Photo by SR

A reader sent in the above photo, noting it was taken "at 6 p.m. on a crowded downtown 6 train during Friday rush hour. She got on the train at Grand Central and stayed on until Bleecker Street." First of all, there's the obvious bicycle issue, but as a second subway etiquette offense, the cyclist is also wearing an overstuffed backpack, taking up a total of, let's say, three spots where other humans could fit. We've already addressed the backpack issue in our ongoing quest to tame the animals that one can encounter out there, but what about bicycle etiquette—when is it okay to haul your two-wheeler onto the subway?

  • When it's raining or snowing (which it wasn't when this photo was taken).
  • When your bike is in need of repair, and you are nowhere near a place that can fix it for you.
  • When it's not rush hour/crowded.
  • When you're injured.
  • When you win a bicycle as a gift but are scared to bike it home because you have never biked in the city before.
  • When you're tripping face and the bike tells you it wants to ride the subway.*

Those are really the only acceptable times! If you want to take mass transit, just leave your bike at home or chained up.

*With help from Chris Robbins.