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NYC and perils of early morning Sunday rides

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NYC and perils of early morning Sunday rides

Old 08-02-15, 08:52 AM
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NYC and perils of early morning Sunday rides

I decided to ride early AM on the dedicated bike lane on 1st avenue. A taxi cuts me off near 67th st?. to make a left. I yell and maneuver to his right and he hits the brakes hard. I hit his rear bumper and gash my right ankle. The stopped cabbie starts decrying innocence belligerently. Luckily, there is a police car about 60 feet away and he intercedes and tells the cabbie he is in the wrong. Cops said he can’t cite anyone as there is no apparent damage. Sadly, I didn’t notice the bleeding as it was covered up with chain grease. I tell cabbie he owes me an apology. He refuses. I ask him again for an apology. He refuses. The anger center in my brain says “deck the guy.” Cop (probably intuitively) says “you know how cabbies are” and I respond “not really. “ And I meant that honestly. The cop is a nice kid, about 27-28 years old. I go on my way and notice that there is blood leaking onto my shoe. If I had only gotten his cab #. Arrrgh.

On my ride to Randall’s Island I encounter 150’ of monofilament fishing line directly in the MUP path. This line has probably caught joggers, walkers and for sure a couple of Pit Bulls on their walk. I stop and reel the monofilament bird nest which takes a good five minutes. I wonder why no one else could be bothered to do a clean this up in a heavily trafficked path?

On my way back I also see drivers weaving, cutting stops signs, and doing dangerous skids near and on East End Avenue. One beater Corolla does a near car-flipping turn and ends up hitting plastic barricades. Scary. The only plus on this ride is stopping by the small dog park near Gracie Mansion. This is my usual stop where I get to pet small Poodles, Bichons, Maltese and Golden Doodles. If only people behaved like our best pals.
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Old 08-02-15, 10:20 AM
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With apologies to my relatives who still live there, and my ancestors, I hate NYC. I feel guilty hating it, it's a wonderful city and it's the place that welcomed my family and gave us refuge, but there it is...I hate it. There are too many people stuck too closely together and commuting by bike there is just frightening. I go up there a fair bit socially and on business, and every time I find myself hating it more and more.

Yes, Philadelphia is poorer, with inferior services for residents (we're almost like NYC's learning disabled sibling that gets locked in the basement). Our sports teams all stink and we don't have the job oppportunities NYC has, our pizza might taste like white bread with ragu on it in comparison, abd our deli...well, don't even get me started...but at least our roads aren't utter and complete anarchy with pedestrians jumping in front of you, cabbies assuming you'll teleport around them and and cops ticketing you.
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Old 08-02-15, 10:29 AM
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Don't feel guilty hating it. It is a love and hate relationship with the Big Crapple. And yes- the roads, drivers and denizens can be complete freaks. When I lived in San Francisco the % of getting pissed off, or endangered was a unusual occurrence. In NYC - common. Almost daily event.

I haven't been to Philly in a while -I will say I like it as a visitor. There is terrific food, museums, universities and closer access to Dutch Country. Can't say I've had the pizza.
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Old 08-02-15, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Essex View Post
I decided to ride early AM on the dedicated bike lane on 1st avenue. A taxi cuts me off near 67th st?. to make a left. I yell and maneuver to his right and he hits the brakes hard. I hit his rear bumper and gash my right ankle. The stopped cabbie starts decrying innocence belligerently.
Did the cab stop when you yelled? And did that make things worse?

It sounds like only a small cut... and you're mostly in one piece. Let it go.

And, perhaps try to relax a bit around other vehicles.

Perhaps swing by a not so large city in Oregon. Oh... and a little of that mellowing smoke (which is now mostly legal) might help.

Good picking up trash along the road. I sometimes stop to throw rocks or chunks of wood out of the road or bike path, or other things that are particular danger to cyclists and vehicles alike.
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Old 08-02-15, 11:03 AM
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I lived in Oregon. Coos Bay when I worked at the marine lab. Oregon is a great place to live, work and play. And there is no city in Oregon which even remotely resembles the steaming pile that NYC can be at times. In NYC - people go out of their ways sometimes to get in your face, or **** you up. And that rarely happens in Oregon unless you go to some remote area where the tune of "Deliverance" is being played in the background in some logging site.

In this case, the cab made the quick left turn leaving me with very few options, then was told by the officer that he was in the wrong and flatly refused to apologize. The vitriol he spouted when told he was wrong made me want to deck him. And in that remote part of Oregon - I am sure I would have been able to deck the guy without much in the way of anyone telling me to chill.
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Old 08-02-15, 11:34 AM
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1nterceptor's NYC commute vids scared the hell out of some people to whom I showed the vids, but I love the juxtaposition of relaxing music against the video footage. I suspect the musical choices reflect his emotional state during those rides:

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Old 08-02-15, 11:42 AM
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Very interesting video. Thanks for posting. I live only a few blocks aways from the last stop on the video. In the heart of the East 50/60's.

The interesting bit is when you ride early in the AM on Sunday there aren't that many cars, bikes, or people. It's that lack of traffic which probably makes drivers, pedestrians more complacent. You really wouldn't get drivers doing Speed Racer maneuvers on East End ave during rush hours.

When the traffic is that dense (as in the video) I take the subway. It's the only way to get around + I probably don't intake as much pollutants???
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Old 08-02-15, 11:52 AM
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1nterceptor is a member of bikeforums, but I haven't seen him post in this one - just in the General Discussion forum and Commuting forum. One of the latest posts I saw from him stated that he goes mixed-modal with his folding bike when he wants to cut his commute time down to 45 min. I think it was on the "How was your commute today?" thread. He didn't say what subway he takes though.
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Old 08-02-15, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Essex View Post
I decided to ride early AM on the dedicated bike lane on 1st avenue. A taxi cuts me off near 67th st?. to make a left. I yell and maneuver to his right and he hits the brakes hard. I hit his rear bumper and gash my right ankle. The stopped cabbie starts decrying innocence belligerently. Luckily, there is a police car about 60 feet away and he intercedes and tells the cabbie he is in the wrong. Cops said he can’t cite anyone as there is no apparent damage. Sadly, I didn’t notice the bleeding as it was covered up with chain grease. I tell cabbie he owes me an apology. He refuses. I ask him again for an apology. He refuses. The anger center in my brain says “deck the guy.” Cop (probably intuitively) says “you know how cabbies are” and I respond “not really. “ And I meant that honestly. The cop is a nice kid, about 27-28 years old. I go on my way and notice that there is blood leaking onto my shoe. If I had only gotten his cab #. Arrrgh.

On my ride to Randall’s Island I encounter 150’ of monofilament fishing line directly in the MUP path. This line has probably caught joggers, walkers and for sure a couple of Pit Bulls on their walk. I stop and reel the monofilament bird nest which takes a good five minutes. I wonder why no one else could be bothered to do a clean this up in a heavily trafficked path?

On my way back I also see drivers weaving, cutting stops signs, and doing dangerous skids near and on East End Avenue. One beater Corolla does a near car-flipping turn and ends up hitting plastic barricades. Scary. The only plus on this ride is stopping by the small dog park near Gracie Mansion. This is my usual stop where I get to pet small Poodles, Bichons, Maltese and Golden Doodles. If only people behaved like our best pals.
I am glad the officer saw the whole thing.
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Old 08-02-15, 12:37 PM
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I hate to be mean here, but I have little sympathy for the OP. Getting cut off by turning traffic is par for the course in NYC and always has been. It's just one of our daily challenges, and one reason I don't use avenue bike lanes in Manhattan. (I avoid tickets by not using avenues with bike lanes whenever I can).

OTOH - despite it's issues, NYC remains a great place to live, work and ride.

I agree that in many ways Phila is a more livable city, especially on a bike, but as much as anything else, it's a reflection of scale, with Phila being roughly 1/6th the size. If we could combine NYC's amenities with Phila's scale and livability we'd have something. But then again anything that good would attract too many and we'd be back where we started.

To the OP, left turning traffic is a serious, but manageable hazard of NYC bike lanes. Learn to watch over your shoulder and adjust to traffic turning into or across your path. This was equally true before the lanes were in place, except that sight lines and mutual expectations and awareness were better.
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Old 08-02-15, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
I am glad the officer saw the whole thing.
Thank you.

I am now finding out my wrist doesn't work so well now. Adrenaline can mask injuries for a while I think?

To FBINY - who's asking anyone for sympathy? When you live in the Big Crapple you spin the dice. There are days when I work in the dicier parts of town that I believe I might actually get caught in cross-fire - Springfield Gardens, East NY etc. What I am trying to convey is that early morning rides bring some interesting riding variables like driver complacency + the ever-existing low morals of the denizens who live around here. Full time. Not New Rochelle - BestChester.

Last edited by Essex; 08-02-15 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 08-02-15, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Essex View Post
Thank you.

I am now finding out my wrist doesn't work so well now. Adrenaline can mask injuries for a while I think?

To FBINY - who's asking anyone for sympathy? When you live in the Big Crapple you spin the dice. .... What I am trying to convey is that early morning rides bring some interesting riding variables like driver complacency .... Full time. Not New Rochelle - BestChester.
Don't let that I now live in NR fool you. I've had nearly 5 decades living and riding in the Bronx and Manhattan, and also riding the other 3 boroughs, including neighborhoods that make the worst of what's there now look like Sunnybrook farm.

My point is that what you experienced is normal and to be expected, and can be managed. I'm not saying the collision was avoidable, because I wasn't there, and some truly are even if one is super aware. But it's not like NYC is so full of perils either. Someplace in between.

Meanwhile, some swelling and pain is to be expected for your wrist, but if it didn't appear immediately, it's probably just an after reaction and will resolve if ignored. Use some ice on it now, if you haven't yet, and you can take some Ibuprofen or Tylenol, but hold off on aspirin for 24-48 hours, and take it easy until it feels better. If it continues to worsen after 24-36 hours, that's a bad sign and you might want to have a closer look (I hate doc's and wait at least 72 hours unless I have clear evidence of a problem).
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Old 08-02-15, 02:42 PM
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https://youtu.be/m2GqBeTFeLg
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Old 08-02-15, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
...If we could combine NYC's amenities with Phila's scale and livability we'd have something. But then again anything that good would attract too many and we'd be back where we started.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… Humbly, if Bike Forums ever had a Best Commute Award, I would be a frontrunner.
NYC’s amenities + Phila’ scale and livability ≤ Boston
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Old 08-02-15, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
NYC’s amenities + Phila’ scale and livability ≤ Boston
Whatever you say, I wouldn't want to be the one to sow seeds of dissatisfaction.
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Old 08-02-15, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I hate to be mean here, but I have little sympathy for the OP. Getting cut off by turning traffic is par for the course in NYC and always has been. It's just one of our daily challenges, and one reason I don't use avenue bike lanes in Manhattan. (I avoid tickets by not using avenues with bike lanes whenever I can).

OTOH - despite it's issues, NYC remains a great place to live, work and ride.

I agree that in many ways Phila is a more livable city, especially on a bike, but as much as anything else, it's a reflection of scale, with Phila being roughly 1/6th the size. If we could combine NYC's amenities with Phila's scale and livability we'd have something. But then again anything that good would attract too many and we'd be back where we started.

To the OP, left turning traffic is a serious, but manageable hazard of NYC bike lanes. Learn to watch over your shoulder and adjust to traffic turning into or across your path. This was equally true before the lanes were in place, except that sight lines and mutual expectations and awareness were better.
Excuse the ranting...I got offered a job in NYC last week...the money is right, the position is right...the only thing not right is NY. I'm still kicking it around...tough choices.

I think part of my problem might actually be the amenities. I'm a middle aged home body. The bars open to 4 is a negative to me...and it's so loud at night! I think I'm too boring for a city that truly does never sleep. The working vibe is different as well...people and clients expect to go out for dinner and drinks together. I'm not a big fan of socializing with work connections. The Philly MYOB attitude is somewhat appealing to me...NYC is a lot more friendly.

You know the deal...pluses and minuses. Pick your poison. Philly's balance works for me right now, and I'm used to it. NY scares me a bit. I could see myself in some areas of Queens. I'm sure there are better areas for cycling than what I've ridden...I'm usually in Manhattan and don't know the city well enough to pick better alternatives. Philly is a lot more bikeable IMO. We're also closer to rural and suburban areas (we're smaller, there's less city to get through!) for different riding experiences.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
NYC’s amenities + Phila’ scale and livability ≤ Boston
I will never understand the appeal of Boston. I understand the appeal of NYC, even if I don't care for it. Outside of producing great bands 20+ years ago, I can't think of anything I like about it. I guess on the plus side, it's not Chicago.

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Old 08-02-15, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by GovernorSilver View Post
1nterceptor's NYC commute vids scared the hell out of some people to whom I showed the vids, but I love the juxtaposition of relaxing music against the video footage. I suspect the musical choices reflect his emotional state during those rides:

Makes me really appreciate where I live and ride.
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Old 08-02-15, 05:09 PM
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Glad you were not badly hurt, OP. These things happen, unfortunately. Part of the problem is that traffic authorities like to go out of their way to design bike lanes/paths that create special rules, e.g. cycling on the left when it's normal to drive on the right, or cycling in the wrong direction of a one-way street, etc. Special rules can often lead to special conflicts that drivers aren't used to dealing with and therefore can be more dangerous. I'd use the road if that's possible, or be extra careful at each crossing if you're forced to use the bike lane.

Originally Posted by GovernorSilver View Post
1nterceptor's NYC commute vids scared the hell out of some people to whom I showed the vids, but I love the juxtaposition of relaxing music against the video footage. I suspect the musical choices reflect his emotional state during those rides
Interesting video, thanks. When I was actively commuting during the rush hour, I had to deal with almost the same thing every day where I live (maybe it's a little lighter here in terms of heavier trucks). I think a great video that can really inspire people to cycle (although it's a bit frightening) is this one:

.be
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Old 08-02-15, 05:22 PM
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Thank you Vatdim and FBINY - I think I will heal nicely. After 20 years of riding in NYC without an accident - the morning I felt it would be the safest was the most riskiest. These dedicated bike paths are an invitation to a disaster as no one really gives a toss about how they are used. Especially motorists.

About the video - I don't remember the traffic being so bad in Glasgow? But I will say the drivers in the video don't seem to be doing anything too crazy.

As per living in NYC (Kona) - Queens, Forest Hills is a nice area. Kew Gardens too. Park Slope in Brooklyn can be nice, but surrounded by some tougher neighborhoods. That said - you have the park near Park Slope. I've lived in the Village (noisy) Bleecker St. and now I live near Central Park (East Side) when I have to work on consulting jobs. If there is anything about NYC that will irritate the crap out of someone is that you would swear that the city is out to get you. This runs from people not giving a toss (like today), to multiple transit break downs and general crime. In my high rise I know only one neighbor and no one gives a hoot about anyone else. This includes me as I really just live here to work. That's it. However, if you are in your 20's, or early 30's it's a wonderful place to socialize and discover art, education, culture and grab a good meal from the multiple restaurants that abound. Other than that - I own property near Boston....and that experiment hasn't worked out too well either. Who would have THUNK?

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Old 08-02-15, 06:02 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
…I could see myself in some areas of Queens. I'm sure there are better areas for cycling than what I've ridden...I'm usually in Manhattan and don't know the city well enough to pick better alternatives. Philly is a lot more bikeable IMO. We're also closer to rural and suburban areas (we're smaller, there's less city to get through!) for different riding experiences….
Even more so to get out of Boston.

Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
…I will never understand the appeal of Boston. I understand the appeal of NYC, even if I don't care for it. Outside of producing great bands 20+ years ago, I can't think of anything I like about it....
...and comedians.

Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
…I guess on the plus side, it's not Chicago.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I once visited Chicago and rode a bike shop rental on the awesome Lakeshore Path. When I got back to Boston and rode one of our major paths, I thought to myself with pride, "How quaint...How Bostonian."
To the OP, @Essex, sorry to veer off topic, and sorry to hear about your encounter, and NYC rant. As @ FbinNY posted:

Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
To the OP, left turning traffic is a serious, but manageable hazard of NYC bike lanes. Learn to watch over your shoulder and adjust to traffic turning into or across your path. This was equally true before the lanes were in place, except that sight lines and mutual expectations and awareness were better.
In my limited experience of Manhattan cycling is that after 6AM (on weekdays), tremendous attention is required, maybe less so in Central Park. Even in more serene Boston urban riding I am a strong rear view mirror advocate, and I wear both left and right mirrors, in particular the latter to ride the left hand side of a one-way street, and keep my head looking forward for those quickly upcoming obstacles like potholes, debris, peds, etc.

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Old 08-02-15, 09:09 PM
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Cool vid, vatdim
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Old 08-03-15, 03:33 AM
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Originally Posted by GovernorSilver View Post
Cool vid, vatdim
RE the filtering videos: My rule about riding by stopped cars is, "Treated every stopped car like a gun; loaded with an occupant ready to exit." So when filering I always consider that an occupant might exit out of a car on either side, i.e. watch the driver's side too ("Well since we're stuck in traffic, I'll just get out here...").[Watch video...scary ]
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Old 08-03-15, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
RE the filtering videos: My rule about riding by stopped cars is, "Treated every stopped car like a gun; loaded with an occupant ready to exit." So when filering I always consider that an occupant might exit out of a car on either side, i.e. watch the driver's side too ("Well since we're stuck in traffic, I'll just get out here...").[Watch video...scary ]
I'm glad none of the street portions of my commute are as long as in vatdim's video.

For my first commute ride, I followed a coworker into the city. His style of riding is similar to what is shown in the videos. Yes, it was a scary experience when I was new to bike commuting a couple of months ago. My style is more conservative than his, to say the least.

Last edited by GovernorSilver; 08-03-15 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 08-03-15, 08:34 AM
  #24  
Earl Grey
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Re the cop saying no citation without damage / injury; surely that's BS? You can't get a 'failure to yield' type ticket in NYC if you don't actually cause an accident?
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Old 08-03-15, 08:44 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
RE the filtering videos: My rule about riding by stopped cars is, "Treated every stopped car like a gun; loaded with an occupant ready to exit." So when filering I always consider that an occupant might exit out of a car on either side, i.e. watch the driver's side too ("Well since we're stuck in traffic, I'll just get out here...").[Watch video...scary ]
I hear ya. No way would I fly between cars like that. I cringed by just watching that.

Of course, my commute looks like this, so I am probably coming from a different planet on this issue.
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