Bicycles are becoming a new trendy means of transportation around the USA. This is driven mainly by health safety precautions due to the pandemic. However, the evolution of the cycling industry also plays a role. In fact, e-bikes are rapidly gaining popularity: bike rental vendors like offer cyclists to try electric bicycles. 

All these drives unbelievable sales rates, and New York is no exception: only a small manufacturer Brooklyn Bicycle Co. experienced a 600 percent increase in 2020. With the rising number of cyclists in New York streets, it’s vital to know how to ride a bike safely.

About Biking in NYC

Biking in NYC isn’t new. Cyclists living in the Big Apple have long been enjoying this type of transportation. Therefore, if you are a new-born, you should follow the set rules and practice safe cycling. 

New Yorkers like bikes because they are very convenient: you can easily move from neighborhood to neighborhood. People commute to go to work by bike, choose the activity to spend a family vacation, or merely do sightseeing. 

You probably wonder why cycling is so convenient in the city, where streets are flooded by hundreds of thousands daily? We have just two words to answer this: bike lanes. There are more than 1,200 organized bike paths in New York City that allows citizens to move around different parts of the Big Apple.

Here are some basics you need to know about biking in NYC:

  • Helmets are not compulsory. Nonetheless, they are strongly encouraged for all riders – big and small. 
  • Both earbuds are illegal – in fact, having even one is rather dangerous. New York is a big city, and you need to be always alert, even if you are moving along protected bike lanes NYC. 
  • No smartphones – you, sure, can have one in your pocket, but you can’t use it. It’s not safe in general, let alone in busy NYC streets.
  • The rules of the road are compulsory to follow – cyclists, the same as drivers, must adhere to the rules. Otherwise, they can get a ticket. It means that you should ride with the flow of traffic, hand-signal before making turns, yield to pedestrians, stay off sidewalks. 

Useful Tips for Biking in NYC

Besides common cycling rules, one should consider NYC peculiarities in order to truly enjoy the cycling session. Here are some useful hacks that will help you a lot:

  1. Choose lightweight bikes. You are likely to need to carry your bike a lot because of the numerous stairs; therefore, the lighter the bike is, the less burden your muscles will experience.
  2. Choose bicycles with “upright” handlebars. They are a better option for cities because of relatively easy navigation. 
  3. If you are an amateur cyclist, go for a road bike with drop handlebars. It allows you to be speedier.
  4. Don’t start from busy streets. They are hard to navigate around. If you are new to cycling, start from quiet areas and avoid rush times. The best option is parks with protected lines.
  5. Practice cycling with one hand. You will need the skill as you are supposed to hand-signal before making a turn.
  6. Avoid a door zone. Otherwise, you are going to be hit by one. 
  7. Claim your place on the road. You are a member of the traffic; therefore, take your lane and adhere to it. 
  8. Join biking communities to learn more. For example, you can find many common-minded people by hashtag #BikeNYC.

COVID-19 Precautions

Since COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere, it’s vital to keep practicing social distancing and other precautions. Here are the safety rules for cyclists:

  • Maintain a minimum of one bicycle length between you and other cyclists.
  • Don’t ignore protective wear as you won’t always be able to maintain a safe distance.
  • Hand hygiene is still important. You should always regularly wash your hands with soap and use sanitizer. This is especially relevant for rented bikes.
  • Avoid group rides. The only exception is partnering with people you live with. Otherwise, you risk getting infected or spread the virus if you are sick.

In your opinion, are you professional enough to ride around NYC, or you need to improve your cycling skills?