First visit to New York City: rented bicycle?

This really is an old persons forum. Im shocked that no one has mentioned Uber. Its the easiest and most convenient form of transportation. It comes to where you are and drops you where you want.

Good point, but I rather think the OP said they were interested in a bike so most stuck with bike. I’d rather bike than Uber. And I’m old. :grimacing:

In theory I would rather bike too but urban biking is dangerous and injuries take longer to heel as we age.

Have you ever been to NYC ? For a lot of trips, Uber or any other sort of driving will actually take longer than the train - and there are a lot more where Uber saves only a few minutes. For example , an Uber to my office tomorrow morning will take 18 minutes and cost a minimum of $28 while the bus or train will take 24-30 minutes and cost $2.75. My old office in Manhattan - Uber will take the same hour as the train, but cost me $71.* Sure, I have to walk a block or two at each end , so you’re right that Uber is more convenient - but that’s not the only consideration for most people.

* The times are the normal travel times ( which do not include waiting for the Uber). Yes, trains can get delayed, but Ubers can also get stuck in traffic.

Exactly, I feel the only real value Uber provides in NYC is the safety factor - allowing customers to avoid having to walk or bike across sketchy neighborhoods, or riding a sparsely-filled bus/train at night.

As a tourist a few extra bucks is worth it for the safety factor. And prices are cheaper non-peak rush hour. At least here in LA.

It’s also the most expensive and could take way longer than the subway. You might as well just get a taxi. Take several Uber rides per day and you’ll easily be spending near $100 when the subway is just $2.75 each way and if you buy an unlimited it’s even cheaper.

Lol sketchy neighborhoods? What sketchy neighborhoods would a tourist find themselves in? What decade do you think this is?

It’s not at all comparable to LA where everyone drives everywhere.

The reason I didn’t suggest Uber has nothing to do with my age. Rather, that type of transportation wasn’t what the OP was asking about. They weren’t asking how to get from point A to point B. They wanted to know if biking was a viable alternative, and “take an Uber” would have been a dismissive reply.

Anyway, have you been in the tourist areas of NYC lately? I 've been there several times this year, including 2 weeks ago, and the iconic yellow cabs are still out in force, more plentiful than Uber, cheaper for the short rides that the OP is considering, and no wait.

See post 24. Someone not familiar with how public transportation works would feel more comfortable using Uber. Cabs too as noted below.

Thanks gkster! I think I might have known at some point about the subway and forgot, but this is the first I’ve heard about buses also running 24/7. It definitely has a bearing on my plans.

That’s what I had in mind when I said that things aren’t what they used to be (post #15). I love proving things to myself, overcoming adversity, etc. and am generally reluctant to scale back my endeavors as I age, but NYC is a long way from home, and I don’t even want to imagine flying back with my leg in a cast or worse. Considering the (much appreciated) responses here, I’m now more inclined to try some cycling in a more controlled environment like Central Park and take it from there.

Nonetheless, I have to ask a question that should have been part of the OP, and it’s about cycling across NYC’s bigger bridges. Looks like it would be fun, especially the view going into the city. I’ve read there are bike lanes. Would that be a safer/less chaotic environment than elsewhere? I’d even do it walking unless there’s a good reason not to do that. What do you all say about that?

I remember my bike-loving Dad having an accident at 60 that took a long time to heal. Im sure Im being overcautious but I would not want the same thing to happen to you or anyone else. :slight_smile:

Thanks, that’s a nice thing to say!

Hmm… Wouldn’t some people construe that as a veiled threat in some parts of NYC?

Just kidding (of course). :grin:

The other thing it (and taxicabs) offers is not having to figure out which subway or bus route to take. That can be a little tricky, at least at first. But yes, the subway is probably faster and definitely cheaper.

I don’t think the Verrazano Bridge has a bike lane – it’s one of the biggest. I think the GWB might have one??

I would stick with the east side bridges, especially the Brooklyn and Williamsburg.

Although the MTA does have this - and I believe there is an app as well

Uber is a pox upon Manhattan. I’m fine with it in the outer boroughs, but there was already enough traffic in Manhattan, the subways and buses are quick and reliable, and barring that, there are plenty of taxis.

That’s a rant for a different thread.

To the OP – the subways are fine. There’s a beautiful bike path on the west side, from around the World Trade Center up quite a ways. It’s separated from traffic, and pedestrians are also supposed to keep clear (but they don’t). Other than the Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges (maybe the Manhattan Bridge?), I wouldn’t bike over the bridges. The Brooklyn Bridge is historic and the Williamsburg Bridge goes to hipster central in Brooklyn.

Google maps does a pretty good job at helping you use public transportation. It will typically give you a few transit options where it says which bus/train to take to get to your destination and tells you how to walk to whatever stop you need. It even can mostly track you when you’re on the subway so you can see where you are on the map during the trip.

The GW (Hudson), as well as the East River bridges (Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg, & Queensboro) bridges all have bike/ped lanes separate from motorized vehicles. Especially the Brooklyn bridge can be chaotic with peds & bikers going both ways in a not very wide space but I don’t know if I’d go so far as to call it unsafe.

I also believe the Hudson Greenway goes all the way from Battery park up to, & beyond, the GW. There are a couple of places that vehicles can cross your path to get on/off of piers but for the vast majority you are separated from traffic & I like it better that riding thru Central Park as you get to see more than just trees in a park. If you do go over the GW, turn left at the first two traffic lights & go up into the park for some good views of the bridge, like this rare night when it was lit up

The Queensboro bridge gives you some views of the Roosevelt Island tram, which has been used in a few movies, including a wonderful one called Spiderman (2002 version)!!!

That’s a very good point!

Thanks again to all of you for your replies. We haven’t even really discussed specific places to go (museums, clubs, restaurants, etc.), and there’s a wealth of useful information here.

For getting around Manhattan, i would recommend cabs over Uber (or Lyft, which is usually my preference). You can flag one RIGHT NOW instead of waiting for an Uber to arrive.

I take Lyft all the time in other places, but in Manhattan i take cabs.

For a shortish distance (i want to cross Manhattan lengthwise) a cab will be faster than a bus. For a king distance (i want to return to my hotel in Queens) the subway is probably the fastest option.

No traffic on the train. When i was pregnant, and worked in lower Manhattan and my obstetrician was up in Washington heights, i took the A train to get to appointments, and would have taken it had i fine into labor.