Pelham Parkway, a connecting road between Bronx and Pelham Bay Parks, is a road that was probably designed as a pretty route for drivers back when driving was a novelty. There is a central road for through traffic, fields north and south, and access roads for residential and commercial traffic on the far sides of those fields. Bike paths are largely afterthoughts, but they afford easy riding in the midst of heavy traffic.
For all the traffic you’ll see on this ride (pelham parkway bike ride), the start is possibly the most chaotic. It isn’t the cars, but the people. Start on the northeast corner of the Boston Road and Pelham Parkway intersection and follow the bike path east. Within a block, you encounter the elevated tracks of the 2 and 5 subway lines and the White Plains Road stop, where people are not only getting on and off the train, but looking for buses going in all directions.
Once you get away from that hectic transportation hub, the bike path becomes pretty quiet, with large expanses of open field on your left. The path lasts for a bit under two miles and you’re only interrupted by the occasional cross street.
At the end of the bike path, you make a right across the parkway, a left onto the bike path on the other side of the street, take an overpass above train tracks, then parallel an access ramp to the Hutchinson River Parkway and start to ride parallel to this highway.
Despite the obvious bustle of the highway, the northern stretch of pathway feels pretty far removed from traffic. Then the path takes you off the highway to Herb Rosenblatt Place. Here, you make two lefts, go over the highway, then make a right immediately after the overpass and get back on the bike path. This stretch of path tracks much closer to the highway and you’ll cross both entrance and exit ramps on your way to the end of the path on Bruckner Boulevard.
Bruckner presents the trickiest part of the ride. You’ll come to a light where you’ll have to cross the boulevard, then make a right turn onto what seems to be the sidewalk, but is actually the bike path across the bridge and over Westchester Creek.
Once over the bridge, you make a right on Zerega. The ride to Westchester Avenue is pretty easy as the traffic is light. After you make the right on Parker, you’ll have another easy stretch until you get to Castle Hill Avenue. Once on Castle Hill, traffic will be moderate but consistent pretty much the rest of the way. You finish up at the start and can then venture north on Boston to get yourself a reward for your efforts.
Food and Drink
There’s a commercial alley running alongside the elevated tracks on White Plains Road. The Rainbow Diner at 2197 White Plains road seems to be an anchor of the alley.
The New York Botanical Garden is just to the west of the start and finish of the ride. This one bills itself as a “museum of plants, an educational institution, and a scientific research organization.” It was founded in 1891 and is considered to be one of the greatest in the world and largest in any city in the Unites States. Over 1 million plants! We’ve been, it’s a great place to spend a day appreciating controlled nature. www.nybg.org
Specs (Pelham Parkway Bike Ride)
Borough(s): The Bronx
Distance: 7.1 miles
Terrain: Flattish. Mostly bike paths.
Ride Rating: @@
Notes: A grand drive finally configured (a bit) for human power. Bx04, Bx09, Bx10 are all nearby the edges of this route, and can be combined to make bigger loops.
Includes: A PDF with intelligence and a GPX file to upload to your bike computer or mobile device.