Thursday, October 02, 2014

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Forget Taxis: Some Say Biking Is Best Bet In Event Of Transit Strike

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TWC News: Forget Taxis: Some Say Biking Is Best Bet In Event Of Transit Strike
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Instead of using taxis, ferries and dollar vans, if there is a strike, some New Yorkers are opting to get around the old fashion way. NY1’s Paul Lombardi has the story:

Nona Scherzer, a toddler, hitches a ride to school into Manhattan with her dad every day — on a bicycle.

Howard Scherzer drops her off in the Village then heads up to his office in Midtown.

“It's the best way to get around,” Scherzer said. “It's easy, it’s fast, it’s convenient. Good health. I've been doing it for 30 years.”

Scherzer is one of about 100,000 New Yorkers who put the pedal to the pavement every day, strike or no strike.

“It's convenient,” said a biker. “It's faster than the subway and it's good for my health."

It’s good for their mental health too. Some say mass transit gives them a headache.

"It's less stressful to bike and less crowded and you feel more freedom biking,” said a biker. “I really enjoy it."

"I feel invigorated and refreshed,” said another. “I bike in all weather."

Biking advocates say a transit strike could triple the number of bikers on city streets.

"Biking is a fast way to get around the city and it's also very convenient,” said Noah Budnick of Transportation Alternatives.

It’s even more convenient when you can let your friend do most of the work on a tandem bike, like those for sale at the Recycle-a-bicycle shop in Dumbo, which sells used bikes refurbished by youngsters.

Karen Overton, of the shop, said you don't need a fancy set of wheels to tool around town.

“This is a great city bike because it's perfect for commuting because it puts you in an upright position,” she said of one of the used bikes for sale. “It has fenders to keep you protected from rain and snow and a chain guards to keep your chain nice and dry."

Some bikes are apartment friendly too, with the ability to fold to half its size.

But before you hit the streets, you probably should pump some air into your tires; bike experts say low pressure is the leading cause for flats. When you feel the tire, it should feel hard, you shouldn't be able to push you hand in too far. If you're not sure how much air to put in, check out the PSI number written on the tire wall.

But some New Yorkers can't get pumped up for biking.

“It's way too cold,” said a New Yorker. “It's freezing and I live way uptown in the Bronx; it’s a really long drive back.”

Bikers say, though, there's a simple formula for staying warm.

“For every ten degrees it drops, you put on another layer of clothes,” said a biker. “That's the trick. That's it."

The mayor's strike contingency plan lists bike routes around the city. For information, log onto www.nyc.gov/transitstrike.

--Paul Lombardi
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