I’ve visited New York City enough to know that you have to make use of every available means of travel to get around, especially feet. I’ve driven cars, taken taxis, subways, and the occasional bus across town, and of course have walked for miles and miles. Now, I can also say I’ve ridden a bike in New York. Sounds like lunacy: New York traffic is frightening enough when you’re encased in a womb of metal and glass, let alone exposed and vulnerable. But I’m a guy who’s not afraid to show his vulnerable (or lunatic) side. Turns out fretting over whether or not to bring a two-wheeler into the city is wasted energy. Biking in New York felt entirely safe to me, not to mention pleasant and extremely convenient. I was able to drop off my friend and our gear at a hotel in Times Square, then head to a garage in a quieter neighborhood, where I had a coupon.
Now free of the car, I pedaled 10 blocks back to the hotel (nervously, with sweaty palms and all that). No big deal! The avenues are wide and have dedicated bike lanes, many with designated “door zones” so you don’t get killed when drunk taxi fares come stumbling out of cabs in the middle of the afternoon. Sundays are especially good for cycling through town: a ride from Times Square to Chinatown for dim sum is a leisurely 20 minutes; from there, the Williamsburg Bridge beckons you across the East River and into Brooklyn’s unique watering holes (try Lucky Dog or Spuytin Duyvil – awesome places for refreshments). Just going north and south is a breeze on the Hudson River Greenway, which is entirely separated from motorized traffic. No doubt, my advice to pedal around New York will be heeded by almost none of the millions upon millions of people who read this blog, but that’s not my problem. From now on, whenever I go to New York, I’m bringing along a bike (unless I choose instead to make use of New York's “bike share” program).