As a dedicated urban cyclist, I bike around New York City and extol the dedicated bike lanes, flat terrain and ease of zipping around neighborhoods. But while nursing bruised ribs and multiple contusions after an unfortunate meeting with a pothole, I am even more enamored of rides outside the city.
Every year, in May, June and September, cars are banned from the Bronx River Parkway on Bicycle Sundays. The joy of biking a paved road, alongside my beloved, was enhanced by a new weekend package, “Beauty is Where You Bike It,” at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester.
The Ritz-Carlton is just a couple of blocks from the trailhead, and, if you are an early riser, you can bike the winding path that runs alongside the highway. I don’t think of myself as a morning person, but years of getting up early with kids and pets has trained me. By 8:30 we were ready to go, so we spent the early hours biking the path until the road closed.
The hotel had arranged our bike rental (included in the package price). They also sent up to the room a bike bag filled with Gatorade, granola bars and a First-Aid kit. Adorably, the concierge had also made name license plates for our bicycles.
Bicycle Sundays is a 13.1 mile stretch of car-free road, for cyclists, joggers, walkers, scooters and strollers. The course runs from Westchester County Center in White Plains south to Scarsdale Road in Yonkers. The bike store, Danny’s Cycles, that provided our bicycles offered free flat fixes and bike adjustments on the highway.
The Ritz package allows an unheard of late check out – 5pm! This give you time to hit the rooftop pool (alas, enclosed) or spiffy fitness center. You can also soothe tired muscles at the spa. I had the signature massage, an indulgence that included a nap in the relaxation room, snacks, and a brief trip to the sauna. And of course you can shower back in the room, or have an early drink in the lounge; the bicycle package also comes with a food or beverage credit of $50
We had delicious portobello sliders and a veggie burger at the lounge; we were healthy and got mixed green salads instead of fries.
I wanted to stay in the room till the bitter end. The week before, we had stayed in one of those off-brand ‘suite’ hotels with a full kitchen and a pull out couch – but definitely just one small room you wouldn’t want to share with kids.
The 800 square foot Ritz executive suite, by contrast, had a separate sitting room with a pull out couch, a luxurious marble bathroom with a rain shower and deep soaking tub, and a work area. The 400 thread count sheets and super comfortable bed, plus thick robes and soft towels, cosseted us from head to toe.
If you bring kids, you can also get a rollaway bed and /or crib. The bike package only includes adult bikes, though.
Note: I was a guest of the Ritz-Carlton. Opinions expressed are my own.