Daily Bike Forecast — by Bike Snob NYC

June 27th, 2017: Clearing the Air

There's a 20% chance of some thunderstorms this afternoon:

tues june 27

Tuesday A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 78. Southwest wind 5 to 14 mph.

Tuesday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 63. Northwest wind 6 to 13 mph.

Sunrise: 5:27am

Sunset: 8:31pm

Still, when the odds of staying dry are better than the odds of your subway train arriving on time, the bike is the obvious choice:


(Union Square, Manhattan)

Queens cyclists should note that the Queensboro Bridge bike path will be closed again tonight and tomorrow night:

And if you're headed from Queens to Roosevelt Island on Wednesday keep in mind there will be intermittent closures on the Roosevelt Island Bridge:

Moving on, we've all encountered pedestrians on the Manhattan Bridge bike path:

foot traffic

If you're like me you feel conflicting emotions about this.  On one hand, they've got their own path on the other side of the bridge (with a Brooklyn Bridge view no less), so why do they have to walk in ours?  It's just not fair!  On the other hand, their presence causes me little to no inconvenience, so how much does it matter really?

Nevertheless, after conducting a "field investigation" during which they presumably determined that people do in fact walk in on the Manhattan Bridge bike path, the DOT will now address the problem with...additional signage:

Frankly I don't see this having a major impact on the situation, but I do expect a corresponding increase in the number of cyclists who say, "Didn't you see the signs?"

Speaking of studies, researchers are collaborating with WNYC and the NYC Department of Health to determine just how much pollution we're sucking down when we ride:


Urban bicyclists and outdoor sports enthusiasts may soon learn more about the air pollution they breathe and its health risks as an unusual 3-year study gets underway. This week, the project is scheduled to equip its first cohort of volunteer bike commuters in New York City with pollution sensors as well as a sophisticated array of health monitors. The equipment will ultimately track 150 riders’ vital signs while they’re on the move and, in a step beyond what prior similar studies have done, estimate each individual’s pollution exposure.

Not only that, but they'd like you to to participate.  Here are the details:

air quality

If you agree to participate in the study, we'll ask that you wear air pollution monitors, a special shirt that monitors your heart rate, and an automatic blood pressure cuff for six 24 hour periods centered around six morning bike commutes. This gear poses minimal risk, and should not inconvenience you or cause any discomfort. It all fits in an exercise vest, and it won't slow you down when you ride.

What's in it for you?  Why, the satisfaction of helping to make the world a better place, plus the opportunity to put a number on how much pollution you're inhaling:

You won't receive any direct benefit from participating in the research, though it is kind of cool to know how much air pollution you encounter as you ride. We will use this information to make recommendations about how NYC and other cities can design bicycle infrastructure to minimize the risks of air pollution exposure. 

The data will feed ongoing research at Columbia and contribute to cycling and public health, and our friends at WNYC will make sure the results of the study reach a wide audience of New Yorkers. But we need your wheels to make this work. So please join us.

Hey, it beats uploading your commuting times to Strava.

Of course, no matter how much pollution you encounter when on the bike it's pretty safe to say that the health benefits of riding outweigh any risks posed by air quality.  Plus, if you hang in there one day you may be able to buy a bike that cleans the air:


Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde has developed a new addition to the Smog Free Project, supported by the Chinese central government. The Smog Free Bicycle inhales polluted air, transforms it into clean air and then releases it back around the cyclist. The bicycle provides a healthy and energy-friendly solution for urbanites. It combats both traffic congestion and pollution issues in the city.

Yes, apparently it's not enough that our bikes don't produce any exhaust, and soon we'll have to clean up everyone else's too.

Sounds about right.