I find it amusing that I am writing this review at 37,000 feet traveling to Chicago, traveling to what may be the premiere bicycle friendly city in the USA, writing about a city, New York that handles it's bicyclists with a strange love hate relationship, but still has wonderful bikelanes, paths and trails, and yet I hail from one of the singularly most bicycle unfriendly spots of the globe, Nassau County Long Island! I can not tell you how pleasant it is to bicycle outside of Nassau county. So it is for this reason that I recommend this wonderful anthology of accessible bicycle routes for the cyclingly moribund Long Islander!
Direct and to the point, this book lists some great rides which can include a bit of the challenge for the novice through the seasoned rider. If you can find a used copy, grab it up!
20 Bicycle Tours in and around New York City features 8 rides on Long Island, 2 on Manhattan, 1 on Staten Island, 4 in New Jersey, 3 in Westchester, and three in Connecticut. After 26 pages of detailed suggestions on how to have a decent and safe ride the authors launch directly into their ride descriptions. The usual scenario is a one paragraph ride description followed immediately by the map and cue sheets. My particular copy has many pages flowing freely within the folds of the intact pages, obviously the object of some serious out of the book photocopying.
This is one book which I have found that has the great feature of including listings of local bike shops on the rides, a really nice touch. Although in this book I suspect it could be a real crapshoot as to whether or not the shops are still there.
The longest ride listed is 111 miles and it is described as a hard two days ride in the hills of Westchester and Connecticut and the shortest is the 13 Mile Eisenhower Park and Old Westbury Gardens Quickie.