Riding a bike is fast becoming a very popular method of getting around a large city. I started biking about three years ago and it has been one of the best things that I could had done for myself. Biking is a great way to keep healthy, get exercise, commute, be Eco friendly and save money. With all of this in mind, there are a few things to consider when biking around a city so I decided to compile a list of the 5 things to consider when biking in the city.
1. Awareness. People always tell me that I’m crazy to ride a bike all over NYC and I sometimes agree with them. The combination of crazy cab drivers, people swinging their doors open, pedestrians who don’t seem to care if you run them over and busses coming at you full speed would be enough to make any person swear off ever riding a bike. It really isn’t as bad as it sounds. The biggest key is to be aware of your surroundings at all times. It takes 100% concentration. Use your peripheral vision and hearing to know if there is an approaching vehicle. Look into the mirrors of parked cars in case someone is getting out. Always try to anticipate other peoples moves to stay a
2. Type of bike. There are all kinds of bikes which people use for different reasons. Consider your situation and make the choice that suits you. I personally ride a road bike. While not ideal for the city, flats can come easy and it can be dangerous in bad weather, it’s the fastest way to go since they are made for speed. Also, with places like New York becoming more bike friendly, the roads are becoming better for road bike riding. A mountain bike or hybrid bike are
probably more placyical for commuting around the city as they will prove to me a bit more durable and a little safer. If space is an issue or if you don’t want to lock your bike outside, a folding bike is a great alternative and there are plenty of options but I wouldn’t recommend them for very long distance commutes.
3. Accessories. There are all kinds of things that you can purchase to use with your bike, these are what I bring. Always wear a helmet. Trust me, it’s worth it. Bring a tire repair kit. You never know when or where you will get a flat and the ability to do it yourself will save you time, money and stress. If you are going to leave it outside, I reccomend getting the best Kryptonite U lock you can get. I would also get a bell as well as flashing front and rear lights. These are
important as you never know when you will need them and it keeps people aware that you are on the road. I would recommend against getting any kind of rear-view mirror. I find them to be completely distracting and the use of hearing, turning and peripheral vision are enough to know what’s going on behind you.
4. Reckless riding. It’s common sense but be safe when you ride. Riding on sidewalks, against traffic or cutting through cars is a recipe for disaster. It’s easy to try to take advantage of being on a bike and try to get from point A to B as fast as possible but be safe and respect full of others.
5- have fun. To me the best part of riding is the ability to explore your surroundings. If you can, don’t just use it to commute but try to go to places you haven’t been before. Try new routes, you might be amazed with what you see. Biking can be a really wonderful experience so try to make the most of it.