Escape NYC: In Search of Gravel (Video)

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Just beyond New York City’s dense urban center lies a contrasting world of lush forests, dirt tracks, and sleepy roads that are perfect for a pedal-powered break from city life. Escape NYC is a new video from Dwayne Burgess that documents one such two-day getaway. Check it out here…

Words, photo, and video by Dwayne Burgess, additional photos by George Rigas

When we think of New York City, most of us think of honking taxi cabs, MTA subway rumbles, office buildings that tower the city skyline, cafes on every corner, and of course pizza by the slice. As a native New Yorker, I find the music in in the noise. I find the exhilaration in its exhaustion. It may not be the ideal hotbed for an adventure cyclist, but just north of New York City, over the George Washington Bridge, is a domain that’s open for bike touring, dirt tracks, and rail trails that offer a great escape from the city.

  • Escape NYC, Manual Pedal, Dwayne Burgess
  • Escape NYC, Manual Pedal, Dwayne Burgess
  • Escape NYC, Manual Pedal, Dwayne Burgess

I’ve spent the past few months researching and building my dream gravel bike, an Ibis Hakka MX. Once it was complete, I was itching to strap bags on it and get it out in the wild. George and I searched for a two-day adventure that would allow us to get outdoors, ride over dirt and gravel tracks, and camp. We found a route created by BIKEPACKING.com editor Joe Cruz that takes you from NYC over the George Washington Bridge and north to Bear Mountain. It was a perfect route for what we wanted to do. It gives you a taste of on- and off-road riding with an occasional hike-a-bike through woods with camping just over the Bear Mountain Bridge. It’s the ideal short adventure that’s still close to home. This short video captures our escape from NYC.

  • Escape NYC, Manual Pedal, Dwayne Burgess
  • Escape NYC, Manual Pedal, Dwayne Burgess
Escape NYC, Manual Pedal, Dwayne Burgess

The Route

Find our full 115-mile, two-day route on Ride With GPS below:

Dwayne Burgess

About Dwayne Burgess

Dwayne Burgess is a New York-based graphic designer and adventure cyclist who founded Manual Pedal after cycling cross country from New York to California. His passion for bicycle touring, bikepacking, and road cycling has led him to share his experiences through stories and videos to inspire other fellow cyclists. He loves to geek out over all things bike. Find him on Instagram @manualpedalpix.

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