New York is probably one of the best cities in the United States to ride a bicycle, especially because Manhattan and surroundings are very flat and full of bicycle lines. In this article, I will tell you all you need to know to ride a bike safely in this wonderful city.
Advantages of riding a bike
Why should you ride a bicycle in New York City? In general, the traffic jam doesn’t affect you much and you can cover plenty more turf rather than walking. Also, as is a considerable flat city, it shouldn’t imply a big physical effort. In New York, the bicycles are well respected, so if you’ve never done it before, this is a wonderful opportunity to start.
Avoid traffic in Manhattan by riding a bicycle
Make brief online research before going to a rental agency as there are hundreds of them and the prices vary dramatically. But definitely, the worst option is to rent it at Central Park. As is full of tourists going for a ride, the prices are ridiculous: one hour can be charge USD 15, whereas you can easily get the same for USD 5. If you’re planning to use it all day, ask for a deal. I rented at Liberty cycles and it cost me UDS 30 the whole day, helmet and lock included.
Choose the bike that better adapts to you
The other option is to use CityBikes, the daily pass costs USD 12 but you have to park it every half an hour. Personally, I didn’t use this option for two basic reasons: the bikes are quite heavy and not very comfortable, and I don’t like the stress of having to find a parking spot all the time. But is the cheapest option and if you want to do short distances is probably perfect for you.
Central Park and Brooklyn bridge
I bet that the first image the title of this article popped up in your mind was riding a bike in Central Park or the Brooklyn Bridge. I’m not here to judge, those are the most typical rides of NYC. Central Park is a must in Manhattan and the bicycle will allow you to cover it all. Just keep in mind that you are not allowed to cycle in the walking paths. Early in the morning can be a wonderful time to do it as is not very full of people, especially in the weekdays.
Always lock the bike when you leave it unattended.
Brooklyn Bridge is another story as is always full of people in a very narrow space. You will have to use the bell of the bike many times, as tourists seem to be more concentrated in taking the perfect photo rather than protecting themselves. Feel free to stop at any time to take those wonderful shots of NYC skyline, but always making a signal to those coming behind. Accidents in the bridge between cyclists and pedestrian are quite usual.
Be careful of pedestrians in the Brooklyn Bridge
Not only Manhattan
The city center can be a bit overwhelming when it comes to traffic: pedestrians never respect a red light and cars love to honk the horn with enthusiasm. If you want to avoid all that mess, a great idea is to head Brooklyn. There are beautiful parks, cafes and tons of street art. The Bushwick Collective is a must for those art lovers!
Have fun, take care and wear a helmet!