Great staycation: Brooklyn by bicycle
Brooklyn is the city’s most populous borough, and on just two wheels you can feel, taste and explore the vast reaches of its cultural melange.For the adventurous staycationer, an entire span of the borough can be biked in half a day, complete with long stops to admire the views and Kings County’s culinary bounty. The route
The full ride is more than 20 miles, but cruising through a dozen neighborhoods in a day has gotten easier thanks to a new bike lane stretching along Bedford Avenue from Williamsburg to Sheepshead Bay. Take the borough’s longest street south to the beach, and after some noshing return home along the tranquil Ocean Parkway, site of the nation’s first bike path. The first leg
Start at Bedford Avenue just south of Atlantic Avenue. Pass the 19th-century Armory Building, and those feeling leisurely at Eastern Parkway can detour to Prospect Park or the Brooklyn Museum. Heading south past Empire Boulevard, take in the vibrant West Indian culture of Lefferts Gardens, with its 19th-century homes. Coast downhill past the 1930s-era Sears Tower building and enter the alphabet soup of avenues (Avenue D, Avenue U, etc.). At Avenue I, stop to admire Brooklyn College, complete with old brick buildings covered in ivy. Refueling
Keep trucking south and you’ll smell salt air. At Emmons Avenue, you reach the Sheepshead Bay boardwalk, with superb Turkish restaurants and an authentic Czech pub (Sweik Restaurant & Beerhouse, 2027 Emmons Ave.). Cross the bay on the pedestrian bridge, hang a right on Oriental Boulevard and enter frenetic Brighton Beach. Stop for a smorgasbord of salads, cheeses, meats and breads at M & I International Foods (249 Brighton Beach Ave.).
Head further west toward Surf Avenue for Coney Island, and grab some knishes.
Return to Ocean Parkway. The ride is fast and relaxed along a two-way greenway.
Eventually hang a right a Cortelyou Road and continue through Ditmas Park to Mimi’s Hummus (1209 Cortelyou Rd). The petite, BYOB Israeli-owned spot is decorated with family photos and serves a variety of hummus spreads, salads and a mean Moroccan stew. Very cozy and affordable.
Happy and full, continue on Cortelyou and hang a left on Bedford Avenue. Keep pedaling up the big hill past the old Ebbets Field (now a housing complex) back north.
Upon your return, impress friends with stories of the wilds of Brooklyn.