New York City is a world-class city for those who love to explore the great outdoors. There are plenty of parks and hiking trails to enjoy, as well as popular rides along the Hudson River and other major rivers in the area. No matter where you live or what kind of bike you have, there are perfect ways to take advantage of all these natural attractions. Even if you don’t own a bike, there are ride-share apps that can help make getting out on two wheels as easy as possible. In this article, we'll show you everything you need to know about riding your bike in New York City.
What is the best type of bike for riding in New York City?
Bikes are so popular in New York City that it’s pretty much expected of everyone there to own one. Even if you’re just visiting for a weekend, you want to be able to get around easily. The best type of bike for riding in New York City depends on your needs as an individual. You might want a road bike that’s fast enough to quickly get you to your destination, but also comfortable enough to ride for hours. If you have a more specific set of requirements, you can always find people willing to trade bikes or rent out a bike on a short-term basis.
How to Ride a Bike in New York City
No matter which bike you choose to ride in New York City, you should never forget to practice basic safety. This includes wearing a helmet, watching where you’re going, and making sure your bike is in good working order. Your best path to riding more safely in New York City is by practicing these steps every time you get on a bike. Use your bike for short trips around the neighborhood, and then park it in a secure place. The best way to avoid having your bike stolen is to make it as difficult as possible. Never leave it outside in the open, and try to park it in a less accessible area if you have the option. Keep it locked with a good quality lock. If you don’t have a lock, try to park your bike in a big, visible place. If you absolutely must leave your bike outside, choose an out-of-the-way area and try to be present while it’s there. Use the buddy system whenever possible.
Never ride a bike without a helmet. Even the smallest head hit can cause serious injury, and spending time in the emergency room can easily have a negative financial impact on your credit score. If you have to ride with only certain parts of your body, make sure they’re protected as well. Never ride a bike while holding anything, especially a cup of coffee. Even if your hands are holding a handlebar, you could drop a drink and cause an accident. Make it your goal to always ride in a way that causes the least amount of danger to you and others.
The Laws of the Road
New York City traffic laws are a bit different from the rest of the country, so it’s important that you know the rules before you head out. - All vehicles must yield to pedestrians in both the crosswalk and the adjacent sidewalk. If a bike is blocking the sidewalk, New York City law requires that you give pedestrians on the sidewalk priority when entering the crosswalk. - Bikes must follow the same rules that apply to cars: No texting and driving, making sure that riders and pedestrians are given right of way at all times, and not wearing headphones while driving. If a bike rider is caught texting, they could face a fine of up to $500 and a license suspension. - At most intersections, bikes and cars are given the right-of-way. However, if any vehicle is signalling its intent to turn right, no other vehicles can enter the intersection until the turn is complete. - Bicyclists are allowed to ride on any sidewalk as long as it’s not in an impractical way. - When riding on the sidewalk, riders are required to stay out of the crosswalk, and they must keep both hands on the handlebars at all times. - It’s illegal to ride a bike while under the influence of any substance, including alcohol.
Where to ride your bike in NYC
New York City has so many great places to ride your bike that it can be difficult to decide which one to try first. One route that’s always appealing is the Brooklyn Rollers, an event that takes place once a month and features an obstacle course and a series of jumps. New York’s waterfront is another obvious choice, and the Manhattan waterfront, Staten Island, and the Hamptons are also popular locations. If you happen to live near a major park, you can also explore nearby areas by bike.
Keep Going: Biking Routes in New York City
New York City is packed with fun, scenic routes for riders of all skill levels. There’s the Brooklyn Promenade, the Battery Park Path, the George Washington Bridge Bike Path, the West Side Greenway, the Staten Island Greenbelt, the Palisades Interstate Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and so many more. With so many options, you can find a route that appeals to you.
Don’t forget the fitness aspect!
While biking around New York City is a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors, it’s also an excellent way to stay fit and healthy. Many riders find that biking is an excellent way to lose weight, get fit, and boost their health. While you can always choose a route that takes you through a park, there are many more ways to incorporate biking into your fitness routine. You can ride to the gym, go on a spin class, or try your hand at bike racing.
After you ride: Wrap up
Biking in New York City is a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors, expand your social circles, and see some of the best parts of the city. The only downside is that it can be dangerous, especially if you’re not adequately prepared for it. Be aware of the law, wear a helmet, and keep an eye out for other riders, and you can enjoy the activity safely.