Second to the subway for most of us (save messengers and Olympians), bicycling affords the quickest transit around Manhattan. We have seen people leaving black tie affairs at the Plaza and the Waldorf on bike, and we dodge (and sometimes join) masses of bikers in Central Park. We have also seen plenty of bike accidents. With caution we recommend bicycling in and around Manhattan to the visitor. For the die-hard, a helmet and a horn, bell, or whistle are a must. Plan your route in advance, and be alert for opening car doors and swerving cars. Heed my grandfather's three favorite adages: "easy does it", "better safe than sorry", and "not all the nuts are in the nuthouse."
Sadly, riding in the city is better done in the back of a taxi than atop a horse. You once would have (until the end of April 2007) seen riders in Central Park but time has brought an onslaught of potential hazards, from dogs and joggers in your path, to busy streets en route to the Bridle Path; in the end, city riding was deemed unsafe even for stalwart equestrians. There are a fair number of academies nearby, and we list them here if time allows you to investigate these options. We do wholeheartedly recommend the few remaining wonderful shops for the never-ending demands of tack and garb.