It’s Bike to Work Week, National Bike Month and with the arrival of warm weather and bike share right around the corner, New Yorkers in every borough are either dusting off their bikes and putting air in their tires or considering jumping onto a Citi bike.
Many New Yorkers are die-hard cyclists and a few if them shared some of their safety tips with amNewYork.
Manager,Siggy’s Good Food
Where do you bike? Between Red Hook and Manhattan. In the summer, I ride over the George Washington Bridge to the Palisades Park.
How do you stay safe? I try to notice who’s not noticing me, whether it’s people exiting parked cars, pedestrians on cell phones crossing blindly or people standing directly in bike lanes. I don’t wear headphones and it really helps to hear things like cars accelerating.
Are you afraid of getting hit? I’m not. Maybe by opening doors. I follow road signs and traffic laws.
What’s your advice to someone riding in NYC for the first time? It usually boils down to riding confidently. When I see hesitant or nervous bikers it makes everyone uneasy. Work your legs and ride hard, and wear a helmet.
Senior Operations Manager, Juice Press
Where do you bike? Downtown Manhattan
How do you stay safe? I don’t wear a helmet but I always pay attention to all pedestrians and cars especially yellow cabs around me. Stay aware at all times.
Are you afraid of getting hit? I’m afraid of getting hit because people in NYC are crazy and you never know what they’re gonna do. You have to take that risk.
What’s your advice to someone riding in NYC for the first time? Be confident and watch out for potholes and curbs.
Phil Del Costello
Manager, UCB East Theatre
Where do you bike? To the East Village from Park Slope every day.
How do you stay safe? First, I wear a helmet. Whenever I see someone not wearing one, it's hard for me not to cringe. I also have lights for nighttime riding. I ride very cautiously. I definitely don't ride as fast as I possibly could and I always am looking over my shoulder.
Are you afraid of getting hit? I actually am. I’ve been hit twice in the city. All it takes is once and you realize how it feels and really how not in charge of the whole situation you are. After I’ve been hit I don’t ride for a month or so. It sounds silly now that I’m saying it. You’d think that after once you wouldn’t ride again, but I’m still out there. That’s probably going to be quoted when I finally get killed, isn’t it?
What’s your advice to someone riding in NYC for the first time? Wear a helmet. Second, just take it a bit slow and get a feeling for the pace of everything that goes on around you on the road for your first few weeks. You can condition yourself to be aware.
First time cycling in NYC? It’s just like riding a bike!
Here’s some advice to keep you safe on the city streets.
1. Don’t ride on the sidewalk. There are so many pedestrians in this town that you'll probably hurt someone.
2. Ride with the flow of traffic, not against it.
3. Follow traffic laws. Make sure to obey stop signs and red lights.
4. Use bike lanes — they were built for this reason!
5. Make yourself visible and audible. Equip your bike with a bell and lights (white headlight, red taillight) and wear bright colors.
6. Wear a helmet. It can greatly reduce injuries if, heaven forbid, you do get in an accident. Plus, the DOT gives them away for free. Just call 311.
7. Be alert and don’t wear headphones. Podcasts are cool and music is fun, but it’ll take your attention away from the road.