Photo via NYC DOT/Flickr
May is National Bike Month and Transportation Alternatives (TransAlt) is hosting its Bike Commuter Challenge. TransAlt and the city are challenging New Yorkers to swap their normal commuting routine and cycle to work. With Citi Bikes on almost every block, over 250 miles of new bicycle lanes, and the hellacious winter behind us, there is no excuse not to “man up.” Especially since, according to NYC DOT, more than 800,000 New Yorkers ride a bike regularly, which is 140,000 more than rode five years ago and means that NYC commuters already bike to work more than any other U.S. city.
On May 4th and 5th, Bike Expo is taking place on Pier 12 in the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook. Matthew Cox, the TransAlt manager, expects 3,000 people to attend Bike Expo. And on May 15th and 16th, TransAlt is providing stations along popular bike routes in all five boroughs, like the West Side Highway bike path and the East River Bikeway, and handing out coffee and Clif Bars to encourage stopping, resting and mingling with like minds.
“Cycling in New York City has had a fight. It’s struggled to be considered a normal thing that normal people did,” says Cox. Cox points out that with the subway in tatters. declines in bus ridership and the L train closure, cycling is a great and reliable commuting option.
In addition to the Bike Month challenge, there are many other cycling events around the city.
- Summer Streets: For three Saturdays each August, almost 7 miles of city streets are closed to cars and open to cyclists.
- Weekend Walks Temporary pedestrian streets are created in commercial districts throughout the five boroughs.
- The Five Boro Bike Tour brings 32,000 riders together on a fun ride, traffic-free ride through all five boroughs.
Cox offers some advice for people who are wary of bike commuting. Firstly, if sweat is your concern, he suggest bringing a change of clothes. Second, if safety is a concern, he recommends starting a “bike chain,” biking with friends. And third, if the whole idea is too big to swallow, start in little chunks by taking the subway halfway and biking the rest.
Amazingly, commuting by cycling has grown nearly twice as fast in NYC as in other major cities with 70 percent growth in NYC compared to 37 percent growth in peer cities. And a whopping 16.3 million Citi Bike trips were taken in 2017. So join the challenge and compete alone or as an office and get some serious bragging rights with all the Clif Bars you can eat- yum!
[Via Metro New York]
- More commuters bike to work in NYC than any other U.S. city
- New York City’s first crosstown bike lanes proposed for Midtown
- Is NYC Really That Bike-Friendly?
- How Citi Bike stacks up against other U.S. bike shares