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Old 04-27-2008, 11:19 AM
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I finally got my new bike yesterday(thanks to all the advice about getting it at a bike shop vs big box store) and rode it in Van Cortlandt park. I was able to go from the parade ground at 251 street exiting at Van Cortlandt Park south at Bailey Avenue near the lake and golf course parking lots. It was an incredibly uplifting experience. The only form of exercise that I actually enjoy

I tried to get to the Woodlawn end which would involve going east but I didn't see any paths to take me there

yet when I drive home from work i do notice some type of runners or bike path up on the elevated Deegan where the SB Mosholu Pkwy ramp merges into the SB Deegan. It looks like it is elevated for only a few feet before it goes back down onto the ground. That is closer to Woodlawn but I am clueless as to how to get to Woodlawn. I know how to get to Yonkers by Caryl Avenue and Van Cortlandt park Avenue that's basically it.

Ideally i would like to exit by the Shandler rec area or even by Van Cortlandt park East by Woodlawn playground but I don't know if there are any connections. Does anyone know?

Another thing, I haven't purchased a good lock for the bike yet, but yesterday I was tempted to go into a deli for water but the deli did not permit bikes in the store and the only lock I have at home is a chain with a tiny key lock. If i used this to lock the bike while i went to the deli is there a real chance the bike could get stolen? the deli is on broadway at 250th street. mostly it's other bikers and runners who use the deli this would be until i bought a good lock. or should i just be safe and wait until i get a good lock?

another question. in the owners manual it says to go online and register the bike with the nbr(natl bike registry-they work with police depts in the event of loss or theft) for 6 months free, yet when i went online that option was not available. instead other options like 10 years of registration for $10 or $30 for 30 years were available but i didn't see the free option for 6 months. does anyone know how this works? my police pct says they don't register bikes
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Old 05-04-2008, 12:33 AM
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I would say an unlocked bike is not at all safe on Broadway at 250th street, not even for a few minutes. But a cheap lock is all you need, there are not pros prowling at all moments, just bad kids. Not so cheap that someone could rip it with their bare hands, though, that they would do.

This comes from someone who has read the crime report column in The Riverdale Press for about 20 years and who lived on 260 a couple blocks west of Broadway for 14 years and has lived on Van Corltand Park South (240th) now for 7 years.

It may look small townish and surbuban to you but what is going on is that you are getting near the border of Yonkers. There's always minor bad stuff happening like minor robberies and muggings and thefts around 261st and Broadway, that's the Yonkers border and it's often kids from Yonkers. It's not a neighborhood you'd get murdered, but you certainly lock your car, so you'd lock your bike, too.

You also have tons of people coming from allover the city (allover the tristate areas) there to watch soccer matches in the soccer fields right there. Just because there's a hoity toity horse riding place there doesn't mean your bike is safe, just like in most cities in the USA. Poor kids are always looking to steal bikes, and there are poor kids there, and also people driving in from allover who would just pick up your bike and trhow it in their car.

Small thefts are happening more often off people's porches and stuff when I am on 240 (Van Cortlandt Park South) potted plants and the like, when we used to be able to leave stuff without locking it down.

As to your navigating Van Cortlandt Park questions, I can't help, haven't explored it enough myself.
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Old 05-20-2008, 07:41 PM
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I am not aware of any direct connection to Woodlawn from the west side of Van Cortlandt. If there ever was a direct link it was lost way back when they built the Saw Mill right through the middle of the park. When I bike to Woodlawn, I go up Gun Hill and hang a left on Jerome past the Woodlawn (station) up past Woodlawn (cemetery) and hang a right on 233rd and take a left by the park or on Katonah.

As for the path by the Deegan. You can enter Vannie opposite St. Patricks nursing home on Van Cortlandt Park South and Dickinson. That will lead you directly to the lake and boathouse. As you go down the path you will pass a set of stairs (which are currently closed), these stairs will take you up to a short path alongside the Deegan. There is also another path that runs alongside the Saw Mill on the northbound side. I've explored some of the paths in the park and I wouldn't recommend biking there if you feel unsafe biking alone. You can go for awhile without seeing another person and is not a place you'd want to run into any trouble. On the other hand, you will really see the beauty Vannie has to offer.

By the way, if you do decide to explore some these paths, watch out for Park Rangers. You are technically not supposed to ride your bike in the park and I know a number of people who have gotten summonses.
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:16 PM
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you seem to be the only one who knows VC Park. You are saying The rangers can give you a summons for biking on the other trails or even the parade groundjogger's path and paved path that passes the lake and parallels the Mosholu Pkwy to Dickinson/Van Cortlandt park south? Or is it just the less congested trails that they can catch you?

I didn't feel unsafe from being alone, i felt uneasy with the path going uphill and not being used to the effort it took. i could have fainted and died and no one would have known! i do see other paths which can take you to Woodlawn eventually but like you say i don't know how safe I'd feel right in the middle of the park

on the map they show a path that is supposed to start at the stairs/winding path between the Deegan.Mosholu junction which leads to Woodlawn but when i checked last in the park i couldn't find it

I also saw two circular paths, one which was fenced in off the Mosholu leading down to Dickinson, the other which was not fenced in but rather just separated from the Mosholu by a guardrail. any difference between the two?

I also see a path that parallels the NB Mosholu that begins on the Gun Hill Rd side of the Mosholu which takes you to Woodlawn.
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