The Bronx Zoo takes up a pretty large swath of land in The Bronx. The New York Botanical Garden, which is just across the street takes up another big patch. This ride takes you around both. Both are so large, you need to do them in separate trips or you’ll drop from exhaustion. It’s a shame we can’t ride inside these places, but maybe it could be something we can look forward to in the future. The Bronx Zoo Bike Ride goes around and through.
Start at the southern entrance to The Bronx Zoo. It’s a quiet corner on a lightly trafficked street. The entry is so plain that it’s hard to believe much goes on behind the gate.
The start is a contrast to the second road you’ll be riding on, Southern Boulevard. Southern is a busy street, and not a terribly pleasant experience. But the road is plenty wide, so drivers should have no problem giving you room. The Southern becomes decidedly more pleasant after crossing Fordham Road, which is only a short distance. Once north of Fordham, it’s only a short distance to the Mosholou Parkway Greenway, which is off the street.
The Greenway takes you into Bronx Park, and a remarkably remote-feeling stretch of pathway. You’ll head north to where the Woodlawn Loop crosses over the Bronx River and under the Bronx River Parkway.
Once under the parkway, you’ll start heading south. Bronx Park is narrow here, but the path is lightly-used. If it ever gets busy, you can ride over to Bronx Park East, a quiet road that parallels the park.
Shortly before getting out of the park, you’ll pass a skate park where adventurous cyclists, or those with bmx or jump bikes can practice their skills on ramps, half-pipes, and rails. Even if you’re uncomfortable trick riding, you owe it to yourself to see how it’s done, and it’s usually hosting some kids working their moves.
The path seems to end at Pelham Parkway (near the start of the Pelham Parkway loop), but if you go left, you’ll see there’s an extension that takes you to Boston Road. Follow the path until you reach Boston Road, and then turn right.
This is the old Post road. You’re on it for just a short bit, then it’s back onto an off-street bike path, until you’ve reached East 180th Street, and then you’re just a short ride to the start, which will be your finish.
Food and Drink (Bronx Zoo Bike Route)
If you take Southern Boulevard and turn left on East 187th Street, you’re just seven blocks from great Italian fare on Arthur Avenue. There are several bakeries if you just want a snack, and many restaurants if you want a sit-down meal.
The name gives it away. The Bronx Zoo, the jewel of the Wildlife Conservation Society, is the best zoo in the city. There are no shortage of things to see, do, and learn, and even those opposed to zoos will come away the better for having experienced it.
Specs (Bronx Zoo Bike Ride)
Borough(s): The Bronx
Distance: 5.5 miles
Elevation: 189 feet
Terrain: Rolling. flattish
Ride Rating: @@
Notes: This ride has gotten easier, thanks to the expansion of park bike paths. Bx05 and Bx03 are nearby and can be combined if you’re looking for bigger loops.
Includes: A PDF with intelligence and a GPX file to upload to your bike computer or mobile device.