The Financial District to Central Park and Back, New York City

Most of my life, I’ve lived in places with good mountain biking—the Adirondacks, Lake Tahoe, Santa Barbara, even my hometown in southern Connecticut—so it was with some trepidation that I moved to Manhattan. The name itself may mean “island of hills,” but the highest point I could find was paved, and a mere 265 feet above sea level.

So it seemed I would need new ways to recreate. But from the first afternoon that I mounted my silver, rock-scarred Sedona Giant and wobbled into the street, I was struck by a possibility: might there be a radical, urban counterpart to vertiginous heights, tree-laden steeps, and trails of soil and stone?

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