Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

10 September 2013

A "Bike Lane" Under The Tracks

In some of my earlier posts, I expressed ambivalence and even disdain for bike lanes.

While it can be very nice to be able to pedal on ribbons of concrete or asphalt where motor vehicles aren't allowed, too many bike lanes are as dangerous as, or even more dangerous than, the roadways and motorists from which the lanes separate us.

Such lanes end abruptly or make turns though intersections that put cyclists directly in the path of turning trucks and buses.  Others are not clearly marked--for pedestrians, motorists  or cyclists--which results in pedestrians walking into our paths as they're chatting on their cell phones, or drivers using the bike lanes to pass other motorists.

Still others go nowhere or are so poorly constructed that they're all but unusable.  But I've never seen one quite like this:

Above 10th Avenue in the very northern end of Manhattan, the #1 train of the NYC transit system rumbles and clatters. The tracks are supported by the steel columns posted every few feet in the bike lane.

I mean, if you can ride a bike, you can do anything, right?  Well, almost...I haven't quite mastered riding through immobile objects.

The sign in the photo is not an aberration:  One is posted on every other (more or less) steel column.    


  1. There has been an ongoing contest among car drivers to find the rubber el pillar. The one that won't hurt you if you smash into it. No one has succeeded yet. The place you point out affords cyclists to same opportunity.

    Chip V.

  2. If you just close your eyes, believe, and ride straight into the pillar, you end up at Hogwarts.

  3. Please advise on how things turn out if you follow Rantwick's advice.