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Fascinating new map reveals New Yorkers’ favorite running, cycling routes

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Parks are the big winners for New York’s runners and cyclists

Via Strava

Last November, fitness tracker Strava released a nifty new tool: By using data from its users (1 billion different activities were recorded through September of 2017), it can create a “heat map” that shows the most popular running or cycling spots in a given location. (And don’t worry—users are able to turn off the GPS that makes this tracking possible.)

This functionality has gotten the company into hot water in recent weeks, as it was revealed that the locations and activity on military bases could be seen on the map. (Oops.)

But that’s not why we’re interested; on the local level, the map provides some insight into the running and cycling habits of New Yorkers, and where you’re most likely to find people doing either activity. (On the map itself, the more users a particular route has, the more brightly it will glow.)

Unsurprisingly, parks are the big winners there: Central Park’s longest loop, which measures 6.2 miles, stands out the most for cyclists; it’s a similar story for runners, though the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis reservoir is also well-trodden. Other popular spots in Manhattan include the shared pedestrian and cycling paths on both the West Side Highway and the Brooklyn Bridge, along with the tracks within John V. Lindsay East River Park.

Screenshot via Strava

Outside of Manhattan, Prospect Park is, unsurprisingly, one of the more popular spots; others include Hylan Boulevard in Staten Island, Queens Boulevard (which recently benefited from a new protected bike path), and along the Soundview Park Greenway in the Bronx.

You can see the heatmap on its own, or you can see it over Google Maps’s satellite maps for a fuller picture. Overall, the map offers a chance to see New York in a different—and perhaps useful—context.