleasure to so many people…

  6. kbrown1944 says:

    Unfortunately, we missed the rhododendrons at this time of year (fall) but we did discover a good snack & coffee place at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy. The walk over the pedestrian bridge from 102nd was pleasant, but less so over the Robert F Kennedy Bridge to 124th St with the walkway adjacent to the traffic, although we enjoyed the good views over the Harlem River.
    Keith & Lil

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