Cell phones and cyclists

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8 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

g'day all:

I'm being forced to get a cell phone. (Ok, I'm retro - only switched to index shifting 3 years ago but still have my rat traps).

My question is: given the nature of our avocation, what are folk's experience with different carriers (Verizon, Cingular, Sprint, T-Mobile [not the team], etc.) in the metro NYC area when trying to call or get calls in the environs we ride, especially the Gumps, upper Westchester, Western NJ, etc., either by experience or anecdotally. Are there any clear winners, weiners or whiners?
Would appreciate any feedback you might be able to give me.

Thanks again. Ride easy and ride safe.

Anonymous's picture
Mike (not verified)
No T-mobile

All I can say is scratch T-Mobile off your list off the bat. Can have unreliable reception or large dead zones in unpopulated areas

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
cingular works for me...

"...i went from motorola (which was the best during 9/11)...to verizon (they suck and my clients were complaining that voicemail didn't kick in until phone rang over a dozen times)...to t-mobile (they're ok but no rollover and bad customer service)...to cingular (best coverage in the riding area from my experience, they have rollover and excellent customer service).

btw, the motorola razr v3 is a great phone (offered by cingular and t-mobile) but it's slippery and feels delicate and worse of all, it has a puny camera (1.2mp). i wanted something better for cycling that had an expansion slot so i bought the motorola razr v3x (has a 2mp camera so you can take pictures on your rides...and you can buy a 512m card to store many photos...best of all, it has a rubbery feel so it doesn't slip in your hands). here's an example of what the phone can do...took it last week on river road (it'll save you from having to carry a phone AND a camera):


none of the providers sell the motorola razr v3x yet so you have to buy the phone on ebay or through your neighborhood cell phone store...make sure it covers gsm 850/1900/900/1800 bands.

ps, did you get rid of the old bell bucket? :)


Anonymous's picture
Dennis Wiener (not verified)

I also use cingular. Great in the city, but lousy in remote areas. The phones only work within 3 miles of a cell tower (true of any carrier) and some areas draw a blank to cingular but work well with verizon or visa versa. I hike a lot in Harriman, and verizon often works there where cingular wont. Up in the catskills there are lots of areas with no cell service at all.

Anonymous's picture
April (not verified)

I ride regularly in Westchester, Putnam, Dutches and upper Fairfield county of CT. My Verizon phone is often the only one that got signal in the middle of nowhere. Can't say much about NJ or the Catskill though.

They're not the cheapest. But the coverage has been consistantly good. Customer service is good in my experience but then I don't need much... Oh yes, you get to pick a new phone every 2 years so you don't have to switch carrier to get the new offer.

Anonymous's picture
Joe (not verified)


Anonymous's picture
Peter (not verified)

Second on Verizon. Get a candybar phone, like the Nokia 6236. It's much easier and safer than opening a flip phone, when on the bike, if you need to pick up a call.


Anonymous's picture
bill vojtech (not verified)

I use Virgin. $20 every 90 days. You pay per call, so if you use it a lot, it's expensive, but I don't, so it's dirt cheap for me.

North of Rhinebeck I get no service till I hit Albany.

Anonymous's picture
bill strachan (not verified)
"cyclist goes to ""Dark Side"""

"G'day yawl!

Many thanks to all who proffered their advice and recommendations regarding getting a cell phone service in this area.

That said, I subscribed to Verizon for one year. It will give me a chance to see how well it works and, if not, opt for something else. I chose them, as one person opined: ""Not that it is the greatest. It just seems to have fewer bad things than the others."" I kind of feel, well they are huge, and though I might want some nice local mom and pop service, if something happens I want some reasonable assurance (as we used to say in corrections) of being able to get help.

Thanks again.

Ride easy and ride safe."

cycling trips