Central Park at night...

  • Home
  • Central Park at night...
8 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

1) Anyone do this regularly?
2) Is it safe after 9 pm in the Summer?
3) Do you need a headlight?

Anonymous's picture
whatever (not verified)

I've ridden at night and it's perfectly fine. In fact, I prefer it if I can find the energy to do it. The park is pretty well lit and relatively empty with quite a few joggers out there in the running lanes. Also, many of the racers seem to like to ride in the evening so if you want to go for a whirl around the park on their wheel, you can try to catch on (but safety first).

Anonymous's picture
Park rider (not verified)
central park

It really tends to thin out around 9pm in the summer. I like to get a lap in before dark to check it out. Some nights there is a bad feel near the top of the park. I turn in early on those nights just to be on the safe side.

No need for a light after the street lights come one, but a flasher might keep someone from walking in front of you if they don't see you coming.

Anonymous's picture
bill (not verified)

I've been riding and running in the park at night for years and never had a problem. some nights, like when it's really humid, can be a bit spooky. save some energy so you can sprint up the big hill. and it can get buggy so keep your mouth closed. I've been out there as late as 12-1am. But more commonly I go out around 8:30pm. just keep your wits and your ears open. when it's really late and quiet it's fun to do backwards lap every once in a while.

Rear light yes, front not really.

I wouldn't recommend a female to be out there alone although amazingly I see women running by themselves late at night all the time.

Anonymous's picture
Bob Shay (not verified)
Park at night

"I used to ride in the park regularly at dusk 3-4X per week on the weekdays. I didn't feel comfortable on the north end of the park during warm evenings - mostly because of roaming teenagers(doing four laps per ride made me feel like ""a re-occurring target of opportunity"").

During the summer I would get to bed early and ride from 5am to 6:30am. You'll find several riders out around that time doing very fast laps and will probably find yourself casually racing with them. I didn't use lights in the a.m. before sunrise and I was fine. However, I did run over a rat the size of a small cat on the north side of the park hill. It jetted across the road, the road light was burned out, and I didn't see it. It was kind of scary cause I didn't want to get bitten. But, that only happened once in 6 years.


Anonymous's picture
JT (not verified)

Bob, my usual ride starts at 5:30 am. It's just that late evenings work better for my schedule. Based on the comments here, I am going to skip the solo night rides.

Anonymous's picture
Mark Shelby Perry (not verified)

I ride through the Park after dark regularly, commuting home after dark during the week and riding in circles after dark on occasion on Saturdays.

IMO a front flasher is useful; *most* of the BMX'ers are careless rather than malevolent, and anyway my own biggest problem is dark clothed pedestrians stepping out suddenly.

I did get hit with an egg once by the Meer (ouch!), but in retrospect going for a late-night ride the night before Halloween probably wasn't the smartest idea I ever had.

If you're lucky you might come across a racoon or two (I see them more than rats), but neither are nearly the nuissance that squirrels and pigeons are during the day.

I find that there aren't that many joggers and bikers after 10pm. If you're out and you feel a little uneasy, there's usually a police officer at 102nd St. cutoff, you can take that and avoid the most isolated North end.

I avoid the Park after 11pm, but I'm pretty sure statistically riding in Central Park at noon on a Sunday is much more dangerous. :)

Hope this helps.

Anonymous's picture
Doug Kalb (not verified)

This year, there seems to be a return of groups of young BMX riders, speeding against the flow down the 110th St. hill. They intentionally ride abreast to take up as much of the road as possible. These groups were out the 3 nights I rode laps last week & I've seen them almost every night in the same spot, since May.
While I use flashing lights, both front & back, in this particular situation, the lights create more risk since these BMX riders very intent is to create trouble.

Anonymous's picture
John Miller (not verified)

are just getting ready for Beijing, as there's no need for them to get to the track anymore.

cycling trips