People on Bikes: Williamsburg Bridge, Manhattan

(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Welcome to the latest installment of People on Bikes. Our last one showed the fantastic people riding into Brooklyn via the Manhattan Bridge. That was before Sandy came to town. In the spirit of reminding the world that biking is alive and thriving here in New York City, I now present a post-Sandy People on Bikes.

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This morning I sat on a park bench in the middle of Delancey Street watching people stream down the Williamsburg Bridge into Manhattan. I saw an amazing cross-section of New Yorkers. Many of them looked like seasoned bike riders, but many others looked like perhaps they had just grabbed whatever two-wheeled vehicle they could find just to get into work (the subway is still not running in Lower Manhattan and bus service is spotty).

What stands out for me as I look through the entire set is that these folks have style. They look good! (#47 is one of my favorites). And there’s really no one in “bike clothes” — and thankfully, not one neon yellow jacket!

Have a look…

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-1

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-4

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-5

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-7

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-8

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-11

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-13

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-14

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-15

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-16

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-17

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-18

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-19

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-20

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-21

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-24

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-26

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-27

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-28

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-29

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-34

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-35

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-36

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-37

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-38

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-39

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-40

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-41

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-42

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-43

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-44

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-45

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-46

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-47

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-48

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-49

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-50

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-51

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People on Bikes Williamsburg Bridge - Manhattan-52

Like People on Bikes? Check out past editions here.

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Ethan
Ethan
9 years ago

Ahhhh, the humanity. Great shots Jonathan.

Gary Charles
Gary Charles
9 years ago

Awesome shots as usual. For a city that gets more rain in a year than Portland, I’m surprised by how many have no fenders.

Chris
Chris
9 years ago
Reply to  Gary Charles

Yes, but they also have more sun than Portland. Their rain comes in larger quantities 🙂

pixelgate
pixelgate
9 years ago

For all the comparisons I hear between Portland and Williamsburg, those folks have waaaaaaaaay more style and fashion sense than I’ve ever seen on 2 wheels here in pdx

cold worker
cold worker
9 years ago
Reply to  pixelgate

If JM all of a sudden said, “hey this is actually on Couch and 6th”, what would you say?

pixelgate
pixelgate
9 years ago
Reply to  cold worker

I’d say “bs” because it’s clearly not. Strange argument you’re trying to make.

cold worker
cold worker
9 years ago
Reply to  pixelgate

Oh, clearly not! These are New Yorkers wearing clothing the average Portlander, could not, would not! These pictures of people in jeans, leather jackets, hoodies, nikes and pumas and uggs, they are PUT TOGETHER! You can’t get those items here! It’s not happening. You’re right, this is clearly NYC.

Give me a break.

Mindful Cyclist
Mindful Cyclist
9 years ago
Reply to  pixelgate

The only reason I would say BS is that there really are not that many racial minorities heading around the Couch curve.

Furthermore, I think that “fashion sense” is much more important on the East coast–especially in a place like Williamsburg. Minus the young, skinny-jeaned hipsters, people in Portland tend to be by in large more casual and chose function over form when it comes to clothing.

MIke
MIke
9 years ago
Reply to  pixelgate

Thanks for filling me in on what is fashionable. To think I have been unstylish this whole time?

pixelgate
pixelgate
9 years ago
Reply to  MIke

Well no need to be insecure about it

MIke
MIke
9 years ago
Reply to  pixelgate

Smugness is anti-fashion, just so you know!

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
9 years ago
Reply to  pixelgate

Really! Wow. Have you seen this set? There are zippo similarities, eh?

Sam
Sam
9 years ago

NYC must have incredibly well marked bike lanes and/or #28 is one of the bravest guys around once he’s off the bridge and into traffic. He’s surely one of the “seasoned bike riders” .

Gary Charles
Gary Charles
9 years ago
cold worker
cold worker
9 years ago

Looks like regular people dressed regular. Yay for no spandex, sure. Meh, overall.

Swan Island Runner
Swan Island Runner
9 years ago

Lots of tires need air, I am guessing a bunch of people are pulling that bike out of the storage closet for the first time in a while… I hope they enjoy it and stick with it once things get back to normal!

Ay, Mikey
Ay, Mikey
9 years ago

That was the main thing I noticed also. They’re probably struggling so hard to pedal with the flats that they’ll think bicycling takes too much effort and it’s back to storage with the bike.

Atbman
Atbman
9 years ago

I haven’t seen that many Weinmann brakes since the 70s

AJL
AJL
9 years ago

If my route was flat and i didnt work up a sweat both ways I would be able to wear ‘normal’ clothes too. Much of clothing choice is for practical purposes…including yellow jackets.

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
9 years ago
Reply to  AJL

Amen. What’s with all the spandex(tm) persecution? If you would disparage special-purpose gear, ride 12 miles one way over the W. Hills in your Levi’s(tm), loafers, and puffy coat (in an hour or less), then get back to me.

Nathan
Nathan
9 years ago
Reply to  El Biciclero

I do that! Minus the puffy jacket (plus a bike poncho at times). I also smell like I just rode 14 miles when I get to work. People are allowed to be people even in olefactory sort of way.

-shrugs-!

arexfanboy
arexfanboy
9 years ago

I love the watermelon bike, number 18.

If it’s warm enough to get sweaty, I don’t wear spandex, I just take off my shirt. If you fold a t-shirt right you can get it into the water bottle cage.

Editz
Editz
9 years ago

#28 A Lannister always rides his bike.

resopmok
resopmok
9 years ago
Reply to  Editz

And it’s a brakeless fix..

Bobcycle
Bobcycle
9 years ago

Lots of no helmets, a few with ear buds, so what’s with the comment about neon jackets? Those aren’t cool???? or is riding safe passez?

Randall S.
Randall S.
9 years ago
Reply to  Bobcycle

First of all, it’s spelled “passé.” Secondly, not wearing a helmet does not constitute “unsafe,” something I’m sure you’re aware of, as I expect you don’t wear a helmet while walking or driving.

chucklehead
chucklehead
9 years ago
Reply to  Randall S.

Not wearing a car safety device (seat belt) is considered unsafe an illegal.

Bobcycle
Bobcycle
9 years ago
Reply to  Bobcycle

Sometimes wearing neon can make you more visible. It may look tacky but in some situations I link being visible as safer. I just thought it was an interesting comment by JM. He should do a more extensive article on how important it is get that hipster look and tips on how to accomplish it. Call me a rebel, but I’ll take neon over black any day. Also sorry about the french misspelling. (How did you make that little accent thingy over the e anyway?)

abby
abby
9 years ago
Reply to  Bobcycle

Agreed on the visibility issue! NYC is MUCH better lit than Portland.

Rain Panther
Rain Panther
9 years ago

Apparently there’s something about a yellow rain jacket that just naturally makes riding a bike appear really tacky and unappealing to casual bystanders, or… bydrivers, as the case may be. So it’s our duty to wear “normal” jackets instead, and “normal” trousers as well- the more absorbent the better! C’mon, who’s afraid of some moist trousers anyway, right? Right?

mh
mh
9 years ago
Reply to  Rain Panther

Outlier pants (and lots of other things for men, much less available for women) are made in NYC. Stretchy, at least water resistant, and I just invested in my 2nd pair. It’s sort of limiting to wear only one pair of pants for nine consecutive months a year.

Ian
Ian
9 years ago
Reply to  Rain Panther

I don’t know about you, but I can deal with having damp pants just fine. If it rains really hard, well, I keep a spare pair of pants at work.

And unless you’re just being disingenuous, I’m sure you can understand the desire to promote riding in normal clothes so people don’t feel that they need to get $150 rain pants and a $200 jacket to ride year-round. Part of the appeal of driving a car is the ability to just step in and go, without the need for a lot of special equipment.

Rain Panther
Rain Panther
9 years ago
Reply to  Ian

The way I see it, each of us finds the solution that works best for them, and thetrre isn’t one solution that’s inherently better than the others. By the same token, I don’t believe there’s one correct way to dress that best promotes cycling. I personally think that when I arrive at work, peel off the outer layer and sit at my desk – dry and comfortable – that qualifies as a pretty fair endorsement.

Rain Panther
Rain Panther
9 years ago
Reply to  Rain Panther

ps, $350? You got the wrong rain panther.

Kris
Kris
9 years ago

What’s wrong with neon yellow jackets? They may not be fashionable, but I’d rather be visible than fashionable when it’s raining.

Smedley Basilone
Smedley Basilone
9 years ago

I’m currently looking to replace my North Face jacket with something lighter. My coat keeps all the rain out, but I get sweaty sometimes. When the rain stops I put it in my bag. It’s hard to find a “biking” jacket that isn’t outrageously priced. I think I’ll either stick with my current or go with a Mountain Hardware coat.

YearRoundCyclist
YearRoundCyclist
9 years ago

The Mountain Hardwear Windstopper Tech Jacket is the best cycling jacket I’ve found. On it’s own with the pit zips open it’s good up to around 50 F. With an insulative layer underneath, it’s good to below freezing temps.

todd
todd
9 years ago

mad props to #28, custom

Gracie
Gracie
9 years ago

Smedley Basilone
I’m currently looking to replace my North Face jacket with something lighter. My coat keeps all the rain out, but I get sweaty sometimes. When the rain stops I put it in my bag. It’s hard to find a “biking” jacket that isn’t outrageously priced. I think I’ll either stick with my current or go with a Mountain Hardware coat.
Recommended 0

Try a rain cape. They are waterproof with a loop you can hook onto your handle bars to keep the water off your legs, and on top of that, they don’t trap the perspiration.

Smedley
Smedley
9 years ago
Reply to  Gracie

I’ll look into that. “Trapping the perspiration” is exactly the phrase I was looking for and like all bicyclists makes me mad because I end up just as wet when I get to my final destination. I seen one on a guy yesterday it had a black body and yellow arms. Thanks!

Al from PA
Al from PA
9 years ago

Jonathan, you wouldn’t like London (UK), where I’m currently residing. Everyone here wears the “neon yellow jacket”–cyclists, but also cops, construction workers, you name it… Rain or shine. I’m expecting to see the queen wear one when she hands out the knighthoods…

David
David
9 years ago

When cycling in the United States has evolved beyond “counter-culture” and is actually considered an alternative mode of transit… people won’t be so focused on how “stylish” others look while riding their bike. People will be focused on where they are trying to go and the thought of being on a bicycle won’t hardly cross their minds. —Someday America.

Rhonda Lee Starr
Rhonda Lee Starr
9 years ago

You don’t see “one neon yellow jacket” now because there are hardly any cars on the road. That neon yellow jacket may save your life some day….

Rhonda Lee Starr
Rhonda Lee Starr
9 years ago

Style? Are you telling me that the retina-searing abomination that is #18 is your idea of style?

GlowBoy
GlowBoy
9 years ago

I’ll stick with my yellow rain jacket too. I also have light-colored rainwear for when I’m out and about NOT on a bike. Unfortunately the market is perpetually dominated by fashionable black and other dark colors, but I’d rather at least have a chance of being seen by motorists, thanks.

mark kenseth
mark kenseth
9 years ago

We need a pump up on aisle 32.

Adam Gniles
Adam Gniles
9 years ago
Reply to  mark kenseth

I’m sort of feeling sorry for her. I want to send her a gift certificate for a couple of drinks at Dram.

Juan Carlos
Juan Carlos
9 years ago

What’s with #36? Pedalling with his thigh?

Mindful Cyclist
Mindful Cyclist
9 years ago
Reply to  Juan Carlos

A lot of people that ride BMX truly ride a “brakeless” bike. My guess is that is getting ready to apply the flintstones brakes.

Juan Carlos
Juan Carlos
9 years ago

Yea I guess you’re right, didn’t think of that.

Mindful Cyclist
Mindful Cyclist
9 years ago

Certainly they did not come across as the smile and wave bunch that we saw on the Brooklyn Bridge last week. This set looks more like the ones you see where the riders are more focused on getting to point B.

Still, a very good set of photos, Jonathan.

spare_wheel
spare_wheel
9 years ago

Jonathan’s comment about neon inspired me to wear a neon jersey, neon nylon jacket, and black spandex tights (neon-spandex) on my commute this am . Amazingly, I passed everyone! I also noticed that other riders who wore neon-spandex had big smiles and appeared to be happier and faster than the small number of people not wearing neon-spandex.

/sarcasm

Despite the killjoy complaints of the “bike culture” clique, its actually fun to ride in gayly-colored synthetics. I can crank my way up pill hill at 15+ mph and thanks to the miracle of moisture-wicking fabrics I am not bathed in sweat when I arrive. And…no…I do not click around work in my ridiculous “bike-specific” shoes and silly neon-spandex like some oversized bumblebee. I have a miraculous yellow (almost neon!!!) ortlieb pack (bike specific!!!) that contains my lunch and a change of dry clothes.

JRB
JRB
9 years ago

I don’t quite understand the issue with what somebody wears. I am always happy to see people on bikes regardless of what they are, or are not wearing. Most of the folks I see in the picture are on the younger side and I don’t see them dressed differently than many of the folks of a similiar age I see on bikes in Portland. At my age and going on 25 years of marriage, comfort is much more important to me than style, so I’ll stick with wearing whatever makes me feel the most comfortable for a particula ride, whether it’s jeans and a t-shirt for a ride to the supermarket or “performance” clothing for long rides

Tjordache
Tjordache
9 years ago

A very nice cross section of NYC riders (new and old). A little bit of everything, that’s whats great about NYC. There’s very little that’s “Williamsburg” about these people though. Just a bunch of regular folks riding regular bikes (all the better)

Joe
Joe
9 years ago

awesome rider captures!