?For more casual cycling than Manhattan's death race, cross the bridges to Brooklyn, where the scene is more serene and you can traverse a small world's worth of interlinking ethnic ?hoods in a day. Start in Williamsburg, the city?s epicenter of bike and creative culture, pedaling south past refurbished factories, old-world Hasidic orthodoxy, and brownstones in Fort Greene and Park Slope; through Sunset Park's Chinatown and Bay Ridge; and eventually take the salt-sprayed sea wall to Coney Island and Brighton Beach. Or skip from Prospect Park down Ocean Parkway directly; the nation?s first bike path was installed here in 1894. A final push past marshlands and over a bridge brings you to the Rockaways in Queens, a sandy stretch of crusty bungalows and public housing, quickly becoming a hipster haunt in its own right.
The entire route is 27 miles -- an intrepid trek -- so therein lies the key to biking in NYC: Pick your start, play your finish by ear. There?s always a subway at the ready.
High-performance, sharply tailored clothes get you from bike to boardroom. Brooklyn-designed, Garment District sewn, made specifically for cyclists.
It ain't kosher, but it sure is right. Next to South Williamsburg?s Hasidic area, Malaysian-inflected BBQ makes for a killer brunch: house-smoked coriander bacon, country grits, fresh watermelon juice spiked with kaffir lime.
Salty shack with scruffy surfer clientele. Skip the carne and load up on fish tacos (topped with ?slaw, radish, and spicy aioli) with a side of Cukes salad (mango, cucumber, and jicama doused with chili and lime).