Ride to the Y! Castle Hill now offers bike corrals

YMCA devotee Jerry Moore said he might roll up to his next workout on two wheels instead of four.
Photo by Ben Kochman

You can ride to the Y on two wheels now instead of four.

Folks at the Bronx YMCA on Castle Hill Avenue are feeling wheel happy after landing the borough’s first city “bike corrals” – rows of circular bike parking racks installed curbside.

The Department of Transportation replaced two of the YMCA’s spaces for cars with the series of circular bike racks Monday, June 16, after the Y requested the cycle shelters last year.

Healthy ride

Facility staff said the racks, which can store eight bikes, give cyclists a convenient place to store their ride — and might convince others to take up a healthier lifestyle.

“Not only does it look great, it serves our initiative of healthy living,” said Sharlene Brown, the Bronx Y’s executive director.

The city has already put in 39 of the “corrals” in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. But the Y’s bike corral is the first to be installed in the Bronx. Corrals are different from bike racks on the sidewalk, since they include plant beds and are installed on the street.

Organizations can apply for the bike racks on DOT’s website, but must promise to be responsible for maintaining upkeep, including snow and trash removal.

Love for the bikers

The Y’s application was inspired by bike-riding members of the staff, who insisted that they have a designated spot to lock up their cycles.

Yet bikers visiting the complex before could only tie their two-wheelers to a nearby tree or pole.

“We had people on staff who ride every day,” said Brown, the Y’s executive director. “In the morning, it can get crowded.”

Brown said the Bronx Y’s embrace of the bike is only beginning. The facility has a bigger bike plan in the works, she said, including teaming up with cyclist group Bike New York to give riding lessons.

Rave rider reviews

Meanwhile, locals are still getting used to the new Y parking option. But some positive reviews have already started streaming in.

“I think it’s pretty great,” said Jerry Brown, a Soundview resident who visits the Y many times a week.

Brown recently drove over to the Y, but said that he’d consider cruising by on his bike next time.

“It’s nice, it’s summer, and it’s good for you,” he said. “Why not?”

Reach Reporter Ben Kochman at (718) 742–3394. E-mail him at bkochman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @benkochman.

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