For cyclists, riding over the George Washington Bridge is a rite of passage. I’ve heard about it for years, and kind of marveled that anyone would even make this trip. The first ride I took on Lucille was up to the GWB, but I have never understood how to get across it. And every time I ask a veteran rider, they tell me how simple it is. And then give me such convoluted and vague directions that: 1) I can’t follow them and 2) I can’t remember them. And sometimes I hear about stairs.
With every attempt to understand the route, my trepidation has only grown worse. If this keeps on I think, by Spring it’ll be over; I just won't go. For all the cyclists I know who have ridden the GWB, no one has ever volunteered to take me. This is what makes it a rite of passage, I guess; it’s something I’m going to have to figure out on my own. I vow to take this trip myself, and map it for others.
There are of course, many ways to get there. Here is one. I will post others as I find them.
I take the Greenway up passing a sign for 155th Street until finally finding the bike ramp at 158th next to the last concrete tennis court (not well marked unless you know what to look for).
This is the moment where an innocent mistake could have dire consequences. And this, of course, is the real issue behind my fear, because I don’t realize it in the moment. There is no traffic, the situation looks completely harmless.
Fortunately, I delay long enough that as I am pondering, my question is answered by this cyclist rounding the corner, coming off the Bridge path.
As I return, I look down at the path by the River that leads to the GWB.
*DIRECTIONS TO THE GWB FROM HUDSON GREENWAY (no stairs)
Hudson Greenway past 155th St sign, to 158th (beside last concrete tennis court)
Follow bike ramp up to 158th
Go through tunnel and follow to 5-way intersection
Left on Riverside Drive
Merge as Riverside Drive expands
Follow to 165th
Right on 165th to Ft. Washington Ave
Left on Ft. Washington to 177th
Left on 177th to Cabrini
Right on Cabrini
At dead end take left onto sidewalk
Bike/Pedestrian entrance on left in half a block
Cabrini, to 177th, and right on Haven
Follow Haven to Ft. Washington
Right on Ft. Washington to 165th
Right on 165th to Riverside
Pay attention to Riverside forking off to left
Follow Riverside to 158th
SHARP RIGHT TURN to 158th, downhill through tunnel
Take ramp down to Greenway
Next rite of passage: Nyack!