Urban Granny

A Seasoned View of Urban Life

Apr-30-2009

May Is New York City’s Bicycle Month

 

May is NYC Bike Month

May is NYC Bike Month

The month of May not only brings out the flowers but also all those marvelous recreational bicyclists.

 

Luckily, a top priority of Mayor Bloomberg has been to increase the use and ease of bicycling for city residents and visitors.

New Yorkers can’t help but notice all the great changes that have been made. We have miles of designated bike lanes, beautiful new bicycle shelters and new subway gratings that double as bike racks and benches. BRAVO!

Love these new bike racks

Love these new bike racks

 

In addition there are more city sponsored bicycling safety programs, more street closings, better signage and a continued dedication to opening more and more miles of bike lanes throughout the boroughs.

I am an avid recreational biker and live in lower Manhattan.  On weekends, traffic is considerably thinned and I feel much more comfortable navigating the quieter downtown streets. I make tremendous use of the wonderful bike lanes along the Hudson River from Battery Park to Riverside Park and often follow the wonderful bike routes printed in Timeout and New York Magazine each spring. And yes it is marvelous to do errands on the weekend using your bike.

Contact 311 and ask them to send the FREE NYC Cycling map. It contains all the city’s bicycle routes, bike rental and safety information. You can download the map from the 311 site . Remember to take it with you when you ride.

Sign up for the NYC Government Bicycling newsletter, which gives you constant updates of new lanes and information.

Go to the New York Bike Month for essential information and special event sign up.

Take the New York Water Taxi to Brooklyn, Bikes ride for free, and avoid the treacherous Brooklyn Bridge, too many pedestrians and nonspeaking English visitors. They DO NOT get out of your way, even in the bike lanes.

DO take your bike to Governors Island by ferry and bring the kids. There is Free Bike Fridays throughout the season if you need to borrow.

Do know the most trusted bike shops in your area. Their professionals will help you pick the right bike and help maintain your bicycle with regular tune-ups.  Rent before you buy to see if you like the sport.  Most bike shops rent good reliable bikes and there are numerous bike rental shops scattered throughout the city.

Do know where to get your bike repaired on Sundays and holidays. Not fun to lug a broken bike on the train home. Tip: By the South Street Seaport the rental guys are nice enough to help if you need an emergency repair.

Do buy the best lock possible, a hardened chain and padlock is probably the best. A good bicycle will get stolen.

Chain lock

Chain lock

 

Do carry only essentials and make sure you have ID and emergency numbers with you,

Some helpful things I have picked up over the years besides the very obvious WEAR A HELMET at all times:

  • Learn the rules of the road and follow them.
  • Going against traffic is dangerous. 
  • Beware of opening car doors.  They will cause a serious accident.
  • Beware of Lance Armstrong WANT TO BEs
  •  Never trust a moving vehicle.
  •  And finally never trust a fellow cyclist. 

Do pack a lunch and have a safe and fun Bicycle Season!

http://togabikes.com/index.cfm

http://bicyclehabitat.com/

http://www.metrobicycles.com/

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