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  1. NYC Bike Polo; Photograph by: Stephen Kosloff

  2. NYC Bike Polo

  3. NYC Bike Polo

  4. NYC Bike Polo

  5. NYC Bike Polo

  6. NYC Bike Polo

Bike clubs: Join a free group ride in NYC

Get fit and have fun by joining these recreational cycling clubs.


RECOMMENDED: Bike New York guide

Since 1994, environmental advocacy group Time’s Up! has organized monthly eventide bike rides through Central Park and Prospect Park. The loops around and through the parks are less than ten miles and can be completed in less than two hours, making them suitable undertakings for someone looking to improve their fitness and endurance in a fun, social environment. There are a few stops along the way to rest your gams while taking in scenery, including the glowing city skyline and the parks’ moonlit ponds. The group also offers a large number of other rides, check the website for the full schedule. Manhattan: meet at Central Park Merchants’ Gate, 59th St at Broadway; first Friday of the month at 10pm. Brooklyn: meet at Prospect Park Grand Army Plaza entrance, Eastern Parkway and Prospect Park West; second Saturday of the month at 9pm.; free

Queer cyclists and their straight supporters are all welcome in this LGBT group. For beginners or casual recreationists, leader Bob Nelson recommends joining the hour-long Wednesday-morning loops around Central Park. These medium-paced, conversation-friendly rides consist of one to three circuits around the park, and will help you work toward the group’s more rigorous bimonthly outings to places like the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and the hills of Alpine, New Jersey. But it isn’t all pedaling; members are invited to mingle and socialize at monthly dinners held at restaurants around the city. Meet at Central Park Merchants’ Gate, 59th St at Broadway ( Wed 7am; free


All of the city’s traffic, construction detours and jaywalking pedestrians can make navigating via velocipede feel like a dangerous endeavor. Dispel your fears by taking an excursion with the Weekday Cyclists, a group that prides itself on stringent adherence to safety guidelines and group cycling etiquette as outlined in its handbook. For instance, the pack invariably travels with one leader in the front and one in the rear, to prevent losing any of the flock and to set a pace that is appropriate for all. On Thursday mornings the group travels to destinations in any of the five boroughs, Westchester County, upstate, Long Island or New Jersey. The 25-to-50-mile excursions include a stop for lunch and are complete by late afternoon. If you don’t have a whole day to devote to tandem travel, members meet for shorter rides around Central Park on Tuesdays mornings that wrap up before noon. Tuesday: meet at the Central Park Boathouse, enter at E 72nd St and Park Dr N; Thursday: locations vary, check website for details ( Tue, Thu 10am; free

5BBC prides itself on being the friendliest pack of pedalers in Gotham. The social aspect of group riding, along with the physical benefits, is among the organization’s core raisons d’être. Membership is paid ($20 a year or $25 per household), but nonmembers are welcome on the group’s Day Rides, which take place every Saturday and Sunday. Multiple rides are scheduled each weekend, ranging from 25 to 80 miles. These member-led outings begin with lessons in bike inspection, how to ride in traffic and common two-wheeler maintenance tips. Riders then depart on an all-day romp (four to eight hours) around the five boroughs, upstate or New Jersey; past routes have taken in Yankee Stadium, Kew Gardens, Staten Island Borough Hall, the Rockaways and Prospect Park. 5BBC also offers occasional repair clinics that are open to everyone. Check the online schedule for upcoming dates. Sat, Sun; locations and times vary, check for details; free


If you like group sports—and you don’t have anywhere to keep a horse—try out this two-wheeled riff on the classic game. NYC Bike Polo hosts pickup matches in parks and playgrounds in both Manhattan and Brooklyn. Veteran players are happy to loan extra mallets to eager newbies, and organizers referee spirited three-on-three games that last until one team reaches five points. The matches are open to all skill levels, but if you’re a little wobbly or unsure of the rules, organizer Nate Mumford suggests coming on a weekday when the pace is slower. Don’t forget your pads and helmet! Manhattan: meet at the corner of Broome and Chrystie Sts; Sun 2pm–dusk. Brooklyn: locations vary, check for details. Tue, Thu 7–9pm; free

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