training in central park?

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Anonymous's picture

sorry for this maybe obvious question from a non-club member- but is it really possible to train by riding within central park?
i will be in manhattan on a business trip for 10 days and would like to keep up on my road training- 2-4 hours per day. however i don't have the option to get out of the city so i wonder if it is possible to get any kind of roadwork training by riding in the park. i see that there is a 'lane' for riding- but can one actually keep up a good pace for a long length of time?
thanks for any advice!

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
Yes you can train in Central Park

Yes you can train well in Central Park if you can't get out of the city.

The full circuit is 6.1 miles and includes flat and rolling terrain and you will have the wind behind you and in front of you at some point. The biggest hill is at the north end of the park, and the west side is generally rolling, while a large part of the east side is flat. If you want to do hill repeats, there is a short circuit of about 1.25 miles at the top end of the park, which takes you up the main hill, then cut off at around 103rd St and that takes you back to the east side.

It's better to ride when the park is closed to motor traffic, which is between 10am and 3pm and between 7pm and 10pm. I would not necessarily recommend riding after dark unless you are with company.

I work from home and regularly use the park during the day when it's closed to traffic. I'd be happy to take you round if you e-mail me.

Otherwise, there is a group from the club which meets every Tuesday and Thursday morning to do three laps. They meet at Engineer's Gate, 90th St entrance off 5th Ave at 5:30am. They work on paceline skills, sometimes hill repeats at the top end of the park and aim to do around 19mph on the flats. There is another group which also meets on Tues and Thurs mornings at 5:20am also from Engineers Gate, which runs at a slightly slower pace and aims to do four laps of the park.

It is certainly possible to keep up a good pace on the full circuit, especially during the day, when it is closed to motor traffic. In the evening and weekends you get a lot of roller bladers and joggers and not all of them look before making unexpected turns right in front of you.

Are you bringing a road bike with you? If not Toga Bikes rents them out by the day from $50 to $100 a day, depending on model. They do have some nice Litespeeds at the higher price for rental. Tel: +1 212 799 9625. Toga may be found at 110 West End Avenue (at 64th St).

Anonymous's picture
bclemmons (not verified)

Thanks for the great info- that is very helpful for me! I am still undecided about bringing my road bike with me, your info gives me an idea it would be worth it. And thanks for the offer for guided tour, I will e-mail you sometime next week! Thanks again,

Anonymous's picture
jon (not verified)

If you have time for a four hour ride, there are some nice rides over the George Washington Bridge, too, so you're really not limited to just the park. You don't have to get in a car to get to out of the city for decent riding.

(Email me, or check the ride library or... post questions here... many of us are happy to help)

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