Brooklyn is the old country in so many ways. Not only does it seem to have been the first stop for millions of immigrants, and millions of immigrants still seem to land there first, but much of the borough’s past can still be seen.
Whether it’s the artfully-decaying Red Hook, the gentrifying Crown Heights, the abandoned-seeming Floyd Bennett Field, or any number of places, there’s a comfortable, well-worn vibe. And despite the incredible population density, and very few parks of any great size, there are plenty of quiet streets for easy riding.
The Brooklyn waterfront, whether on the East River, or all the ocean bays (Upper New York, Lower New York, Gravesend, Dead Horse, and Jamaica) seem to be where it’s easiest to find good riding. But western Brooklyn, from Greenpoint down past Prospect Park, seems to be where bike culture is most alive. Maybe it’s the want of the residents, maybe it’s the streets, maybe it’s the city’s efforts to make riding better. Whatever the causes, cycling is woven into the life of these places.
The bridges of Brooklyn are the biggest hills of the borough, and they’re a must for any city resident or tourist. At the same time, keep in mind that most bridges are pretty popular with everyone. The one named for the borough is often swarming with people. Do it for the thrill and the views, but know the Manhattan Bridge has a bigger, less-trafficked bike lane.
While the bridges are something everyone should ride because people know the city for bridges – with 759 of them linking this archipelago together, they are something to know – Prospect Park is a place that people flock to. It’s worthy of many visits. While you’re at it, check out the bike lane on Prospect Park West. It was, not long ago, a flashpoint for many disputes about what constitutes improving or destroying an urban area, but as time passes, those arguments have bee proven seem small and silly and the lane is merely be another good place for cyclists to ride.