New York City is always on the move. Whether it’s by plane, train, subway or taxi, the rolling tires and horn blasts are an ever-ringing chorus of sound. To escape the chaos, why not strap on a helmet and get on a bicycle instead? This can be a laid-back, fun way to enjoy the city’s splendor while also indulging a time-honored activity.

Best Trails Around

Both streets and more natural trails are great to experience in New York City. Depending on your abilities and preferences, it can be possible to see as few or a as many attractions as you want. Ocean Parkway is a fantastic street to begin on that brings you out to the iconic Coney Island. Head to the Lower East side of Manhattan for a history-driven bike ride past Strauss Square and the Bowery. Or leave the mainland and visit Governors Island, which reopens this May with brand-new park space, plazas and public art – perfect for biking.

Rental Options

If you’ve come to New York without your own bike, not to worry. There are countless rental companies that allow everyone from the casual cyclists to competitors to use their top-notch gear. Plenty of tour groups will provide bikes and information at the same time, with a guided excursion if you don’t want to miss any details on your trip.

There is also a public sharing program called Citibike found throughout the city, where people can purchase one-day or multi-day passes to unlock them. Cruise around Central Park or over the Brooklyn Bridge for a few hours and only a few dollars.

Other ways to snag bikes can be utilized too. Many eco-friendly hotels in Manhattan and the other boroughs will offer bikes for free to their guests to use during the day. If staying for an extended period of time, look on want-ad-type websites for cheap bikes to buy for a few weeks then resell or donate them locally. Bikes are as common as coffee shops in the city, so it won’t be difficult to find one that works for you.

Spring Cycling Events

Biking is simple and often something we learn to do at a young age. But with modern technology and recent fitness trends, cycling has expanded into a massive industry that can be well worth exploring. Bring the whole crew to the NYC Bike Expo May 2-3, where you can join 50,000 other attendees and see what’s new. Peruse new bikes, see BMX demonstrations, grab some new gear and visit the 100+ vendors.

After the Expo, stick around until May 19 to have the chance to see the pros in action. The Gran Fondo New York is an Italian cycling race that takes place all over the world. For the New York City version, international racers compete for charities and their own prestige in a fast-paced, thrilling sporting event. Find a spot along the route to see riders whip by, such as along the Hudson River, where most of the action takes place. The finish line for the Gran Fondo 100 is at the George Washington Bridge. If traveling with kids, it can be a blast to grab noisemakers and use the bright green tubes to cheer on your favorite athletes.

Greet May with vigor and hop on a bike to see New York City in a whole new way. Celebrate the warm weather, feel the sun and stay active, as you delight in all that this bustling city has to offer.