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Have Bike, Will Travel

Featured Photo from Have Bike, Will Travel

Lauren Rowe is director of communications at Orlando Sanford International Airport and was an Emmy award-winning news anchor.

I am far from a cyclist. I don’t even like stationary bikes at the gym. But seeing new places on wheels is my new favorite travel experience. Our family used to load up our bikes on the back of our Buick - Griswold style, but flying to a new destination meant leaving the family cruisers behind… until now.  

It appears there is a bike rental renaissance of sorts sweeping the country. Technology has allowed us to simply swipe a credit card at a bike stand and click! the kiosk releases a bike for every member of the family. Within a few seconds you’re on your way to exploring places like New York City on wheels. Yes, I said NYC! 

I know. You’re probably picturing those crazy bike messengers risking life and limb weaving in and out of traffic. But my 13-year-old daughter and I experienced a very bike-friendly Manhattan. What better way to take in the beautiful fall weather than a ride downtown along the West Side overlooking the Hudson River? When we arrived at our destination, we checked the Citi Bike App, found the nearest bike station, and click! our bikes were docked and we were ready for lunch and shopping. The ease and flexibility of being able to bike through a city has given our family an exhilarating new way to see the world.  

Here are some great biking destinations you can visit, flying direct from Orlando Sanford International Airport:

Manhattan, New York
The Department of Transportation publishes a map showing bike lanes and the most traveled bikeways in the county. In Manhattan it’s a 31-mile bike trail that runs the entire length of the island. It’s fun and easy for the whole family. You can rent a bike near Central Park or check out bikes from one of hundreds of Citi Bike kiosks. The Greenway bike path takes you past shipping docks, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, and Battery Park where you can catch a ferry to the Statue of Liberty. NYCBikeMaps.com. 

San Antonio, Texas
Want to zip through one of the most historic cities in America? Just hop on an Bird electric scooter. I would recommend this for older kids and teens, and you should wear a helmet. You can access the Bird scooter through an app on your cell phone, Bird.co.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Reportedly there are more bicycles in Amsterdam than people. It’s so much a part of the culture that locals say you can’t really experience Amsterdam until you hop on a bike. The streets are flat and crime is low so you can hop on and off at any time. And there is a huge offering of historical bike tours whether it be countryside or city you are after.

Chicago, Illinois
Don’t let the big city scare you. There are 176 miles of protected, buffered, and off-path roadways and Chi Town takes its bike-share program seriously. For just $15 a day, you can take unlimited rides in a 24-hour period for up to three hours each. The Lakefront Trail is the most popular. DivvyBikes.com.

The Biltmore, North Carolina
You may look a little silly, but seeing the grounds of America’s favorite castle during the fall can’t get more relaxing than atop a Segway. They are not cheap, starting at $75 per person, but the reviews are all good. Biltmore.com.

Acadia National Park, Maine
To see one of the most beautiful parks in the world, book your direct flight to Bangor, Maine soon. The best weeks for fall foliage in Acadia National Park are the last week of September and the first week of October. This is a huge park with trails for every experience level. I like AllTrails.com as a guide for any biking trip.

Lauren Rowe is director of communications at Orlando Sanford International Airport and was an Emmy award-winning news anchor.

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