New York City has a bad reputation in certain areas, but Central Park bike tours are perfectly safe, especially if you follow some advice. The park is always safer during the day when it is light out and more populated, which is great news, as the majority of bike tours are during the day so you can see the sites. With a few more tips, you won’t have to worry about anything other than whether you got a picture of a certain attraction or heard the tour guide’s explanations.
Know the Cycling Protocol for the Park
Before you head out on Central Park bike tours, take a few minutes to check out the regulations and protocol. Most of these are common sense for anyone who is cycling. A few points of note include:
- Always being cautious by signal lights and crosswalks
- Always yielding to pedestrians
- Riding at an appropriate speed
- Staying to the left if you are riding slowly and to the right if you are passing
- Always carrying identification with you
- Always being alert and courteous to others, including pedestrians
- Always wearing a helmet – this is legally required for those 13 and under
- Never drinking before your tour
- Never texting or using your phone while riding
Listen to Your Tour Guide
Yes, the guide for your Central Park bike tour is there to teach you about the various sites you ride by, but he or she will also give you safety advice. Listen to your guide about where you should and shouldn’t be biking, where to pay attention to obstacles, and any other general safety tips.
Make Yourself Less Appealing to Thieves
While thieves are less likely to target someone on a bicycle than on foot (since you can chase them more quickly), tourists are an easy target, especially when focused on their surroundings. To avoid this, keep your belongings close with your valuables deep inside your pocket or bag. Try not to wear flashy jewelry or obviously expensive clothing that will bring attention to you. Remember that distractedly holding your phone while admiring a Central Park attraction is almost an invitation to thieves to steal it. If you take it out to take pictures, be sure to place it securely back inside your bag or pocket before your tour starts moving again.
Take Precautions at Night
Most Central Park bike tours are during the day, but if you happen to stick around after the sun falls, be extra careful. Avoid secluded and wooded areas, and always pay attention to your surroundings. If you are going to be in the park at night, be sure to stay with a group.
With the right precautions, your Central Park bike tour will leave you with memories to last a lifetime and a new appreciation for everything NYC has to offer.