The key goal of Citi Bike, the bike-share program that launched in New York City last year, is to encourage residents and visitors to try cycling as a means of urban transport.
Biking in the city comes with a lot of benefits: It’s healthy, convenient, gets you outside, and reduces carbon emissions in the atmosphere.
This is a great idea until you start thinking about all the folks out there with as much experience biking as flying a space shuttle picking up a bike and tooling around New York City.
So if you are thinking about getting on a bike in NYC, whether on your own wheels or on a Citi Bike, here are 15 rules to keep you (and those around you) safe, legal, and from drawing the ire of New Yorkers.
Find bike lanes before you go. Use Google Maps's 'Bicycling' feature, or download a 2013 NYC bike map at nyc.gov.
You don't have to bike in a suit. If you can't shower at the office or a gym nearby, consider biking in a t-shirt, then changing once you've arrived. Bring deodorant.
Take your time. Just like you can walk instead of run, you can bike slowly instead of quickly. Cycling can be a 'fast form of pedestrianism,' rather than exercise. That cuts down on the stress and the sweating.
Don't be afraid to bike in the middle of the street when there isn't enough room for you and a car. You may annoy some drivers, but you have the right to take the lane, and won't end up being pinned between a car and a light pole.
Follow basic rules of traffic -- you count as a vehicle, and should act accordingly. No going the wrong way on one-way streets.
Don't weave between cars, parked or not. Going in a straight line makes you more predictable, and less likely to surprise a driver who's not paying attention.
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