03/21/17 3:50pm

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While a wide variety of news and radio channels, social media platforms, apps and news sites compete to inform New York drivers and straphangers about the day’s traffic conditions, subway delays, and other relevant information, bikers are treated like second-class citizens when it comes to relevant commuting information. Bike Snob NYC wants to change that: the Transportation Alternatives blogger has launched a Daily Bike Forecast, a daily digest of relevant bike news, Citi Bike updates, bike lane statuses and more. (more…)

09/29/16 9:15am
Even the U-racks aren't thief-proof without the right locking technique. via Rawle C. Jackman / Flickr

Even the U-racks aren’t thief-proof without the right locking technique. via Rawle C. Jackman / Flickr

Thanks to 15 new miles of bike lanes this year and half a million New Yorkers getting on their bicycles each month, it is becoming somewhat safer to bike in the city. It is, however, substantially more dangerous to be a bicycle here. In three years, I have been the dysphoric victim of four bike thefts. The vast majority of big city cyclists can regale you with similar tales of woe. There’s even a Bike Batman in Seattle who makes it his mission to return over 20 stolen bicycles a year to their rightful owners.

Until Gotham gets the bicycle-saving hero that it needs, how can you keep your bike safe? The NYPD has taken a greater interest in bike theft recently, but unless your theft was on video or your ride was equipped with some nifty GPS tracker, there’s not a ton they can do. The good news is that if you take some minimum precautions you can almost always avoid getting your ride jacked in the first place. We spoke to a few bike shops around the city and provided our own Brokelyn Bikers’ local knowledge on how New Yorkers can best secure their wheels against a five-finger discount. (more…)

09/26/16 10:28am
Like the guy who's not even in the bike lane. via Adrian Cabrero on Flickr

Like the guy who’s not even in the bike lane. via Adrian Cabrero on Flickr

Summer is over, but there’s still time to hit the pavement before winter grounds all but the hardiest of bicyclists! You’ve replaced your stolen bike seat, picked up a helmet that doesn’t make you look like a total dork, and stocked up on those sexy autumn layers.

Once upon a time cycling was merely the stuff of Tour de France hopefuls and penny farthing hipsters, but thanks to new (and hopefully permanent) newfangled bike lanes the city now welcomes everyone from Lance Armstrong wannabes to 27-year-olds still learning to ride.

We’re no Amsterdam or Portland, but you’re still going to meet some pretty distinctive Brooklynites who prefer U-locks to metrocards. And we’ve listed the six types of cyclists you’re likely to meet in the bike lanes of NYC. Which category do you fall under? (more…)

09/23/16 4:28pm
Helping you know where not to die - via CarsInBikeLanes.NYC

Helping you know where not to die – via CarsInBikeLanes.NYC

Biking in New York isn’t all beach days, Prospect Park loops and Goonies screenings. It can also be incredibly frustrating, not to mention life threatening. Despite the city’s Vision Zero initiative and its promise of safer streets for everyone, drivers still seem to think it’s totally acceptable to double-park in bike lanes (even the DIY ones) and as a cyclist there’s little recourse besides swearing.

Well now, thanks to CarsInBikeLanes.NYC, bikers finally have an outlet to air their rage and, hopefully, eventually, enact change. As Gothamist reports, the interactive map allows cyclists to report cars in bike lanes, in an effort to alert other riders, collect information on violations and, maybe most importantly, to vent. (more…)

05/06/16 10:00am
5 reasons you're less likely to die biking in NYC than doing most anything else in New York

The science has ‘spoke’-n: bikes are safe! via BikeNYC

Nothing quite compares to the feeling of cresting the top of the Williamsburg Bridge bike lane, surveying our badass city before you shift into high gear (or not, you fixie kids) and coast the well-deserved downhill slope to the finish line on the other side. I doubt I’m the first to say it: New York is one of the world’s best cities for cycling — Bicycling Magazine named it as such in 2014— and this year we’re getting more than 15 miles of new lanes laid down.

But some of you, and you know who you are, remain terrified of riding a bike in the big city. You claim to “prefer the G.” You think that getting on a bicycle here is tantamount to joining the War Boys on their next raid for Immortan Joe.

The fact is, most of the people who worry it’s too dangerous to bike in NYC haven’t actually tried biking around the city. At least not recently. Compared to other transportation options here, biking is actually one of the safest (sorry, buses). Don’t believe it? Let us offer up a few stone cold facts about biking that might just get you two-wheeling, after all. (more…)

05/04/16 4:00pm
See, you can definitely still look cute with a helmet. via Flickr

See, you can definitely still look cute with a helmet. via Flickr

It’s finally bike month, and while riding on two wheels may be the best way to see the city, bicycle safety is no joke. If accidents do happen, they can be pretty bad unless you’re taking basic precautions, including wearing a helmet. Sure, maybe you don’t look as cool with that man bun all covered up. But even a slight docking of cool points is better than being memorialized with one of those ghostly white bikes on the Brooklyn streets.

In partnership with the DOT and in preparation for this weekend’s Bike the Branches tour — sure to be a helluva lot better than the Five Boro — the Brooklyn Public Library is hosting a free bike helmet fitting tomorrow (Thursday) at their Central Library in Prospect Heights. Free helmets will be available all day while supplies last. A good helmet will normally run you anywhere from $50-100, so this is a sweet deal.

If you ride regularly but haven’t been playing it safe, it’s never too early to start! And if you’ve never ridden a bike before, it’s never too late, either.
(more…)

04/26/16 10:00am
How I learned to ride a bike for the first time, at age 27

All photos by Scott Steinhardt

I never actually learned to ride a bike as a kid. I spent many hours on a tricycle when I was a toddler; the trike just became less appropriate when I physically outgrew it. My friends, on the other hand, all received sparkling new Schwinns. They’d spend their summers cruising around New York suburbs’ sidewalks, weaving in and out of traffic as I watched from afar.

Simply put, it sucked. Hard. I tried and failed numerous times to balance on a beat-up girl’s bike at my grandparent’s house, but I always fell. For two decades, I attempted to ride on friends’ and family members’ bikes, but only ever moved a couple of feet before I’d nervously tip over onto the sidewalk and panic. After attempting and failing to balance on a friend’s bike in Prospect Park in 2009, I all but gave up on biking for good.

The idea of getting back onto a bike came to me five years later, when I lost my editing job in the summer of 2014. All my newfound free time as an unemployed adult came with a new determination to check off some major to-do’s in my life: applying to grad school, finishing The Wire, and, of course, learning how to ride a bike. (more…)

04/20/16 8:00am
Here's the part where you have to walk instead of bike. Via Flickr user Marc van Woudenberg.

Here’s the part where you have to walk instead of bike. Via Flickr user Marc van Woudenberg.

May, the amuse-bouche of summer, is soon approaching and with it comes the annual TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour. For 39 years running, the 40-mile tour through all New York’s boroughs has billed itself as “the largest charitable bike ride in the U.S.” On May 1, a stampede of 37,000 riders will shut down the automobopolis (I’m trademarking this) that is our city for half the day as they ride freely in the middle of streets, across bridges, and even on some highways. I’ve done it five years consecutively, and this year, I cannot wait to skip it.

Sure, on the surface the Five Boro sounds great: you get to tour New York on a bicycle alongside thousands of other cyclists (evincing varying degrees of enthusiasm), and go where no bicycles ever get to venture on any other day: the FDR Drive and the BQE. You’re biking 40 miles, so it feels healthy and you get to have a sore ass at the end. There’s even a festival in Staten Island at the finish line, in Fort Wadsworth, just at the foot of the Verrazano Bridge. And all of that would be great! Except you’re actually walking a lot of the time, and you only really ride through three of the boroughs, and it will cost you $94.  (more…)

03/18/16 8:46am
bike tune up tips

Practice fixing a flat tire at home so you’re ready when the real thing comes along.

This post is brought to you by Sorta Outdoorsy, a weekly newsletter full of ideas for outdoor adventures around New York City. Like what you see? Subscribe to Sorta Outdoorsy.

The spring temperatures mean it’s time to tune up that bike you left chained to the light post all winter. We got a head start last night at a free bike maintenance class hosted by Gowanus bike shop 718 Cyclery. The class was only an hour but it was packed full of useful information and how-tos: you can sign up for the next free class on Wednesday (March 23). Here are our the three key tips we picked up to pull your bike out of hibernation and tune up for the season: (more…)

12/11/15 11:35am

Mountain Bike in New York

This post is brought to you by Sorta Outdoorsy, a weekly newsletter full of ideas for outdoor adventures around New York City. Like what you see? Subscribe to Sorta Outdoorsy.

Our interest in mountain biking was piqued at a wedding last fall when we overheard a bunch of dolled-up friends of the bride planning a mountain biking trip for the following day during the reception dinner. We couldn’t make that trip so when we saw that Brooklyn’s very own 718 Cyclery was hosting a ride at Allamuchy State Park (about an hour outside of NYC) and offering to haul a fleet of mountain bikes up and back for beginners to borrow, we couldn’t say no. We had never so much has touched a trail bike before that day but after our trip, we came back to the city and measured the remaining corner of space in our apartment to see if an MTB would fit there. (more…)