Nyack is a quiet little town on the Hudson, just your standard small town USA with a cute Main Street full of kitschy shops and spots to grab a latte. And on weekends, it’s besieged by roadies heading up 9W from the city.
Just roll uptown and take the George Washington Bridge, but once your over it, the scary part is done and you’re on quiet, smooth roads with just enough up and down to feel like a workout, but not so much that it feels like a death march.
What Makes It Great
Follow signs for bicycle route 9 (starting on Hudson Terrace), and you’ll make a left onto E Palisade Avenue before heading right onto Sylvan Way/9W, which will take you all the way into Nyack. From Central Park, it’s a round trip of roughly 66 miles.
9W is a fantastic road, arguably one of the best gems in the area. It’s long, well-maintained, and incredibly cyclist friendly, as it’s actually designated as a bike route. The wide shoulder makes it perfect for group rides when you’d rather go two-abreast, and it gets so many cyclists, from beginners to pros, that you’ll feel like part of the peloton on the weekends, versus feeling like you’re on a lonely ride to nowhere. If you ride your ’cross bike on the road and want some extra miles of dirt, the non-NYC side of the Hudson River Greenway Trail is off of 9W on the right, and it’s got some great towpath you can explore to add a few extra miles. It’s rideable on a road bike as well, if you left your knobby tires at home.
As you approach Nyack, keep an eye open for Piermont Road. While 9W will go into town, it narrows as you get closer, and Piermont is a much prettier option.
When you do make it to Nyack—about 30 miles later—definitely stop at cyclist hot spot The Runcible Spoon bakery. With outdoor bike racks and a cyclist-friendly atmosphere, it’s a great spot for coffee and a pastry, or iced tea and a sandwich. The turkey avocado is excellent. As one Yelp reviewer snottily pointed out, “Cyclists, come here, and you’ll be among your kind.” While she meant it as an insult, she’s right, but in a good way. It’s open early but closes at 6 PM, so don’t expect dinner if you’re rolling back late from a long ride.
Who is Going to Love It
It’s the ride to do if you’re in New York and desperate for some big miles, but don’t want to drive to do them.
It's also great if you are looking for people to ride with and aren’t afraid of massive miles, the Rockaway Bike Club posts tons of group rides in the area, so be sure to see if any are happening if you’re planning to ride to Nyack one day.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
If you’re over the hassle of riding out of the city, just throw your bike in the car and drive the 15-20 minutes over the George Washington Bridge and onto the Palisades Parkway. Take the first exit for Englewood Cliffs Boat Basin and Picnic Area and venture down, down, down into the parking area at the base of the park.
Once you park, continue following Henry Hudson Drive (back towards the George Washington Bridge) until the end, where it curves up to meet 505. Take the 505 back the way you came (left) as it becomes Hudson Terrace. Take a left onto Washington Avenue, and then a right onto Sylvan/9W.