Riding a bike in Brooklyn is not easy. With traffic and pedestrians everywhere, it can be intimidating to take your bicycle out for a spin. However, biking comes with many benefits. It is convenient, healthy and good for the planet.
So, how can you use cycling as a safe method of urban transport? Here are some essential guidelines you should keep in mind as a Brooklyn bicyclist.
1. Beware of parked cars
You may assume the most prevalent danger is moving vehicles. However, do not think that stationary cars are safe to pass at any given time. According to safety tips from the NYC Department of Transportation, you should always keep an eye out for car doors. Someone may open a car door in your path. Getting "doored" is one of the most common types of cycling crashes in the city. Try to leave three feet between your bike and parked cars whenever possible.
2. Plan your route and use bike lanes
The city is full of designated bike lanes. You can find bike maps online or use the "bicycling" feature on your maps app to figure out where bike lanes are along your trip. Make use of any available bike lanes or paths except when you are turning or when it is dangerous.
3. Wear a good helmet
Despite the fact that there are no laws in New York requiring you to wear a helmet, it is always wise to wear one. Get a helmet that feels snug but not too tight and makes contact all over your head. Before you ride, adjust the neck straps so your helmet does not move too much when you tug on the straps. This will help prevent you from suffering a brain injury if you get into a crash.