Location: Places >> North America >> United States >> New York State >> New York City >> Biking in New York
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is biking around NYC safe?
Posted May 2nd, 2010 - 12:21 pm by from London, England (Permalink)
Hi Guys,

I'm a cyclist in London and am coming out to New York for 3 months in May. I would love to carry on keeping fit and taking in the sights so want to buy a bike whilst I'm out there. Is it possible to ride around Manhattan Island? And where could I buy a cheap folding bike that can be carried on the subway???

Thanks :)

Pete

Posted May 2nd, 2010 - 2:58 pm by from New York, United States (Permalink)
What up, Pete. I actually ride around the perimeter of Manhattan island once a week. It's about 23 miles and takes me 3 hours to complete. There are a series of semi-connected bike paths that you can follow. I'll be here through May 25th. If you want, you can message me when you get to NYC and we can ride together so you'll get to know it. I usually go in the late morning-early afternoon.

Peace,
Rico

Posted May 3rd, 2010 - 9:49 am by from London, England (Permalink)
Thanks for the reply Rico!

I'll be out there on the 17th of May so would be great to go for a ride before you leave.

Know of anywhere to get cheap folding bikes?

Cheers,

Pete

Posted May 3rd, 2010 - 4:05 pm by from New York, United States (Permalink)
Sounds good. Just hit me up when you get here. Not sure of any cheap folding bikes. I know that Puma makes one called the Biomega, but I've also heard that these things are heavy. They also go for $750 and up depending on the year it was made. I would shop around. If I hear of anything, I'll let you know.

Posted May 3rd, 2010 - 11:21 pm by from New York, United States (Permalink)
There are lots of used bike shops in Manhattan and Brooklyn -- I suggest just visiting them when you get here. You can get a decent used road bike for under $300, and something rideable for under $100.

And as for it being safe, it depends on where and what time you ride. Sticking to the bike lanes is generally very safe, but the more experienced bikers don't really care about the lanes so much (or traffic rules, for that matter--an increasingly loud debate/complaint in the NYC biking blog-o-sphere). If you're experienced on a bike, then certainly you should be fine. You'll find that after riding in rush hour traffic a few times your comfort level will increase to the point where it's actually fun dodging cars and buses, hopping curbs, etc. :-)

As a fun way to anticipate riding in the city, you should read Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame). He's a big biking advocate in the city and has helped to get more bike racks and lanes installed. There are some bike racks around the city that he designed, too.
http://www.amazon.com/Bicycle-Diaries-David-Byrne/dp/0670021148

Also check out the Bike Snob NYC, which who is a really brilliant comedic writer. He rips into the people who ride fixed gear bikes all the time, which I find hilarious.
http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com

Ok - enough bike geeking.

Posted May 5th, 2010 - 4:44 pm by from Chicago, United States (Permalink)
Rico,

Are you planning to do that ride this Friday or Saturday? I'm coming to NY for the weekend and I'm looking for a bike to borrow/rent. If I can find one, it'd be great to ride with locals.

Posted May 18th, 2010 - 3:23 pm by from London, England (Permalink)
thanks a lot.

i'm in the city now and looking for a bike plus a place to kip. somehow i've managed to bring the gray and wet weather with me from london!

thanks again,

pete

Posted May 24th, 2010 - 6:06 am by from Brooklyn, United States (Permalink)
folding bikes are expensive and pretty hard to find discounted or used. if you're going to be here three months, why not try for a regular used or discounted bike? you can still take it on the subway.

Posted May 24th, 2010 - 6:06 am by from Brooklyn, United States (Permalink)
folding bikes are expensive and pretty hard to find discounted or used. if you're going to be here three months, why not try for a regular used or discounted bike? you can still take it on the subway.