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Riding in NYC

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Riding in NYC

Old 06-01-10, 05:40 PM
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Riding in NYC

So I live about 50-60ish miles up from the city, and I want to spend a day riding to and through it...... and I'm scared.

I know bikes are on the roads as if they were another car, but I'm afraid a reckless driver will hit me or I will break some NYC-only rule I don't know about. Also, I would want to stick to bike paths where I can to avoid death, I am taking the north/south county trailway to get close since it's like a highway for bikes.

Can any new york city cyclists give any tips or advice I should know. I want to tour around the city and will just take the train back north on off-peak.

Any advice is appreciated
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Old 06-01-10, 05:49 PM
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Uh, stay alert.
When you're in the bike lanes, drivers still aren't looking for you when they turn.
Beware of drivers going suspiciously slow - they're usually looking for a turn or a parking space and will react as soon as they see what they're looking for, much to your peril.
Peds are worse than cars.
Yeah, stay alert.
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Old 06-01-10, 05:57 PM
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I'm from laid-back Los Angeles, and I've spent a few days with my bike cycling around the city. It's bike friendly, at least if not more friendly toward cyclists than L.A. is.

My advice: when riding between cars stuck in traffic, be prepared to dodge pedestrians who will choose that time to make their way across the street, popping out in front of a vehicle you are about to pass.

Also, don't bother stopping at red lights if it's safe to run them; no one, and I mean no one (other than me, on my first ride in the city) does this, anymore than do pedestrians wait for a red light to turn green.

Peruse the local NYC papers online for a few days, and I doubt you'll find many – if any – stories about people being killed while riding their bikes in the Big Apple.
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Old 06-01-10, 05:58 PM
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By the way, I hope you've posted your same concerns in the N.E. forum, I'm sure you'll get some good responses.
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Old 06-01-10, 07:23 PM
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Most cyclists from NYC want to get out of NYC

What do you mean by riding "through it"? The city is pretty friggin big. Are you talking about sightseeing in detail or just riding from uptown to downtown with as little traffic as possible while seeing the city skyline?

If you are talking about sightseeing in detail, have you done the TD Bank 5 Borough Bike Tour before? If all you do is want to see the city on a bike, it might be worth doing that. Or hop on the MS Ride.

On the other hand, if you just want to ride from uptown to downtown, you can ride from the GWB down Riverside Dr. to the bike path (You can enter many places like 96th, 72nd, etc.) and then all the way down town along the Hudson. Then you can ride across the Brooklyn Bridge if you want to enter the real NYC.

The best time in my opinion to simply go from north to south as efficiently as possible is in the dead of winter.

Last edited by kimconyc; 06-01-10 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 06-01-10, 07:29 PM
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Ride with traffic, never against.
Ride predictably, in straight lines.
Go to a bike store and get a free bike map, check out the greenwaysl.
Beware of pedestrians suddenly darting into traffic.
Don't run red lights unless you are SURE its safe. Cabs travel at amazing speeds, especially across town.
Use hand signals and make eye contact with cabbies.
If there is no bike lane, you can ride in the 3ft not taken up by cars in a parking lane....just beware of doors opening and cars turning in front of you.
Don't ride in bus lanes, or attempt to ride inbetween two large trucks.
Beware delivery guys. They don't obey any rules and often ride the wrong way.

The east side greenway is pretty whack.
The west side greenway is good, just know that in mid-day it's full of tourists.
Central park is always good, but it's best in the early AM - most people are able to ride decently.
5th ave and central park West are nice for north-south riding.
I Like Madison for going north.
Broadway is a nice ride too.

Everything slows down and gets more chill when you get downtown.

Overall: ride with traffic, be part of traffic, ride predictably, stay alert.
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Old 06-01-10, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Inertianinja View Post
Ride with traffic, never against.
Ride predictably, in straight lines.
Go to a bike store and get a free bike map, check out the greenwaysl.
Beware of pedestrians suddenly darting into traffic.
Don't run red lights unless you are SURE its safe. Cabs travel at amazing speeds, especially across town.
Use hand signals and make eye contact with cabbies.
If there is no bike lane, you can ride in the 3ft not taken up by cars in a parking lane....just beware of doors opening and cars turning in front of you.
Don't ride in bus lanes, or attempt to ride inbetween two large trucks.
Beware delivery guys. They don't obey any rules and often ride the wrong way.

The east side greenway is pretty whack.
The west side greenway is good, just know that in mid-day it's full of tourists.
Central park is always good, but it's best in the early AM - most people are able to ride decently.
5th ave and central park West are nice for north-south riding.
I Like Madison for going north.
Broadway is a nice ride too.

Everything slows down and gets more chill when you get downtown.

Overall: ride with traffic, be part of traffic, ride predictably, stay alert.
especially if they are salmoning (riding against traffic). in which case, force them into traffic while making sure you don't get to close to the parked cars to get doored (2ft from parked car should be good)
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Old 06-01-10, 07:59 PM
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This thread is relevant to my interests.

I'll be interning in NYC all summer and I'm going to bring my bike. I know the city pretty well but not on a bike. Obviously there is central park (the only place I've ridden in the city), and I'll check out the greenways. One question though...is it possible to ride Broadway all the way to the north/south country trailway without too much incident? I looked it up and it seems like a nice long ride.

Riding through traffic is always fun but I'm also looking for a good stretch of mindless riding when I need to chillax.
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Old 06-01-10, 08:15 PM
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I imagine it's a step or two up from DC, but here basically you just assume that no one driving has any damn clue that you are on the road, and act accordingly.
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Old 06-01-10, 08:20 PM
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There's nothing to be afraid of you just have to keep your wits about you and be very observant of your surroundings, even on the greenways if you plan on riding in the warmer weather. The 5 Borough Bike Tour is a great suggestion and is a nice way of seeing the city with loads of other cyclists at a nice easy pace.
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Old 06-01-10, 08:50 PM
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Great info here. I'll probably participate in the 5 borough tour, but I want to have ridden in the city at least once before hand.

I have the same question Mrvile has. I'll be taking the north/south country trailway down to Yonkers. can I just hop on broadway to central park? I just want to ride around Manhattan and I'll take the metro north back home as long as bikes are allowed in grand central off peak.
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Old 06-01-10, 09:23 PM
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You should be scared, riding a bike in NYC. NYC has had strict gun control since the 1930s. This means the thugs know you're unarmed prey.

Better to move to a Free state like Texas. The drivers are still madmen, but if a gang gives you trouble, you can deal in lead.
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Old 06-01-10, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Lamabb View Post
Great info here. I'll probably participate in the 5 borough tour, but I want to have ridden in the city at least once before hand.

I have the same question Mrvile has. I'll be taking the north/south country trailway down to Yonkers. can I just hop on broadway to central park? I just want to ride around Manhattan and I'll take the metro north back home as long as bikes are allowed in grand central off peak.
(former NY'er): B'way at the north end of Manhattan is not real nice- if I was coming from Yonkers I would work my way over to the path near Riverside at the GWBridge or come down through Riverdale and cut cross town into the park around 100th St. (but I haven't lived in the city for a long while, so others might have other ideas).
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Old 06-01-10, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by dmp View Post
(former NY'er): B'way at the north end of Manhattan is not real nice- if I was coming from Yonkers I would work my way over to the path near Riverside at the GWBridge or come down through Riverdale and cut cross town into the park around 100th St. (but I haven't lived in the city for a long while, so others might have other ideas).
Yeah that's what I kind of figured. I'm not so familiar with way uptown NYC, I just understand that a lot of it isn't so great and I'm a nancy boy in my lycra so I'm going to have to figure something out.
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Old 06-01-10, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by mrvile View Post
Yeah that's what I kind of figured. I'm not so familiar with way uptown NYC, I just understand that a lot of it isn't so great and I'm a nancy boy in my lycra so I'm going to have to figure something out.
Broadway is fine going to take from Yonkers into the Bronx, it's not like the old days and I used to ride in then too and never had any problems in rough neighborhoods. You can take Broadway into Inwood (first neighborhood in northern Manhattan) up to Dyckman Street then make a right on Riverside Drive which will lead you right to the entrance of the Greenway. If you want a nice little hill take Broadway through Washington Heights as there's an ok 1/2 mile climb then you can take the Greenway at 181st and Riverside Drive. I beg to differ with mrvile because if you want to see NYC then going through the northern section of Manhattan gives you a taste of the neighborhoods, and all of them are quite safe. As I mentioned earlier, I've ridden through just about every neighborhood in the city by bike at all hours of the day and night and never had a problem except the one time some kids on BMX bikes tried to chase me down which happened in Midtown not Uptown.

Originally Posted by Uni-Vibe View Post
You should be scared, riding a bike in NYC. NYC has had strict gun control since the 1930s. This means the thugs know you're unarmed prey.

Better to move to a Free state like Texas. The drivers are still madmen, but if a gang gives you trouble, you can deal in lead.
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Old 06-01-10, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Uni-Vibe View Post
You should be scared, riding a bike in NYC. NYC has had strict gun control since the 1930s. This means the thugs know you're unarmed prey.

Better to move to a Free state like Texas. The drivers are still madmen, but if a gang gives you trouble, you can deal in lead.
you better be joking. in which case, i apologize for having a bad sarcasm meter

other wise, take it to P & effing R; in case you haven't heard, Giulianni cracked down on crime & you can walk in Harlem at night these days (well, except for morningside park)...

one thing about going up to the Bronx on broadway, that bridge is bad news for bike tires, be careful or you might just pop a tube
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Old 06-02-10, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by roadiejorge View Post
Broadway is fine going to take from Yonkers into the Bronx, it's not like the old days and I used to ride in then too and never had any problems in rough neighborhoods. You can take Broadway into Inwood (first neighborhood in northern Manhattan) up to Dyckman Street then make a right on Riverside Drive which will lead you right to the entrance of the Greenway. If you want a nice little hill take Broadway through Washington Heights as there's an ok 1/2 mile climb then you can take the Greenway at 181st and Riverside Drive. I beg to differ with mrvile because if you want to see NYC then going through the northern section of Manhattan gives you a taste of the neighborhoods, and all of them are quite safe. As I mentioned earlier, I've ridden through just about every neighborhood in the city by bike at all hours of the day and night and never had a problem except the one time some kids on BMX bikes tried to chase me down which happened in Midtown not Uptown.
Originally Posted by mcjimbosandwich View Post
other wise, take it to P & effing R; in case you haven't heard, Giulianni cracked down on crime & you can walk in Harlem at night these days (well, except for morningside park)...

one thing about going up to the Bronx on broadway, that bridge is bad news for bike tires, be careful or you might just pop a tube
Good to know. I'm pretty excited to be in the city with a bike this summer, seems like NY is a fun place to ride.
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Old 06-02-10, 01:34 AM
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Make sure your bike is carbon fiber with 105 or better components. Warmup 15 minutes and then ride. Try not to get DEFEATED.
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Old 06-02-10, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by mcjimbosandwich View Post
you better be joking. in which case, i apologize for having a bad sarcasm meter

other wise, take it to P & effing R; in case you haven't heard, Giulianni cracked down on crime & you can walk in Harlem at night these days (well, except for morningside park)...

one thing about going up to the Bronx on broadway, that bridge is bad news for bike tires, be careful or you might just pop a tube
my friend got mugged in riverside at 2 pm when she was jogging. so there jim. you're wrong. anecdotal evidence FTW.
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Old 06-02-10, 05:03 AM
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selective attention

perfectionist fallacy

scope

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Old 06-02-10, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Uni-Vibe View Post
You should be scared, riding a bike in NYC. NYC has had strict gun control since the 1930s. This means the thugs know you're unarmed prey.

Better to move to a Free state like Texas. The drivers are still madmen, but if a gang gives you trouble, you can deal in lead.
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Old 06-09-10, 12:46 AM
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If you ever decide to go into Brooklyn, avoid the Brooklyn bridge because its always full of tourists except early in the mornings. They ignore the bike path on the bridge or walk right in front of you, or think the space between two of them is enough space for you to squeeze through. Williamsburg bridge is alright except the Brooklyn side, bumpy slope. Manhattan bridge is my favorite because they have a bike only side, void of any pedestrians, but the view isn't great.
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Old 06-09-10, 08:51 AM
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OP,

Use the Greenway to get around the city and follow bike paths through the city. Just make sure you ride with traffic and be careful when zipping through intersections. I would say that you should be more concerned with pedestrians walking out in front of you, than taxis running you over.

Riding in NYC is awesome. Take Broadway the entire way and it feels like you're in a race.

Just to make things safer, toss a blinking LED on the seat post and try a headlight. Also, the earlier you ride through or around NYC, the better. Once you start getting closer to lunchtime, NYC is a madhouse.
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Old 06-09-10, 09:04 AM
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Don't worry about bike finding bike lanes. Cars are used to cyclists being everywhere in Manhattan except the highways on the edges. You can really just chill out and bike around. Take a side lane on the avenues--people are double parked in them every block anyway so cars don't drive in them unless the driver is an idiot. In that case, enjoy the frantic honking and go even slower. I actually pity drivers that honk at me because they don't realize that I'm going to be passing them at the next red light.
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Old 06-09-10, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by dmp View Post
(former NY'er): B'way at the north end of Manhattan is not real nice- if I was coming from Yonkers I would work my way over to the path near Riverside at the GWBridge or come down through Riverdale and cut cross town into the park around 100th St. (but I haven't lived in the city for a long while, so others might have other ideas).
Hmm. Define "not real nice"...in terms of people or the roads?
In between living in the Upper West side and the Upper East side, I lived up in Washington Heights for a Summer (2009)...I noticed more friendly and outgoing people up around 172nd St than I have in the 80's of West Side or the 70's of the East Side.


OP: here's a good (and funny) read on what to watch out for when riding through NYC.
https://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2007...our-enemy.html
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