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    13 Tips For Riding A Bike In A Big City


    1. Don't be timid.

    2. Pass other cyclists on the far edge of the lane.

    3. Learn how to lock your damn bike.

    4. A light, zippy road bike is your friend.

    5. Create a mental map of potholes on your route.

    6. Find routes with optimal green light timing.

    Flickr: pwkrueger

    Some routes will make you hit a red light every block. Because you, as a respectable cyclist, don't run red lights (seriously: cops are looking for easy ways to hand out tickets), this is less than ideal. Find yourself running into the same red light every damn morning? It's not a coincidence, it's by design.

    7. Get familiar with bike shops in your area.

    8. Carry deodorant, face wipes, and possibly an extra t-shirt.

    9. Jay-walking pedestrians will put you in dangerous situations.

    10. Accept that you will probably get doored.


    You might be in a blind spot, or a car-inclined person may not check before they open the door into the lane where you're currently riding. It sometimes happens too fast to allow you to swerve. It is nearly inevitable that regular cyclists will slam into a swinging car door. Door/bike collisions can cause serious injuries. My friends have been doored, their friends have been doored, and I know I tempt fate every time I hop on my bike. Similar to the precautions you should take to reduce your chances of being cut off by a pedestrian, look ahead for cars that have just pulled into spots, and if you can, ride with the approximate distance of a door between you and the parked cars.

    11. Stay out of the way of bike messengers.

    12. As a rule, biking takes approximately 1/3 of the time it takes to walk somewhere.

    13. Cruise around, have fun, and know the best way to explore your city is on two wheels.

    A previous version of this post included a graphic by via Bike Safe Boston, which was asked to be removed. His bike safety tips can be found here.