Afternoon: Hotel Check-in: Available from 3:00 pm. Registration: After you have your room assignment, the front desk staff will direct you to the Road Scholar registration desk. Meet your group leader and receive your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. ORIENTATION: In a meeting space at the hotel, our Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Indicated times are approximate; program activities and schedules may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. “Bike New York City” is a Road Scholar flex program with substantial free time for personal independent exploration and more opportunities to dine out on your own. The Group Leader will often be available during free time to accompany informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own.
Dinner: Enjoy a welcome dinner at a restaurant nearby the hotel.
Evening: Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night's sleep for the full day ahead.
Activity note: Bike up to 12 miles on bike paths and city streets, crossing 2 bridges, each with a dedicated bike path.
Breakfast: In the hotel restaurant, choose from a buffet with hot and cold selections.
Morning: We take a field trip via subway to the Tenement Museum. This building from 1863 was once home to nearly 7,000 working class immigrants. During an expert led exploration, see what tenement life was like for people who arrived on our shores and survived with extremely limited means in the hope of a better future. Restored apartments present the stories of the German-Jewish Gumpertz family in the 1870s and the Italian-Catholic Baldizzi family in the 1930s. We conclude with a discussion of what you have seen and felt.
Lunch: At a local restaurant.
Afternoon: Continue on and start your biking journey at the first bike shop where you will have a fitting and safety orientation. We will pick up bikes at different locations throughout the city each day. We start the afternoon's ride near Union Square and pedal down through the East Village and Lower East Side, learning more about the history of what was once the mostly densely packed neighborhood in human history. Then, we follow the path of immigrants over the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn to explore neighborhoods including the Navy Yard, Fort Greene, Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, and DUMBO.
Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions in the DUMBO area and give directions.
Evening: After having dinner on your own, meet back up with your group leader at a predsignated spot. With the rest of the group, return back to the bike shop, and from there the rest of your evening is at your own leisure. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions, but will also be going back to the hotel should anyone wish to join.
Activity note: Bike up to 12 miles today on car free greenways in Central park and on quiet neighborhood streets in Harlem. There are some small hills in Harlem and the northern portion of Central Park.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: Start the day by picking up our bikes for the morning's exploration of Central Park. Get a wide-ranging view of this amazing oasis from well-traveled areas in the south to hidden nooks in the north. In between, we traverse some picturesque blocks in Harlem and stop to admire great views from the top of Morning side Park and Columbia University.
Lunch: Enjoy lunch with the group.
Afternoon: With the group, visit the National Jazz Museum in Harlem before turning back to the bike shop.
Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Bike up to 15 miles on bike paths and city streets, crossing 2 bridges, each with a dedicated bike path.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: After breakfast, we will head over to the bike shop to pick up our bikes for the day. With stops for commentary along the way, we ride through some of the ethnic neighborhoods that create the unique mosaic of New York City. We begin in Manhattan at the base of the Queensborough Bridge with spectacular views of the Roosevelt Island Tram and the famed 59th Street Bridge. After crossing the bridge, we bicycle down the East River Coastline taking in breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline along the way. As we enter Brooklyn, we have a first hand opportunity to appreciate more of the fascinating nature of the city. Cycle through Greenpoint, a vibrant Polish neighborhood in Brooklyn that keeps its roots with a sense of pride, food, and language. Here you see how New Yorkers live outside the frantic pace and congestion of Manhattan.
Lunch: By any other name, there are delis throughout the city and especially in ethnic neighborhoods that cater to local tastes. For lunch today we eat at a Polish delicatessen to enjoy traditional foods.
Afternoon: We continue our journey, bicycling through Williamsburg, the Brooklyn neighborhood where Hassidic Jews continue their centuries-old practices as the most religious of Eastern European Jews. As we pedal on its main street and its side streets, you will find it hard to believe we are in 21st Century New York City. Here we learn about the traditional culture and how it has adapted to the broader American society on its own terms. We ride back over the Williamsburg Bridge and up the newly improved East River bike path. Our biking day ends in Lower Manhattan. After leaving our bikes there, we return to the hotel via subway.
Dinner: Enjoy an early farewell dinner with new Road Scholar friends.
Evening: At leisure.
Breakfast: At the hotel
Morning: This morning we will receive a lecture from an ambassador of the East Coast Greenway Alliance. The East Coast Greenway Alliance (ECGA) is the non-profit organization spearheading the development of the East Coast Greenway (ECG), a 3,000 mile trail route from Calais, Maine, to Key West, Florida. The ECG passes through 15 states, connects 25 major cities along the Eastern Seaboard, and creates a safe environment for active-transportation users of all ages and abilities in order to build a healthy and sustainable future. Based in Durham, NC, the ECGA also employs field staff in each of its four regions. The Alliance promotes the vision for connecting local trails into a continuous route, provides strategic assistance for states, counties, and municipalities that build local trail sections, officially designates trails as part of the ECG trail system, posts signage, and makes maps and guides to facilitate use of the Greenway. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!