Riding at night

5 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

Is it safe to ride in Central Park at night now that it gets dark so early? I would probably be doing a 7:30 to 9pm ride, is it safe enough?

I used to ride in the mornings but night would be easier.

Anonymous's picture
E.Shrudlowski (not verified)
Central Park At night

"Yeah, except for between Thanksgiving and New Year's, when the park drives are primarily reserved for yet another private interest -- motorists who want to drive drive past the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, and then get out of town fast via the Park Roads -- it's reasonably safe before 9 p.m. (Afterwards, I wouldn't know.) I've done the ciruit after dark about a dozen and a half times in the past three years, and I'm still alive to tell the tale. Even during this special interest use by cars time of year, if you stick to the lefthand bike lane, you should be fairly okay. It's smart to have front and rear lights or flashers. To quote an ancient Montenegrin saying, ""It is easier to crash into a dark wall in the dark, or a dark bicycle.""

This is not to say you are perfectly safe. Excrement happens, as they say. But there are usually at least a few bicyclists riding around, and that tends to discourage Evildoers. If you get lucky, you may see one of the hungry raccoons that periodically migrate to New York from the burbs in search of our delicious garbage and better woodland shelter than they can usually find on the manicured lawns of suburbia. But don't try feed them. They bite.

Your Pal,

Anonymous's picture
bill (not verified)

I've ridden hundreds of laps around the park at night. In the summer I might be out there past midnight. While anything 'could' happen as this is NYC, as a guy I find it safe. Sorry for the sexist double standard but I would not recommend night riding for women. Although I'm always amazed to see women running alone at night.

I usually ride a little faster than I would during the day and stay much more alert to my surroundings. You might not want to wear headphones (although I personally think those late night rides are what headphones were made for!). I don't carry much $. I'm mindful of where I stop (I usually don't).

As far as extra holiday traffic - it's kind of a pain but most Rock Center Tree people don't seem to know they can drive in the park - it's the cabs you've got to watch out for. Frankly I always feel a little less safe on really hot/humid nights in the summer. More crazies seem to be out...

Most of all enjoy the solitude...

Anonymous's picture
Ivy Pool (not verified)
Can you hear me?

As a woman let me say that I am far more concerned about sharing the road with you and your headphones than I am about riding (or running) alone at night.

Anonymous's picture
bill (not verified)

How do you arrive at that kind of conclusion?!

We're talking about Central Park, late at night. Even if you carry a gun, pepper spray or are a black belt, you're seriously deluded about your saftey.

For the benefit of anyone reading this thread who actually has common sense, a woman alone in central Park at night is not particularly safe. That's not me being a sexist jerk. That's based on living here a long time.

Anyway, don't worry about me running you over. I usually keep the volume low enough to hear screams.

Anonymous's picture
Chris T (not verified)
You are a Road Hazzard

In my book, Anybody who wears headphones while operating a vehicle on a public road cannot be as attentive to the safe operation of said vehicle as to an operator without headphones.

I don't care about the time of day, time of year, or who it is, if I see somebody with headphones on, I am changing course. Stay away from anybody else's wheel till you take them off. It is hard enough to ride safely in this city without adding additional emcuberances.

I like listening to music. It has no place on a bike ride

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