One of the highlights of not only our New York City trip but also the accompanying 15 day New England vacation, was a 7-hour tour of Manhattan, Brooklen, Queens and Roosevelt Island through Bike the big apple www.bikethebigapple.com. The company offers numerous varied tours each day of the week. Ours was the Friday "ethnic" tour. We were apprehensive. Traffic seemed very busy on 2nd Avenue and the thought of us or our 13 year old biking on a NYC street was scary. "Not to worry" said the tour guides as they fitted us on good quality bikes with all the latest safety gear at the 68th and 2nd Avenue shop. The head guide was Levi, a fearless, highly informed, safety conscious young guy whose real job is a bike courier in Manhattan. (talk about scary jobs). His assistant was a librarian from Queens. They took us down 2nd Avenue to the Roosevelt Island tram where we boarded and got spectacular views over the East River. From there we biked slowly and steadily through back roads and bike paths and parks on that island, then Astoria, through a unique sculpture garden in Queens, past Hassidic Rabbis in Williamsburg, with a stop for lunch on a unique stretch of Bedford Avenue and eventually back on the amazing top deck of the Williamsburg Bridge, through the lower east side, east village, finally the United Nations and back to the shop. There were plenty of restroom and water stops. There were maybe a dozen people on the tour from several continents. The cost was around $80-$90 per person. Overall, extremely interesting. I have lived in NYC and I saw things I never expected and would never have had the chance to see. Highly recommended.
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