8 Reasons Cycling in NYC Can Be the Worst

What it's really like to be a cyclist in NYC

Flickr/Elliot Scott

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a cyclist in the big apple? With the bustling streets, the speeding yellow taxis, the fearless pedestrians, and slow walking tourists, it definitely takes a level of patience and sense of adventure. You can slither your way through traffic, avoid overcrowded subway cars, and get from one place to another in the true New York City rush-style. There may be many benefits to riding your bike through the concrete jungle, but do the benefits outweigh the irritation?

Related: The 10 Safest Cities for Bicyclists

Though this city has become a beloved bike haven, there are still endless stress-inducing frustrations that come along with every ride. So, want to know what it’s really like to bike NYC? Well, here’s 8 reasons it can be the worst.


(Flickr/Betty Tsang)

There’s a reason Kryptonite’s strongest and best-selling bike lock is named, New York Fahgettaboudit. Bike theft in NYC is far too common (especially of the front wheel), so most people use a U-Lock as well as a cable to lock up both wheels and frame.

(Flickr/Professor Bop)

The pedestrians have no clue what a green lane with huge bike symbols mean. They think of it as extra sidewalk space or a place to wait for the traffic light to turn, so they can cross the street that they so clearly own.

Lack of Bike Lanes 

With pedestrians taking over the few bike lanes that do exist, the main streets becomes your bike lane. And if you’ve ever been in a NYC cab, you know how crazy those operating motor vehicles actually are.


(Flickr/Joe Shlabotnik)

It sometimes feels as if the cops are more concerned with cyclists taking a wrong turn then speeding cars. With last month's NYPD bicycle safety crackdown, tickets have been flying everywhere.


(Flickr/Ed Yourdon)

Oh, the innocent tourists. Citi Bike is good and great, until a group of tourists, who get lost at every corner, take up entire bike lanes. Nothing is more annoying than finagling your way through an army of citibikes traveling at snail’s speed.


(Flickr/Ed Yourdon)

The rain doesn’t stop for cyclists. The streets are filled with massive puddles, pavement is slippery, cars can’t see you, and a graveyard of broken umbrellas are at every corner.

Bike Locks

(Flickr/Brian Rutledge)

This many bikes on one pole may seem upsurd, but it becomes far too common in NYC. And even worse, is when one fool decides to lock his bike to yours.

Getting Doored

The worst of the worst: getting doored. Cabs park in bike lanes to let people out, people open doors without looking, it’s a circus on the streets of the city, and this native cyclist caught on camera just how bad it can get.


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