Some Additional #BikeNYC “Biking Rules”


  • NYC on-street bike lanes run one way, in the direction of traffic.
  • Give trucks a wide berth. It doesn’t matter if it’s your right of way. Truck is to you as you are to ant.
  • The cyclist climbing has the right of way over the cyclist descending.
  • TAKE OFF YOUR HEADPHONES! You need your ears to know what’s going on around you.
  • Don’t pass another cyclist close on the right. They’re watching for car traffic to their left, and pedestrian traffic ahead. If they swerve, you’re going to crash.
  • You want to pass a slower cyclist on the bridge, but there’s oncoming bike or pedestrian traffic in the opposite lane. Wait for them to go by, then pass. You’re getting around, not playing chicken.
  • “No brakes!” is a failing, not an excuse. If you can’t slow your fixie in the parameters of traffic, use a brake or get a lower gear.
  • Actually… don’t always “ride right.” Per the DOT (NYC Traffic Rules and Regulations, Section 4-12 p), accepted practice, and common sense, you may be better off on the left side of major avenues. This keeps you out of the way of buses, which is good, because you like public transit and not getting squashed.
  • Don’t draft other riders up the bridge without letting them know you’re there or, better yet, asking their permission. The brief inconvenience of courtesy will cost you much less energy than that freakout you have when they slow for traffic. And, no, the squeaking of your ill-maintained MTB doesn’t count.
  • While it’s not ok to run over 29-year-old newbie skateboarders when they fall off the curb and into the bike lane, it ought to be. Seriously. If they’re going to learn to skateboard at 29, and choose a transit system as their training ground, they might as well learn to get hit by bikes, too.
  • Same goes for joggers in the bike lane. Not ok to hit. Oughta be.
  • Delivery cyclists: the bike lane is one way, in the direction of traffic.
  • Commuters getting mad at delivery cyclists going the wrong way in the bike lane, please note that the delivery cyclists come to work from farther out than you do, make way less money than you do, and, while you’re in your office wondering when you’ll be able to demand space for your bike in the freight elevator, they’re going to be out there delivering food. All. Day. Long. Cut them some slack.
  • When NYPD vehicles move into the bike lane, they’re not violating your space. They’re ensuring your safety by making certain that the pavement hasn’t turned to quicksand. Spot-checks and extended stress-testing are vital to the success of this safety campaign.
  • Picture yourself as a car. Ask yourself, if I were a car, would the move I’m about to pull be obnoxious to me? If so, think twice.
  • Picture yourself as a pedestrian. Ask yourself, if I were a pedestrian, would the move I’m about to pull get me squashed like a bug? If so, think twice.
  • Learn to be a Zen master. You’re going to see a lot of people do a lot of stupid shit, often right in front of you. It’s not worth your anger. Barring pharmecutical intervention, this takes constant practice.
  • With the growth in NYC’s bicycle infrastructure, and rising environmental consciousness, more people will use bikes to get around. This is something of a revolution. You know what usually happens in revolutions, don’t you? As the revolutionaries’ self-congratulation subsides, chaos sets in. Let’s try and make this one an exception to the rule.
  • In a lot of ways, having more new cyclists on the road is going to make biking in NYC less fun. We’re going to have to come to terms with this. There are things a tiny minority can get away with that a larger minority can’t. Be civil, especially to each other. This ain’t the wild west no more.
  • NYC on-street bike lanes run one way, in the direction of traffic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *