An Open Letter to the NYCC Membership

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Joined: Jul 24 2010

Dear NYCC members,

The incident on Thursday afternoon in which a cyclist riding laps in Central Park hit and severely injured a pedestrian has been on the minds of many club members. As some are aware, the cyclist had recently joined NYCC, although it's important to note he was not on a club ride at the time. This follows another tragedy last month in which a long-time NYCC member was struck and killed by a young cyclist while walking in the park. These events should and do give us pause.

As a large (2000+) recreational club, our membership spans the spectrum of interests. From those new to cycling to those with decades of experience; those new to city-riding to born-and-bred New Yorkers; casual cyclists to endurance athletes. What we all share is a love of cycling, an interest in setting a good example for fellow cyclists to follow, and a responsibility to create a safe environment for ourselves and those with whom we share the road, particularly pedestrians.

As many of us use Central Park, we want to reiterate the importance of the following Central Park Cycling Protocol developed by NYCC and CRCA: 

  • Ride a straight line and under control.
  • Ride at a speed that is safe for that density of pedestrian traffic.
  • Always yield to pedestrians. If there are pedestrians in or entering the crosswalk always slow or stop at a red light.
  • When passing runners, walkers, slower cyclists and other park users always allow several feet of clearance.
  • Reserve fast training rides for the hours of 5am to 8am.
  • Keep training groups small and organized.
  • Consider a bell and the addition of a front and rear light after dusk. Both are the law.
  • Slower cyclists stay left. Pass on the right when safe to do so.
  • Never ride in the recreation lane when the park is closed to car traffic.
  • Be alert. Be conscientious. Be civil to all park users. Remember the park is full of tourists and locals who do not know the rules.


For good measure, we want to remind everyone of the NYCC group ride guidelines, which we encourage you to follow even when not on NYCC rides: 

  • Do not use cell phones or wear any sort of headset, earphones, earbuds, etc. while riding. 
  • Riding bicycles with aerobars (whether or not in use) is not permitted. 
  • Helmets are required.


In addition, all cyclists are subject to the NYS Bicycle Laws, Rules and Regulations.

Safety on the road is paramount to NYCC; all else is secondary. It is why we run the free SIG training program every spring, and provide Ride Leader Guidelines and the Ride Leader Training Manual. We encourage you to re-familiarize yourself with this information. 

Whether you are on a club ride or not, we expect all members to display good judgment on the road. It only takes one cyclist's carelessness to cast a shadow on us all. We will keep the membership apprised of any developments resulting from these tragic incidents. 

Ride safe.

The NYCC Board of Directors

cycling trips