New York City to Washington, D.C.
SEPTEMBER 17 – 21 2016
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Climate Ride NYC-DC is a grand cycling adventure that connects two of the nation’s most important cities – New York and Washington, DC – by bicycle. From the exciting departure by ferry in Manhattan to the hero’s welcome and rally at the steps of the US Capitol, the East Coast version of Climate Ride is more than a bike trip – it’s an inspiring journey with 200 like-minded people who are united by their passion for sustainability, renewable energy, and bicycles - the ultimate carbon-free form of transportation.
On the NYC-DC ride, you’ll spend five days cycling through rich green countryside and historic towns. You’ll find out why they call New Jersey “The Garden State” as you cycle through the lush landscape. You’ll explore the historic Delaware River Valley, discover Pennsylvania’s Amish country, and pedal through horse country in Maryland before arriving at the Capitol in Washington DC. Evening programs and dynamic speakers combine with world-class riding to make this charitable event exciting, informative, and fun. You can also choose to meet with you Members of Congress as part of our optional 'Advocacy Day.'
Climate Ride takes care of all the details, so you can focus on riding the 45-70 miles per day of carefully planned routes on back roads that meander through the countryside. It’s challenging yet doable, and you have all day to make it to the next rest stop. The ride has followed nearly the same route between the two cities since the first Climate Ride in 2008, although portions change from year to year. The Climate Ride support team is always nearby to assist you, keep you happy and healthy, and make your ride worry-free and memorable.
Climate Ride NYC-DC includes camping facilities (riders must bring their own tents and sleeping bags). To see everything that is included, visit the Climate Ride FAQ page!
For more information on this event, page through the tabs above.
The Day before the Ride
We will host a Registration and Welcome Reception the evening before the ride in New York City. You will be able to drop off your bike, fill out any last-minute paperwork and join us for our kick-off party. It’s your first chance to meet and network with other Climate Riders, so we highly recommend attending.
The next morning, the ride begins! You should arrive at the Ride Start location (to be announced) between 8 am and 9 am to drop off your luggage, prep your bike and pack snacks. Give yourself time to get organized before a mandatory 9 am safety talk. The ride officially starts at 9:30 am!
Day 1 - 45 Miles
Climate Riders will depart from Brooklyn's spectacular urban landscape, riding en masse through New York City.
A ferry awaits to transport our group across New York Harbor to Atlantic Highlands, NJ. After disembarking, we'll enjoy a tasty picnic, before hopping on our bikes and pedaling into rural countryside of the Garden State. Quiet roads weave past small farms on the way to tonight’s destination, Princeton, NJ, home to Princeton University. In the evening, we'll gather to hear from some of our expert speakers.
Day 2 - 69 Miles
Today brings more rural farming country, small towns, and historic landmarks. We depart from Princeton and continue along quiet, winding roads until we reach the Delaware River and cross at the famous Washington's Crossing, the boundary between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Soon we are pedaling along Pennsylvania’s quiet roads to Doylestown, where we will have a chance to try one of the local restaurants. We'll join the Schuylkill River bike path and pedal near Valley Forge, then on through Phoenixville, to our overnight stop at a local summer camp.
Day 3 - 57 miles
Today we’ll wind our way through Pennsylvania hill country into Lancaster County, famed for its quiet roads and epic cycling. Our day begins with rolling hills through French Creek State Park and a visit to St. Peters, a riverside hamlet composed of quaint homes and imposing granite boulders. After passing through a few more small towns, we turn to the south and enter quintessential Amish country. Here we'll share the road with horses and buggies. Silos and small farms dot the hillsides and valleys, and small Amish towns serve up ice cream and plenty of charm to visitors. Soon our route enters the rolling hills that flank the mighty Susquehanna River. Tonight we camp at a traditional Mennonite summer camp tucked in the trees.
Day 4 - 65 miles
We begin the day by pedaling across a long bridge crossing the Susquehanna River. The Susquehanna flows furiously in the springtime and is a mere trickle by mid-summer. After a few miles we enter Maryland and ride past beautifully manicured farms and stunning country estates. It’s hard to imagine that Washington DC is so close. This is the area that DC cyclists prize—the roads are quiet and curvy and the green countryside reflects the long history of the Mid-Atlantic region. Soon we enter the small towns that surround DC. Leave those tents packed, because tonight we have hotel rooms and cabins at a comfortable eco-retreat. We'll enjoy a delicious meal on our final night before pedaling into the nation's capital.
Day 5 - 70 miles
This morning we’ll rise early and head straight for the heart of Washington DC. After several miles winding through Maryland, we will stop for lunch in Silver Spring, Maryland before hopping on the Capital Crescent Trail, a popular rail-trail, created by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. We gather at the tail end of Constitution Avenue, and then begin our final leg to the Capitol, passing the Washington Monument and rows of museums. We will congregate on the West Lawn, with the Capitol in the background, where we will make a statement about the need to move the nation toward sustainability and on a path to a renewable energy future. Our ride concludes near the U.S. Capitol and we all say goodbye until the next Climate Ride!
Climate Ride NYC-DC 2016 is a 4-night, 5-day cycling trip on quiet back roads from Manhattan to our nation's Capitol. Each evening, we'll be staying at comfortable summer camps, except night 1 when we'll be camping on a field at a local YMCA. At camp, we take care of all the details so you’re free to relax and connect with other Climate Riders.
Amenities in camp include hot showers, a first aid station with 24/7 ice, a merchandise table, clean restrooms, massage (extra charge), and shared accommodations in cabins and bunkhouses.
Breakfasts and dinners are handled by the staff at our overnight stops. Think hot breakfasts with lots of options and coffee, and nourishing, tasty dinners with delicious desserts. Picnic lunches are prepared by our amazing food crew and include lunch meats, veggie options, salads, and all the fixings. Our morning snack table will have items to-go to keep you energized all day while riding.
On Climate Ride NYC-DC, camp becomes a travelling village and dynamic community. Each evening after dinner, we’ll gather for our Evening Program which features speakers, roundtable discussions, and other events. Cycling doesn’t get better than on Climate Ride!
Hotel Options During the Ride
If you are interested in hotel options during the ride, please reach out to Patrick Colleran, Logistics Coordinator, at Patrick@climateride.org. He can provide information on hotels and shuttles.
Getting to NYC
We recommend you arrive in New York City by 6pm on Friday September 16 (the day before the ride), so you can register and get everything squared away!
Many of you are coming from the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Region. We highly recommend using our Climate Rider Facebook Group as a resource for recommended travel options and coordination
Bus options have improved as a number of smaller companies have entered the market. Some new busses offer more leg room and Wi-Fi. Many Climate Riders have used and recommended the following services to get to New York City: Bolt, DC2NY, Megabus, Vamoose, and ivymedia.com. Some bus companies, including Bolt, allow you to place your bike under the bus as checked luggage.
Amtrak is generally more expensive but more spacious than the bus. It services Washington DC, the Mid-Atlantic, the Northeast corridor and beyond. Visit their website to see if train service works for you.
You have the option to send your bicycle as checked baggage (you will need to pack your bike in a box), but it must go on a checked baggage car. Not all trains have a checked baggage car, so you may have to send it on another train. Call your local station to see if the train you would like to take is scheduled to have a checked baggage car.
Amtrak: 1-800-USA-RAIL Washington DC Amtrak station direct: 202-906-3260.
Not all taxis accept bike boxes in the trunk. Some riders, who travel light, unpack their box and ride to their hotel. Some riders have hired a minivan or limo service. These are just ideas; you may want to call ahead for details and quotes. JFK airport to Manhattan in a taxi is a flat fare of $45. From LaGuardia it is $30. These are estimated fares for regular taxis, which may not take a boxed bike.
There are several airports in the New York City area. LaGuardia is the closest to Manhattan, but you can find public transportation to Manhattan from all three airports.
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), in Queens (at the south end of the Van Wyck Expressway), primarily handles international flights. Getting to and from JFK.
LaGuardia Airport (LGA), also in Queens (on the Grand Central Parkway), mainly handles domestic flights. If you're flying in from anywhere in the U.S., chances are you'll come through here. Particular exceptions include Continental Airlines. Getting to and from LaGuardia.
Newark International Airport (EWR) in Newark, New Jersey, handles both domestic and international flights. It's a bit further from the city than the other two airports, but it is generally less crowded and has more modern facilities. Getting to and from Newark.
SUBWAY and BUSES: For public transportation from the airport, check out the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).
SHARED AIRPORT VANS: SuperShuttle operates from all NYC airports: www.supershuttle.com.
Departing from Washington DC
There are plenty of options to get home from DC. Check out more information on buses and trains above in the Getting to NYC section.
There are 3 airports in the DC area:
Ronald Regan Washington National (DCA) is close to town but only services certain carriers.
Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) is a little further out, but will get you pretty much anywhere.
Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) is further out still, but may be a good alternative option.
SUBWAY AND LOCAL BUSES
For public transportation to the airport or around DC, check out the Metropolitan Area Transit Authority at www.wmata.com.
Check out the Travel Planner for more details on bus, train, and plane options, as well as tips for bike transport.
Transporting Your Bike
Many first-time riders have questions about getting their bike to the event. While it may seem complicated, it's not. You have a few options for getting your bike to and from Climate Ride. The best option will depend on your itinerary, timing, and budget. Plan on spending a little time to research which option works best for you. Send us an email if you have questions that are not answered by the info below.
Disassembly: If you need to ship your bike, most likely you will need to disassemble it. This means removing the pedals, seat, front and rear wheels, and handlebars, and deflating the tires. Each part should be wrapped separately in bubble wrap. You can do this yourself, or most bike shops will do it for you for a cost of approximately $50-80.
Boxing: Most bike shops offer boxes, but you should reserve one early as they may be in demand. There is usually a small charge of about $10 for the box. We can transport cardboard bike boxes during Climate Ride for you to re-use at the end.
Flying with your bike (boxing required)
If you fly with your bike, all airlines have handling fees for checking bikes, payable at the ticket counter. When making your airline reservations, please check the rate and any restrictions for checking your bike.
Shipping Your Bike with Bike Flights
Bike Flights offers great rates and insurance for your shipping your bicycle. Disassemble and pack your bike in a cardboard bike box or a hard sided bike shell. You can also have a local bike shop pack your bike for you. Once your bike is boxed, book online at www.bikeflights.com. Here you will enter the weight, dimensions and shipping location of your bike. You will receive more information on where to ship your bicycle upon registering.
When shipping your bike to the ride, you have the option to either have it picked up or you can drop it off at a local UPS, Fedex or DHL location.
We will be offering a shuttle from Boston on September 7 and will provide transportation for you, your bike and your luggage. See the Travel Information Tab for more info.