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Bike NYC: The best things about cycling in the city

There's no better time to get on a bike and ride in NYC. Over the past decade, bike lanes have proliferated, and more and more New Yorkers have taken up biking. According to the city Department of Transportation's Cycling in the City report, in 2015 alone, 12 miles of bike lanes were installed. The report also said on a "typical" day in the city, more than 400,000 cycling trips are made.

Even if you're a more casual rider, biking has many perks, from health benefits to saving money. Here are just a few reasons to ride.

Save money. Quit the gym!

If you live or work in Brooklyn or
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

If you live or work in Brooklyn or Queens and work in Manhattan, you'll have to bike over one of the East River bridges to get there. We are telling you this without hesitation: if you are making that trip a couple of times a week, you won't need to hit the gym as well.

Biking is good for the planet

On wheels from Citi Bike or your own
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

On wheels from Citi Bike or your own bike, riding is a zero-emissions mode of transportation. Nobody can argue that's not a major bonus of cycling, especially in a crowded city.

Get places fast

While there isn't any hard data available that
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

While there isn't any hard data available that shows conclusively that a bike can get you places in less time than a car or subway ride, it can generally be argued that you won't experience unforeseen traffic jams or sick passengers on your own two wheels.

Suntans come easy on a bike

When you're pedaling through the city, either on
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

When you're pedaling through the city, either on your way to work or just out for a jaunt, the sun is shining on you. And because you're moving fairly quickly, you don't feel too hot. Keep the arms and legs bare and get some color (though we recommend sunscreen if you're out for any considerable amount of time).

It's fun!

It is! Get on a bike and head
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

It is! Get on a bike and head to Prospect Park with some friends. You'll see.

A #bikefail actually builds your cred

If you're enough of a badass to ride
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Timothy Clary

If you're enough of a badass to ride your bike through the snow, it's totally OK if you fall into the street. In fact, it's the reality of biking that sometimes you hit a pothole or a slippery patch and lose control of your wheels. Wear a helmet.

See the city from a new perspective

There's nothing like checking out the city from
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

There's nothing like checking out the city from a pair of wheels, powered by you.

Make new friends

Bikers in New York City are part of
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

Bikers in New York City are part of a loose collective. If you're looking for people to hang with, hit up some bike rides and events to mix and mingle with like-minded folks.

You can even get your bike blessed

The annual blessing of the bikes at the
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Eric Thayer

The annual blessing of the bikes at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine is open to all denominations and even riders who aren't religious. Biking can be a bit dangerous, especially if you aren't following safe practices like wearing a helmet and obeying the rules of the road, so why not get your bike blessed?

You'll never have to deal with this again

If you bike to work, your sardine-packed-subway-car days
Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

If you bike to work, your sardine-packed-subway-car days are over.

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