avoiding the GWB stairs

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Anonymous's picture

I'll be leading the way from Jersey City and Hoboken to the GWB on Sunday morning. Take either of these PATH trains to meet me: 33rd St 8:15 am train, arriving Hoboken at 8:29 OR WTC 8:12 am train, arriving Exchange Place at 8:16. The ride to the bridge is 12 miles from Exchange Place; 10 miles from Hoboken.

Pace will be B16ish. I'll be continuing on to Piermont or Nyack and will welcome a few riding partners. Please RSVP here if you plan to join me. I won't be stopping at both stations unless I get RSVPs.

The only PATH stations in NYC that have elevators/handicap entrances are 33rd ST and the WTC. The other stations require stairclimbing and lifting your bike over the turnstile.

Here's the turnsheet from the Hoboken PATH. Plz bring it along if you plan to join me. Thanks to Mordecai Silver for recommending this route to me last year.

total do description for
0 - Washington St, away from PATH 1.3
1.3 L 14th St 0.1
1.4 R Park Ave, over bridge 0.6
2.0 - becomes JFK Blvd E 3.8
5.8 BR Woodcliff Ave @Cliffside Park 0.1
5.9 R Palisade Ave 3.2
9.1 BR to stay on Palisade Ave 0.5
(BL instead here, this becomes 9W)
9.6 R Bruce Reynolds Blvd 0.1
9.7 L Hudson Terrace, GWB

Anonymous's picture
Steve (not verified)

The good thing about living in a 4th floor walk-up is that the GW bridge stairs don't faze me in the slightest.

Anonymous's picture
Judith Tripp (not verified)
It's not the stairs . . . .

It's carrying my frikking bike with a bum arm. And that chute . . . it seems so steep at times that my bike threatens to fall backwards and knock me down! Or throw me down, depending which way I'm going. I think tri bars don't help.

And thanks again, Kay, for this.

Anonymous's picture
Steve (not verified)

"I have an arthritic wrist so I can sympathize with the bum arm thing.

Don't use the ""chute."" Unless you have an unusually heavy bike you should only need one arm to lift and carry the bike up/down the stairs. I know my wife can one arm her bike up the four flights of stairs to our apartment. Carry it cyclocross style if you have to."

Anonymous's picture
Betsy (not verified)
Neck pain

I have pain in the right side of my neck that's exacerbated by carrying my bike. I've started carrying it on the left side. I know it's not the best thing since the chain is on that side and it's a bit of an inconvenience for other cyclists, but it's what I have to do if I want to continue to ride (and work, for that matter).

Anonymous's picture
Bob Ross (not verified)
ever try to carry it backwards?

Have you tried carrying the bike on your left side, with the rear wheel facing forward? That way you could avoid greasing up your jersey with the chain and still not strain your right side

...in theory, at least. I've never actually tried carrying a bike that way, I'm just guessing.

Hey, what time are you coming home tonight?

Anonymous's picture
Sienna (not verified)
left side, rear wheel forward

That's exactly how I usually carry my bike, and it's quite comfortable.

Anonymous's picture
Andy (not verified)
Bike carrying.

I carry my bike on my right side with my right hand under the nose of my saddle (palm up) and the bike at about ear level with the front wheel dipping down slightly. No grease at all from the crank/chain, and the front wheel stabilizes itself and doesn't wag back and forth. I haven't seen others carrying their bikes this way--most do it cyclocross style (hand through the main triangle)--but it's very easy, greaseless, balances itself naturally, and doesn't strain any given part of me. Just figured I'd throw the idea out there. And whatever you do, DON'T use those chutes on the GWB north side; hazardous! Hope this helps someone out there.

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
i saw someone lose control of their bike on that yellow track...

...the bike did more bellyflops that you'd imagine. the guy stood there watching his bike come crashin down the stairs (good thing nobody was coming up at the time). the guy rode away with it though. like nothing happened. amazing that thing is still there - that the city hasn't been sued.


Anonymous's picture
Rich Conroy (not verified)
What's the big deal?

The stairs are an inconvenience, little more.
I've carried a tandem up & down those stairs twice--by myself. & would do it again without a second thought.


Anonymous's picture
Jeff (not verified)
Sunday Ride


Would like to join you for your ride Sunday if you are still going. Plan to meet you at Hoboken at 8:30. I rode on your Sargentsville ride in May.

Anonymous's picture
esass (not verified)
And if you are taking the GWB

USE THE STAIRS!!! I saw one guy at 6am this morning going westbound, skirt the stairs and continue on the road, cross the traffic coming up from the West Side Highway and then go over the barrier at the top of the stairs going back up to the walkway.

Anonymous's picture
Tony Rentschler (not verified)
I've seen that, too

Aside from being extremely dangerous, it's exactly the type of behavior that will spur the authorities to come down hard on all cyclists.

Anonymous's picture
Kay Gunn (not verified)
ride is on from Hoboken

No RSVPs for the Exchange Place PATH, so I'll just be picking up people from the Hoboken PATH. I'll see you guys outside around 830.

PATH rules are no bikes in the 1st or last cars.

Anonymous's picture
new member (not verified)

"because of my distaste for climbing stairs & more stairs......... carrying a bike ,I began to look for a better alternative ,I found it in Connecticut,yes ,that's right ,a short comfortable trip on Metro north & there I was, riding an assortment of flats ,hills & ""rollers ""on quiet country roads past mansions ,horse farms,sea side vistas, ...so ...whether lunching by the river or on the Sound, just a beautiful day of biking ,so give it a try for a refreshing change from the usual & monotonous trips to Piermont & Nyack .Look for John Zaps' rides in the monthly bulletin ..........satisfaction guaranteed!!"

Anonymous's picture
Richie Rich (not verified)
sounds great

Can I have more details on that ride, where do we get off and how do we get back - how long, kms?

Anonymous's picture
Marcella (not verified)
great website fior NY/CT rides

For mid-NY and NWstern CT rides, and great tours of Dutchess, Columbia and Litchfield counties, as well as the Catskills check out the website roberts-1.com/bikehudson. For rides within a 2-hour train ride from GCT, choose those which leave from Wassaic (furthest from NYC), Ten-Mile River, Dover Plains, Pawling, or Northeast. I have just spent a week up there riding suggested routes: the cue sheets and maps were VERY ACCURATE, the roads in great shape, nice farms, plenty of shade, and all the hills you want. There is also a paved Rail Trail from Wassaic to Millerton - 10 miles of totally flat, shaded riding for warm up or recovery or to get to rides starting there.

The towns of Millbrook and Millerton, NY both have bike shops.

Pawling, NY has a restaurant/bakery about 25 yards from the train, McKinney & Doyle, which is friendly to cyclists, and has bargain-priced and great food. Perfect for breakfast before starting out.

Check the message board for rides; there is one being led today from Wassaic.

Yes, the train ride will be longer than a climb over the stairs, but if you want to make a day of it, the resources on that website make the planning easy.

Anonymous's picture
Jim Zisfein (not verified)
Riding the Harlem Valley

Go to eastern Dutchess and Columbia Counties and adjacent parts of CT and MA (recently showcased in the Harlem Valley Rail Ride) for some of the most scenic cycling that can be easily reached from NYC without a car or plane. Mountains are all around but you're in a valley with level terrain to lightly rolling hills.

Take MNR to Wassaic, then ride 10 miles north on the rail trail to where it ends in Millerton, then it's 15 miles to Copake Falls -

R: Main St
L: Maple Av
Ahead: Rudd Pond Rd
Ahead: Boston Corners Rd
Ahead: Undermountain Rd
R: Rail trail resumes
End: Rail trail ends in Copake Falls.

Bike shop is in front of you. Deli is on the right. To the right of the bike shop there is a huge swimming hole formed from an old iron ore quarry.

Continue east 1 mile to a parking turnout with bike rack for a 1 mile walk to Bash Bish Falls, or ride 1 mile up Rt.344 (500 ft. climb) to a nice vantage point above the falls.

Reverse course back to Millerton (decent diner on Main St.) and Wassaic for the train home. Total bicycle riding 55 miles.


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