Bike riding in New York State
State Bicycle Route 14 in Watkins Glen, NY

The weather is getting cooler in New York State, or at least it will be, making it a little nicer to take long bike rides outside. New York State offers some of the best landscape and scenery for biking in the United States. The terrain is varied as there are hills, but also flat areas; many cities are biker friendly with designated bike lanes; and, the seasons, especially with the cooler weather in the spring and fall make long distance rides a little more bearable.

Now, you may be thinking, what the heck is a byway (or maybe it’s just me… because I hadn’t heard the term much before). According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a byway, at least in the context of a biker, is “a little traveled side road.” And New York State is full of them. These are the roads with less traffic, more scenery, and plenty of fun places to stop along the way.

Make a Mini-Vacation Out of It

Plan an extended biking trip with a getaway. Take a weekend and in the area you’d like to explore, find a campground to stay at (remember you don’t need a tent or RV at most campgrounds as many offer cabins and cottages). While you’re there, explore the area’s byways on your bike. Some campgrounds even offer their own bike trails. Especially now with fall almost here, the leaves will be turning making for some spectacular scenery.

But, I Don’t Have a Bike

There are bike rental locations throughout New York State, so if you are traveling and either don’t have a bike or don’t want to bring your bike with you, rentals can easily be found. The I Love NY website has a bicycling page on which you can search for bike rentals that may be nearby. In addition, if you are staying at a campground, some campgrounds do offer bike rentals. Be sure to contact the campground beforehand to see if they do rent bikes or know of a location nearby. You can also use our search feature located at the top of this page and use keyword Bike Rentals.

More than Byways

Maybe you’re not interested in riding on any roads and would prefer something more off the car-driven track. In addition to the Byways of New York, there are many other places that are great for riding your bike including the Canalway Trail, trails at various parks, and along old railroad systems. These locations offer biking on paved, gravel, dirt, and grass paths.

Play it Safe

If you are going to be on your bike, be sure to wear a helmet and lighter colored clothing for easier visibility, and make sure your bike is in good condition with inflated tires and working brakes. In addition, if you are going to ride the byways, always ride with traffic and follow traffic signs and signals. If turning, use hand signals to tell others your intention. The New York State Department of Transportation has a full listing of bicycle safety tips.

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"Biking the Byways of New York"

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