How To Bring A Bike On The New York City Subway

by Jay Casey

1. Don’t.

2. If you have to ride the subway, everyone else comes before you. It’s known as yielding.

3. Is it rush hour? Don’t bring your bike on the subway.

4. “But I just have to ride the train during rush hour!” Then only outbound in the morning, and inbound in the evening. Otherwise, you’re an incorrigible imp. And you’ll probably get a ticket.

5. At the turnstile, signal the MTA attendant in the booth by waving your arms wildly and gesturing to the gate (is there no booth at the entrance? Go the hell back upstairs and enter at a booth station entrance), swipe your Metrocard, spin the turnstile arm, walk over to the emergency entrance (if you didn’t muck it up, the booth attendant will have unlocked it), walk through.

6. Don’t ever, ever, ever carry your bike over a turnstile.

7. Stairs? You go last. (And now you must carry your bike.)

8. On the platform, make room. Plan to enter at either end of the train car.

9. Once on the train, don’t sit down.

10. Don’t lean your bike anywhere.

11. Don’t lock your bike to a pole.

12. Don’t straddle the frame.

13. Don’t ride it.

14. Use the same attention you reserve for riding around buses and garbage trucks. Because, instead of dealing with wheels that will crush your skull, you have a train full of people who want to stab you until your intestines are a puddle on the subway car floor.

15. Hold the bar, hold your bike. In the event of sudden movement or (God forbid) an accident, you’ve just introduced a metal projectile to the train car.

16. Stand by the doors, you need to exit first. Last on, first off. Find a clear area on the platform. Wait a minute or two (or whenever the platform/stairs look empty, you weakest of the species), then make your next move.

17. In a city full of opinions, there’s only one person whose judgment matters in this situation: Police. Listen up, or look forward to your marmalade p.b. & j. sandwich in The Tombs.

Jay Casey will be the first one to stab you. You can learn more about the MTA’s rules and guidelines for bicycles here! You should try it! Photo by Pete Jelliffe.