Bike Friendly Accommodation in New York City

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Anonymous's picture

Can anyone please suggest some cheap and bike-friendly accommodation in New York. I've considered the IYHA Youth Hostel or possibly camping somewhere on Long Island.
Also is it feasible to cycle into Manhattan from JFK Airport on a bike path? Alternatively I could get the train but understand you need a permit bought in advance.
I'm coming from the UK and plan to stay in New York for a few days before starting the TransAmerica ride.
Any help gratefully received.

Anonymous's picture
basil (not verified)
JFK - Manhattan - SUBWAY

"As long as you can ride with your luggage, it should be possible to take subway from JFK to Manhattan.
There is a (free) shuttle bus from JFK terminals to ""Howard Beach"" subway stop - from where you catch the 'A' train to Manhattan (takes something under an hour). However, I'm guessing you can't take bikes on the shuttle bus. So, the only tricky part will be getting to Howard Beach subway with your bike but this should be possible - however, I'm not sure of the details and it could turn out to be a minor adventure.
No permit is necessary and there are no time restrictions for taking bikes on the subway (unlike LIRR and Metro-North - need $5(?) permit).

Anonymous's picture
Carol (not verified)
Directions for Biking JFK

Contact Anthony Callender, [email protected]. He's an official at JFK Airport who will send you instructions how to cycle from your arrival terminal to the Howard Beach subway stop. Make sure you tell him which airline you're arriving on. BTW, if your bike is boxed or in a case, you might be able to take it on the shuttle bus to the subway station.

I don't know how cheap it is, but the Hotel Pennsylvania on Seventh Avenue at about 33rd St. has been known to allow bicycles in the rooms. Friends of mine stayed there and even had a walk-in closet where they could store the bikes and bike case.

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Train pass

A permit is needed only on the Long Island Railroad, which you would catch in Jamaica Queens. You can buy a permit on the train for $5 (but check the Web site to be sure: This site also has info on all NYC mass transit.) There are some restrictions as to when you can take a bike on the train into Penn Station, for instance, not Sunday afternoons/evenings and perhaps weekday rush hours. It's all on the site.

The LIRR might be a little more comfortable and quicker than the subway, but less frequent. I might be able to dig up an old cue sheet on getting there from JFK, if you want me to send it to you. It's not a bad ride during the day; maybe too easy to get lost at night.

But if you have any luggage, it's probably easier just to go to the Howard Beach A train stop. The airport shuttles that go out there are supposed to take you; if one is full, wait for the next. It's not a long ride from the terminal, but get a map and watch out for speeding shuttles.

If you take the subway, MTA rules are for bikes to stay in the first or last car of the train. There's no penalty if you don't, but you're less likely to get cold stares. It will take you an hour to an hour and a half to get into Manhattan. Try to avoid rush hour.

Another helpful site is, one of the city's cycling advocacy organizations.

Good luck, and why not join us on one of our rides while you're here? After all, we're allies.

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)

"Ed Ravin, the mass transit maven, informs me thus:

""Actually, Transit Authority guidelines for bikes on the subway don't mention which car to use - only that you should avoid crowded trains. The ""first or last car"" business was a myth made up by a couple of folks in the NYC Dept of City Planning when they printed it in the first edition of the NYC bike map.""

He's a great debunker of urban myths. Thanks, Ed.

Anonymous's picture
rode warrior (not verified)
The A Train

What time/day do you land. While the A is safe when busy I wouldn't ride the thing at night on a weekend etc... especially not with a nice bike for bait

Anonymous's picture
rob r (not verified)
can't buy LIRR bike permit on train?

Unless they've changed the rules recently, I don't think you can buy an LIRR bike permit on the train. I think they're available at Penn Station only so beware of this.
If I'm wrong and you can now buy permits on the train, then it's about time!

Anonymous's picture
rick (not verified)

ok, chances are your bike will be boxed so in terms of riding the shuttle bus you shouldn't have a problem...its' luggage as far as they are concerned. This will also be the case on the A train as well, so you shouldn't need to buy a bike pass.

That is your best way to go...or you can shell aout the $35.00 (good deal) for a cab ride into anywhere in Manhattan...this is especially a good idea at night, and its only about a 1/2 hour ride.

Also if you want low cost housing, try the Chelsea Hostel at 313 W 29th St.

Good Luck


Anonymous's picture
rode warrior (not verified)
Airport busses

Or for $12 I think you can take a bus into manhattan... will drop you by Grand Central Terminal (42nd and Park Ave) from there you can ride to your hotel or get a cheap cab...

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