Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Frontier Cyclist, vol. 2

(Beginning with today's post, Frontier Cyclist will appear on Tuesdays. -FP)

So you acquired a bike and are now pedaling around the city. Sweet. What else do you need? Below, Ten Tips for the New Urban Rider.

1. Love Your Bridges

For travel between Manhattan and South Brooklyn, the Manhattan Bridge is preferable to the Brooklyn Bridge, which is clogged with tourists and gawkers. The Williamsburg Bridge is the best between Manhattan and North Brooklyn (The hipster highway is also a fashion show, so be sure to dress for the occasion). For Queens-North Brooklyn travel use the Pulaski Bridge between Greepoint and Long Island City.

2. Love Your Ferries

Bikes are allowed on the Staten Island Ferry, though you have to wait beforehand in a holding pen below the terminal. You can also take a bike on ferries to New Jersey (FP ♥s NJ, it's in our DNA), but there’s a $1 surcharge. And when Governor’s Island opens for the summer, bikes are welcome on the ferry.

3. Cuff Your Jeans

Unless you want them to get stuck in the chain.

4. Avoid Traffic Hot Spots

Times Square, Columbus Circle, Grand Army Plaza (both of them), Fulton Mall, Flatbush Ave., Atlantic Ave., Queens Boulevard, etc.

5. Respect the Competition

Buses, taxis, and Access-A-Rides all drive like madmen. Also they are larger than you.

6. Stand Clear of the Opening Doors

When you ride on the right side of the road, watch out for drivers opening their car doors.

7. Pedestrians are People, Too

But they can be oblivious when listening to music, chatting on the phone, or sending texts.

8. Crossing Delancey

Delancey Street is the shortest traffic light in the city, according to FC’s unofficial survey. When the light turns green, hurry.

9. Request a Rack

No bike rack near your home, office or watering hole? Ask the DOT.

10. Ask Sheldon Brown

He knows everything about bike maintenance and repair.

-Keith Meatto

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