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Renting bikes

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The other day I was having my regular afternoon espresso when I saw this comfy rental bike parked outside one of my favorite cafes. You don't need to have your own bike to be able to go for a ride. Bike rental is a good way to test different styles of bikes with their various positions, and to experiment with riding through the City. bikeandroll

Finding a place to rent a bike, however, hasn't been easy, but we plan to change that very soon. On May 23, as we launch a newer version of Ride the City at the Radegast Party, the updates to the website will give you more options, more functionality. One new feature: in addition to just having bike shops on our map, we’ll provide all bike rental businesses, too. That way, if you want to pick up a Trek, like this one above, you'll be able to find a Bike and Roll rental quite easily.

We hope to see you at Radegast.

Bikes on the subway

subwaybikeI've been asked a lot about bikes in the subway and previously thought that it's prohibited to bring them on trains during peak hours. It turns out that's not true. The MTA discourages unsafe train conditions, which implies that we shouldn't bring bikes on board when the trains are packed, but you wouldn't be fined.

The MTA’s website gives eight rules for subway bike safety:

1. Avoid rush hour crowds.
2. Enter/exit through service station gates.
3. Board train after passengers exit (really, do they have to say this?).
4. Stand near the ends of the car.
5. Stand by your bicycle.
6. Carry your bicycle on staircases.
7. Follow instructions from New York City Police, station and train personnel (this isn't just for cyclists, btw).
8. Courtesy + common sense = bicycle safety.

One tip without a number states: "For easier trips, use lettered trains (e.g. Q, N, R). They have bigger stations and roomier subway cars. Choose express trains. These trains have fewer stops, which means there is less boarding and exiting." Who knew that a 1 train was smaller?


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torontoLast weekend I had the fortune of visiting Toronto. What a great city for cycling. Every street must have had at least five bike racks and cyclists were everywhere. This is especially impressive considering the much colder weather (even last weekend was chilly). A glance at the City’s bicycling website highlights how much attention they give to bikes: bike programs, events, cycling news, promotion, safety & education, courses, bike lockers, and on.

In Toronto, cycling is the norm. Here's a pic of a woman riding with a life vest and oar, heading to the river for some canoeing. Who does this?

I haven't been so inspired in a long time.

Bike Month is coming!

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bikemonthMay is national Bike Month and here in New York City we’ve already started celebrating Bike Month NYC! Posters are up in subways and on bus shelters reminding people that there’s a more fun way to get around the city! There are nearly 200 events scheduled for Bike Month NYC from rides to repair classes to art shows. And here on the RTC blog I’ll be posting a few of my favorite rides to some of the more far-flung reaches of the City (and places to eat when you arrive). And for those of you who have the misfortune of not living in New York, as Al Roker says… check out what’s going on in your neck of the woods: Bike to Work Day Washington, DC: WABA events San Francisco: SF Bike events Bike to Work Week Massachusetts: Bay State Bike Week Los Angeles: La Bicycle Coalition Chicago (June): Bike Commuter Challenge Bike Month New York City: Bike Month NYC Philadelphia: Bicycle Coalition events Seattle: Cascade Bicycle Club events And check out the League of American Bicyclist’s listings for events nationwide.

Coming Soon: Ride the City 2.0

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radegastSince the launch of Ride the City in 2008, we’ve been working to provide you a better, more functional website. Updates will include the creation of an SMS interface to send directions to your phone, an embeddable version to drop onto your website, language support, and user interface improvements to give you better overall performance. Also, the bike shop info is more up to date.

So at 2pm on Saturday, May 23 we're having a party at the Radegast to celebrate the website's new look and feel. It's a good time to come out to join us not only to take part in Bike Month, but also to give us your ideas to help us improve the website.

Come by to have some food & beer, and share your thoughts. We hope to see you there.

NYC Cycle Chic

chicIt's important to ride safely in this city. With so many cars and chaos you gotta be alert. But as the number of cyclists grows, we can expect safety in numbers.

Today the NY Times points out in Riding The It Factor, that cycling isn’t only growing in the City, it’s becoming more fashionable to bike. According to the Times: "This month, as an unusual accessory to its line of stark urban clothes, Club Monaco is showing and selling bicycles from the century-old Royal Dutch Gazelle brand in seven of its stores (though it can be ordered in any of them)."

This is great news. I love seeing dapper, well-dressed cyclists.

Smart Streets

smartstreetsYale University put out handy interactive website that is a visual candy store and great to learn about bike safety.

According to the site, Smart Streets: “Pedestrians, Cyclists, and Drivers can get along quite well, but when they conflict the results can be unfortunate. The STREET SCENES on the website reveal the interwoven responsibilities that are needed to keep the streets safe. Their motto: safe streets are SMART STREETS.”

Beware, the street scenes are almost can take a quiz, too.

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