We're always looking for current bike path maps. The most authoratative comes from Transportation Alternatives, but it's a 1.5MB PDF, and hasn't been updated this year. The NYC Bike Map 2006 mashup pictured above is attempting to fill in the gaps, but seems to be missing a bunch of the smaller paths. We've already featured the Secret Bike Maps page-- but still haven't taken that trip to City Island. Has anyone successfully biked up there from Manhattan? We've circled the route on the map above, but we're not sure how long it would take to get there and back, and none of our pansy-ass friends will do it without some more information.

In semi-related news, Critical Mass was held last night, and it sounds like it sucked pretty hard. The NYPD seems to have succeeded in harrassing most of the non-hardcore bikers away from the event. According to BikeBlog, many of the 150 bikers that did show up ended up getting tickets:

At 10th Ave and 23rd Street a mob of scooter cops cut off the ride and jumped off their scooters...the light was Green. They began yelling things like, you'd better have ID. One pig tried to grab me and I turned around and got away. I never should have got so close to them, it was sloppy. But why were we being stopped...the light was Green and we were obeying traffic laws? Oh I get it now...it doesn't matter what you do...or what a State or Federal judge says...the NYPD doesn't give a fuck. There orders are to harass the ride, give as many tickets as possible and make people scared...the panic factor. So now I don't blame that guy for trying to get away. Here are a few tips for the next ride: Do not be a sitting duck. Try not to ride near any scooter cops; even if they are being friendly...do not listen to them. One scooter cop was video taped around the 40's repeatedly ramming his ride into a cyclist...is this because the rider didn't stop at a red light? No it is because these cops are ASSHOLES! and are once again willing to injure people and possibly themselves because some MUtherfucker in power wants critical mass to end. Here is a memo NYPD...its NEVER GOING TO STOP!

We also got reports of heavy police presence on the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge bike paths last night. Mini-editorial: with oil hovering somewhere north of $75/barrel, shouldn't the city be encouraging people to bicycle? Does any of this make sense?

Update: David from TA sent in a note-- sounds like the 2006 bikemap will be up shortly! He also gives some info about the ride to City Island:

The 2006 NYC Bike Maps just came out a couple of weeks ago. I imagine we'll have digital versions up on our website shortly. Physical paper copies are currently available for free; just call 311. Incidentally, not much has changed on this year's bike maps, as DOT only installed a couple of miles of new bike lanes and paths this year. However, City Planning did change the map up a bit by adding a different color-coded identifying system for bike facilities. Hard to explain in writing, but quite clear in person. I don't have one handy, as I'm at home and not at the office, but they've included purple and yellow and orange to distinguish different types of facilities (planned routes, recommended routes, connectors, etc.) ...

Also, when I started at T.A., I spent my first few days riding every
mile of greenway in the City, so I could have first-hand experience of
the entire greenway network when discussing various sections with
other cyclists, City agencies, elected officials, etc. On one of those
days, I rode from Battery Park up the Hudson River Greenway, over the
Henry Hudson Parkway Bridge into the Bronx, and west out to City
Island. The portion between Van Cortland Park and Hutchinson River
Parkway along Pelham Parkway is not in the best shape and has some
dicey parts where you have to cross busy streets or highways, but once
you get out to the Hutch, it's very nice. I especially recommend
visiting Orchard Beach, which is a delight! I reckon it's about 1.5 to
two hours riding at a comfortable pace from Midtown. Let me know if
you have any questions.

Ed Ravin also sent in some detailed City Island biking advice:

Figure an hour and a half from the end of the bike path at Dyckman Street to get to City Island - it's normally a little less but it sounds like you'll need to check the map a lot. The "secret" bike map at: recteck is mostly right, if you carry along a regular city map and/or NYC bike map you should be good. Note that the recteck.com folks have a number of weird typos, like "Centineal" instead of "TA Century", and more confusingly, they say "Albany Street" instead of "Albany Crescent", and they screw up on the street they call "Kingsbridge Ave" - it's really Kingsbridge Terrace (Kingsbridge Ave is on the other side of Broadway, and just to get confusing there's also a Kingsbridge Road nearby.

On your way back you should try out the new Hutchison River Parkway bike path - you can pick it up from the bike path at Pelham Parkway where the Hutch crosses - look for a path to the south just west of the horse and ped path portion of the bridge over the Amtrak tracks. That will take you south to a spot near Brush Ave and Lafayette Ave, under that big jumble of spaghetti where the Hutch, I-95, and 278 meet. Follow the Century route backwardsish from there (over the Bruckner Blvd bridge, south on Zerega, maybe right on Story to go west towards the Bronx River) to get back towards the city.

We're definitely going to do this ride sometime in the next couple of months!