11 October 2016

Caught On The Train

Every city's mass transit system has its own rules about bringing bicycles onto trains, buses and other vehicles within the system.  Here in the New York Metropolitan area, each part of the system seems to have its own regulations.  For example, on PATH trains, bikes are allowed only in certain cars on the train, while on Long Island Rail Road and Metro North and New Jersey Transit trains, bikes are allowed during certain hours and in certain areas of each car.

On the other hand, in New York City subways, there don't seem to be any rules at all.  At least, I haven't found any, aside from a prohibition against locking a bicycle to any part of a station, such as a gate.  But there is a certain unwritten etiquette which, from what I've seen, nearly every cyclist follows.  Mostly, it's common courtesy:  Don't block doorways or get in people's way, and try to keep your grimy bike away from passengers' clean clothes.  And try not to bring your bike on the train during rush hours!

I try not to bring my bike onto the subway at all, not out of fear, but mostly out of pride.  I prefer to ride the entire length of my route whenever I can; I'd rather be riding my bike on even the busiest streets than wheeling or holding it in a crowded subway car.  If I've had a mechanical breakdown or some other problem (thankfully, these things have been rare for me) and have no other way of getting to a bike shop, home, work or wherever else I have to be, I'll get on the train.  Also, if I stay out later than I'd planned and I don't have lights with me, or if it's a cold day and it starts to rain heavily, I'll get on the train for safety and health reasons.  But I try, at all costs, to avoid "bailing out" because of tiredness. That, to me, is an admission of defeat.  I can't remember the last time I did that, but I can recall one or two occasions when I got on the train because I just didn't feel like riding anymore.  

I wonder what this guy was thinking and feeling when he got on the train:


  1. Ooh, he must have had a bad day...

  2. Annie--I thought the same thing. I just wonder what made his day bad? Work? Love? Something that happened on his ride?