5 Tips for Biking to Work in NYC
Transportation is one of the leading causes of global warming, which is why we love the month of May in NYC: Bike Month. This year, in honor of Bike Month, Transportation Alternatives has launched a Bike to Work Challenge for NYC workplaces from May 1-22. Is your company participating? According to the Bike to Work Challenge website, more than 550 NYC workplaces are currently logging their bike trips with over 72,000 miles logged in just the past 11 days. Before you embark on your own bike to work adventure, here are some tips for biking to work in NYC:
Plan Your Route
Do not assume the same home-to-work route you take by car or public transportation will be the same one you should take when riding a bike. There are a wide variety of bicycle lanes and paths throughout the city, so choose a route that suits your skill and comfort level as well as gets you to your destination. You can find a detailed map of bike lanes throughout the five boroughs by downloading the NYC Cycling Map or visit the site Ride the City which gives you an interactive route planning platform where you can save routes to your profile. Do a dry run on the weekend to get a good idea on how much time it will actually take you to get to the office.
Wear the Right Clothing
Don’t bike in a suit. Pack your work clothes in a waterproof backpack (or bring them to the office the day before) and put on biking shorts/tights and a moisture wicking t-shirt like these from Hanes. If you are not comfortable walking into the office with bike shorts, look for commuter-inspired clothing lines from brands such as Levi’s. Keep a bottle of eco-friendly wrinkle-release spray (great DIY recipe here) and extra deodorant at the office. Also, although not an NYC law for those over the age of 13, you should always wear a helmet.
While it is common to see cyclists in our great city, drivers and pedestrians are not always looking out for you. Always wear bright clothing and if you will be commuting during the early morning or evening hours, add reflective gear to yourself and your bike. Don’t weave in and out of traffic and ride about four feet from parked cars to avoid the “door zone.” Should you get “doored”, be sure to file a police report.
Follow the Rules of the Road
In NYC, bicyclists have the same traffic rules as motorists and are also subject to the same penalties and fines. Bicyclists must yield to pedestrians, stay off the sidewalk, obey traffic lights, ride with traffic and use marked bike lanes or paths when available. Click here to download a complete list of bicycle laws, rules and regulations.
Lock Up Your Bike
New York City has numerous bike racks and shelters for you to park your bike throughout the city. Click here for a map of rack locations or use the Citi Bike app for Citi Bike stations. You should use a U-lock or heavy chain to not only lock your bike to a designated rack, but to lock your wheels to your frame and all “quick release” parts.
Whether or not you participate in the Bike to Work Challenge, be sure to celebrate your month of biking to work at the 3rd annual Bike Home from Work Party on Friday, May 29th at the Pearl Street Archway in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Nearly 30 vendors will be offering food and drink as well as numerous cycling fashion items and accessories. Click here for more information.
Talk to us: How many biking miles do you log to work each week?
image courtesy of flickr CC/Alex