Seven Reasons Why You Should Bike to Work
It’s a weird time to be a commuter in the city: Some people get nervous on the subways, buses often get stuck behind a single person in a giant car looking at their phone (instead of the road) and those cars are making our air quality worse all the time, too.
This is your chance to discover, rediscover or finally embrace the best way to commute anywhere in New York City: by bike! May is National Bike Month, leading up to Bike to Work Day on May 20. The month’s weather makes for perfect biking acclimation, whether you’re new to it or digging out your wheels after the long winter. On top of all that, biking in Lower Manhattan has never been easier. You already know that biking is good for your physical and mental health while being a simple way to cut down on greenhouse emissions, but here are seven more reasons why you should hop on the two-wheeled revolution this May:
Lower Manhattan’s Brand-New Bike Lanes
The city has been busy over the past year making the neighborhood a little friendlier to bikes. A handful of new protected bike lanes are being installed and non-protected lanes (the ones that are just painted on a street) are being added in east-west directions on Murray Street, Park Place and Barclay Street, too.
Citi Bike Options Have Expanded Greatly
E-Bikes Are Your Cheat Code To The City
Tragically, Mario Kart is a work of fiction, which means you cannot access super mushrooms to give you a boost past your rivals on the roads. But what we do have instead is almost as good: pedal-assist electric bikes, which are now a major part of the Citi Bike fleet. The bikes cost a little extra per mile but they give some satisfying juice to your pedaling with minimal effort. Grab one and you can cross whole bridges without breaking a sweat.
The Brooklyn Bridge Finally Has A Real Bike Lane
One of the worst parts of commuting to and from Lower Manhattan finally got fixed. The Brooklyn Bridge’s new two-way protected bike lane opened in September — at last separating commuting cyclists and scooters from the hordes of path-blocking tourists that clog the bridge. The protected bike lane now runs along vehicle traffic, making the commute across the bridge much more pleasant and much faster.
You Can Get Free Swag
During Bike Month, Transportation Alternatives sets up commuter stations around the city to hand out snacks and swag to folks who are biking to work. Check out the schedule here for locations and dates.
You Can Go For A Leisurely Ride On Your Lunch Break
Lower Manhattan is full of interconnecting bikeways, many of which go through waterfront parks and avoid car traffic altogether. Check out our guide to biking routes for all levels here, all of which beat eating a Chipotle burrito at your desk and falling asleep in the bean debris.
You Don’t Have To Wear A Mask
Despite what is happening elsewhere in the country, the mask mandate for subways, buses, taxis and for-hire vehicles remains in effect in New York City. There’s no such rule when you’re biking in the open air, though: let your face fly free as you take in the fresh air and spring sunshine!
photo: iStockTags: bike to work day, national bike month