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Bicycle Habitat’s bike club and cycling resources guide: 

RESOURCES

The NYC Bike Map is the cyclist's friend, featuring bike routes and bike-friendly streets throughout the city. We (Bicycle Habitat) usually have them in stock. They can also be ordered from the city, or downloaded from their site.

Ride the City is a great online tool for finding a route around New York. Google Maps also offers bike routes, but for now we think RTC is still the best and most versatile route-planning map.

Transportation Alternatives (TA) is always out there trying to improve conditions for cyclists. Do you like riding across the Queensboro Bridge or using the Brooklyn Bridge without stairs or riding the West Street Bikeway or reduced car access to the Parks or hundreds (maybe thousands)  of other bike improvements in the City - Thank TA for what  they have done. Consider joining at www.Transalt.org   Did you know that Bicycle Habitat’s owner served as President and Executive Director of TA and that Bicycle Habitat would not exist except for the friendship that TA made possible between Hal and Charlie. Volunteers are always welcome. Visit their web site for information about cycling in NYC.

CLUBS & RIDES

5BBC  (The Five Borough Bicycle Club, aka “The Club”)  - One of Bicycle Habitat’s favorite groups. Great rides and great people to ride with every weekend.  The no-person left behind philosophy and interesting destinations make them the touring group of choice. They also put on out-of-town trips and its members form the core volunteer cadre that enables Bike New York and other large group rides.

NYCC (New York Cycle Club) A plethora of recreational day trips every weekend! The rides run the gamut, from casual and beginner to serious racing or “Type A +”. Some focus is placed on improving yourself as a cyclist, such as better form, better training, and longer, faster rides. Very friendly and a great way to meet new cyclists!

CRCA (Century Road Club Association) - If you want to race, this team is the place to be. This is an umbrella club with many teams. Bicycle Habitat sponsors one of their teams.

Times Up - Known for advocacy, often with an edge, they also sponsor some pretty neat rides like the Prospect Park and Central Park midnight rides. 

WE Bike - A group open to all women, female identifying, and gener nonconforming people who enjoy biking.

Fast & Fabulous - A gay and lesbian riding club! These rides and riders are always fabulous, and can be fast when that is the order of the day. 

The Weekday Cyclists: Join Trudy and or Ann for one of their weekly rides Tuesdays and Thursdays meet at  the Loeb Boathouse in New York City's Central Park, located on the left-hand side of the East Drive, North of the 5th Ave. and 72nd St. entrance to the park. 10:00 AM sharp.

Bike New York – Who doesn’t love the Five Borough Bicycle Tour, NYC's major bike event with 40,000+ riders. But did you know they did other rides and provide educational services for new and experienced cyclists? A great organization.

Big Apple Tweed: They ride once a year, and are known for their style as much as their cycles.

Brommie Yummie: Brompton folding bike riders get together to socialize, cycle and snack.

LAB – (League of American Bicyclists). Ok, it's not in NYC but these guys deserve our support. Outside the fact they have been around since the 1880’s, they put together the National Bike Summit each year. The Bike Summit is when people, who care about cycling, converge on Washington DC and meet with their House Members and Senators. (Charlie, of Bicycle Habitat, has been there for the past 4 years and is the only Bike dealer from NYC to attend - ever!) The Summit is the primary event that keeps money, from the Highway Trust Fund, flowing to Bicycle Projects around the country. In 2005 LAB fought off two very serious attempts to stop this important funding. Many projects in NYC, including the Bike Map, are funded with this money. Support them, they support us! 

 

Got resources or clubs to add? We'd love your input! Email us with other cycling resources.

How to Ride on NYC Roads

The laws 

The most relevant laws about which we advise our customers are these:

1- Ride with a bell. It's required by law - and yes, they do ticket for it occasionally! Why? Bells are a way to signal to people that you are approaching. And in NYC... there are always people to signal.

2- Ride with lights after dark. Also required, and also something you can get ticketed for. More importantly, lights keep you visible to automobiles - and pedestrians.

3- Ride with traffic. If you break this law, other cyclists will say you are "salmoning". We say the law is a bit outdated in some situations, but we agree that bikes need to be predictable to be safe in the presence of others. Meanwhile the NYPD likes to write tickets for this infringement.

4- Don't run red lights. This is the most common ticket. Also, it's unsafe. 

5- Ride on the street. Only kids can ride on sidewalks. 

BICYCLISTS AND IN-LINE SKATERS

The formal laws from the NYC DOT: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/bicyclists/biketips.shtml

Bicyclists and in-line skaters have the right to share the road and travel in the same direction as motor vehicles. Like pedestrians, bicyclists and in-line skaters are often difficult to notice in traffic, and they have little protection from a traffic crash. When driving a motor vehicle, be sure to check your vehicle's "blind spots" before you parallel park, or open a driver's side door, or leave a curb. Don't rely only on your rearview mirrors - turn your head to look for bicyclists and in-line skaters that may be alongside or approaching.

When driving, approach bicyclists and in-line skaters with extreme caution. Give them room and slow down as you pass them. Air pressure from a quickly passing vehicle can throw them off balance.

Be aware that the bicyclist or in-line skater near or in front of you may react to road hazards just as a motorcyclist would and suddenly change speed, direction, or lane position.

The rules of the road and right-of-way apply to, and protect, bicyclists and in-line skaters. You must yield the right-of-way to them just as you would to another vehicle. Bicyclists in-line skaters must obey the rules of the road, just as vehicle drivers d

Bicyclists and in-line skaters must:

  • Wear an approved helmet if age one through 13 years old.
  • Obey any local laws or regulations concerning helmet use for adults.
  • Ride in a bicycle lane, if a usable one is available. Where there is none, the bicyclist must ride near the right curb or edge of the road, or on a usable right shoulder of the road, to avoid undue interference with other traffic. The rule of staying to the right does not apply when a bicyclist or in-line skater is preparing for a left turn or must move left to avoid hazards.
  • Come to a full stop before entering a roadway from a driveway, alley or over a curb.
  • Never travel with more than two abreast in a single lane.
  • Never ride on a sidewalk if local laws prohibit it.

  • Signal turns, lane changes and stops using the hand signals shown. A bicyclist may signal a right turn by extending the right arm straight out to the right, instead of using the standard signal for car drivers. Never carry an infant under a year old as a passenger. It is against the law. The law also requires child passengers one through four years old wear approved bicycle safety helmets and ride in securely attached bicycle safety seats.
  • Never carry a passenger unless the bicycle has a passenger seat.

  • Keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times, and not carry anything which interferes with proper control of the bicycle.

  • Report to DMV within 10 days of the incident, any bicycle crash that results in death or serious injury. Bicycle accident report forms are available at any motor vehicle office.

A bicycle driven on public highways must be equipped with adequate brakes and a horn or bell that can be heard at least 100 feet (30 m) away. A bicycle used at night must have a headlight visible from at least 500 feet (150 m) ahead and a red taillight visible from at least 300 feet (90 m) behind. One of these lights must also be visible from at least 200 feet (60 m) away on each side. A bicycle sold by a dealer must have wide-angle, spoke-mounted reflectors or reflective tires, a wide-angle rear reflector and pedal reflectors.

NYC Traffic Rules and Regulations

 For the full story ---  http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/pdf/trafrule.pdf

 

Excerpts which mention bicycles:

 

- definition.............................................................................................................. 4-01(b)

- lanes................................................................................................................... 4-12(p)

- on sidewalks................................................................................................ 4-07(c)(3)(i)

- one-way streets.............................................................................................. 4-12(p)(3)

- roadways prohibited on.................................................................................. 4-12(o)(1)

 

 

4-01

(b) Definitions. The following words and phrases, when used in these rules, shall, for

the purpose of these rules, have the meanings respectively ascribed to them as follows:

Bicycle. Every two- or three-wheeled device upon which a person or persons

may ride, propelled by human power through a belt, a chain or gears, with such

wheels in a tandem or tricycle, except that it shall not include such a device

having solid tires and intended for use only on a sidewalk by pre-teenage

children.

 

4-07

c) Restrictions on crossing sidewalks.

(1) Driveways. No person shall drive within any sidewalk area except at a

permanent or temporary driveway.

(2) Avoiding intersections. No person shall drive across a sidewalk or upon a

driveway in order to avoid an intersection.

(3) Bicycles and limited use vehicles.

(i) No person shall ride or operate a bicycle upon any sidewalk area

unless permitted by sign. This prohibition shall not apply to the operation

of bicycles with wheels of less than 26 inches in diameter upon the

sidewalk by children of 12 years or less in age.

(ii) No person shall ride, park or operate a limited use vehicle within any

sidewalk area except where permitted by sign. This prohibition shall not

apply to the pushing of a limited use vehicle within a sidewalk area or to

the pushing of such a vehicle to an authorized parking area.

 

 

 

 

4-12

(o) Use of roadways.

(1) Pedestrians, horses, bicycles and limited use vehicles prohibited. In

order to provide for the maximum safe use of the expressways, drives, highways,

interstate routes, bridges and thruways set forth in §4-07 subdivision (i) of these

rules and to preserve life and limb thereon, the use of such highways by

pedestrians, riders of horses and operators of limited use vehicles and bicycles is

prohibited, unless signs permit such use.

(2) Flat tires. No operator shall stop on the improved or paved roadway of any

of the arteries set forth in §4-07 subdivision (i) of these rules, for the purpose of

removing or replacing a flat tire. No person shall remove or replace a flat tire

unless the vehicle is completely off the improved or paved roadway so that no

part of the vehicle or person is exposed to passing vehicles.

(p) Bicycles

(1) Bicycle riders to use bicycle lanes. Whenever a usable path or lane for

bicycles has been provided, bicycle riders shall use such path or lane only except

under any of the following situations:

(i) When preparing for a turn at an intersection or into a private road or

driveway.

(ii) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including but not

limited to, fixed or moving objects, motor vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians,

pushcarts, animals, surface hazards) that make it unsafe to continue

within such bicycle path or lane.

(2) Driving on or across bicycle lanes prohibited. No person shall drive a

vehicle on or across a designated bicycle lane, except when it is reasonable and

necessary:

(i) to enter or leave a driveway; or

(ii) to enter or leave a legal curbside parking space; or

Section 4-12

53

(iii) to cross an intersection; or

(iv) to make a turn within an intersection; or

(v) to comply with the direction of any law enforcement officer or other

person authorized to enforce this rule; or

(vi) to avoid an obstacle which leaves fewer than ten feet available for

the free movement of vehicular traffic.

Notwithstanding any other rule, no person shall drive a vehicle on or across a

designated bicycle lane in such manner as to interfere with the safety and

passage of persons operating bicycles thereon.

(3) Bicycles permitted on both sides of 40-foot wide one-way roadways.

Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway that carries traffic in one

direction only and is at least 40 feet wide may ride as near as is practicable to

either the left or the right hand curb or edge of such roadway, provided that

bicycles are not prohibited from using said roadway.