Northeast - Aussie visiting NYC in June
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I'm planning to visit a friend in NYC from the 6th to the 18th June and I am keen to explore the city by bike. Does anyone know of bike hire for extended periods that isn't going to cost a small fortune (the Aussie dollar is trading okay but not that good)?
I'm also keen to throw myself into the NYC bike culture whilst there. I've worked out there is the Tour de Brooklyn and the BFF on whilst I am there. Are there any other loosely organized bike rides (trying to avoid the tourist guides)? I'm also keen to do a lap of Manhattan - as far as it is possible. Any tips?
Finally, I work for the Amy Gillett Foundation (http://www.amygillett.org.au/) - which works to reduce the incidence of death and injury caused by the interaction between cyclists and motorists. So let me know if you have any suggestions for people I could talk to get an idea of what sort of road safety programs are being run in NYC.
If you want to ride one of those tours I suggest buying a pass as soon as possible because they are very popular. Maybe try finding a bicycle on craigslist. There are a lot of people trying to sell you junk but you could probably find something halfway decent, and haggle a bit (then sell it once you leave?). I don't know how picky you are.
Here are a few NYC related links:
04-06-10, 08:44 AM
For bike safety programs, talk to Wiley at Transportation Alternatives. Lukasz linked to it in his post.
For general getting around, you can get a free bike map at any bike store so ask your friend to pick a few up and send one to you so you can get familiar with the place. Lots of bike stores will rent you a hybrid type bike so do a search near to where you're staying and start calling or emailing to get a rate. Or you can pick up a used bike off CL or at Recycle-a-Bike.
As for other stuff to do, there's an all-female race on 6/20 as part of the BFF, but it looks like you'll be gone by then. On weekends, you can swing by Sarah Roosevelt Park and check out the bike polo matches. It's close to Chinatown so you can pick up some food while you spectate. And yes, you can do a loop of Manhattan, mostly on bike paths with some street. If the "Fun Random Night Rides" thread picks up again, you might be able to join us for one of those loops with a stop at Dinosaur bbq or Chelsea Brewery.
You'll definitely want to speak to someone at Transportation Alternatives (http://www.transalt.org/). They're the folks who run the Tour De Brooklyn. Their office is easy to find at 26th street and 6th ave.
Edit - yup. J yo called it, Wiley'd be my pick, you can email him through their web contact page.
On Friday, June 11th, TA will do their monthly ride in Queens along Queens Boulevard (http://www.streetfilms.org/queens-blvd-bike-pool/?autostart=true) - the so-called "Blvd. of Death" If you come along on that one you'll see another borough and it's not nearly as deadly in a big group.
You might also want to speak to the folks at Time's Up (http://times-up.org/). They hold a CM in Brooklyn (http://times-up.org/index.php?page=brooklyn-critical-mass) (also on the 11th) and the following night I'd recommend the Prospect Park Moonlight ride (http://times-up.org/index.php?page=moonlight-ride-prospect-park). I still need to try that one, but the monthly ones in Central Park are a blast - very slow pootles (<10 mph) where you can enjoy the peaceful quiet of nature and pretty city lights, etc.
Hope you have a great trip, and be sure to give a heads up when you arrive, I am sure there will be plenty of folks here who can hook up for a ride, lend you a bike, etc.
Thanks everyone, great tips.
Great idea about buying a 2nd hand one, will check it out. I'll check with Recycle-a-Bike too.
Thanks for giving me best contact for TA. I tried an email to their generic contact and didn't get a reply so hopefully this will give me a foot in (so to speak).
I'll check out all the other suggestions too.
Can't wait. It will be cold here at that time and harder to get people out on the bike.
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