oup of five mechanics building and fixing bikes in the corner. To my relief, the lead mechanic, Kate, who I had previously met in the office, hopped up to greet me. She expertly navigated through the myriad bikes and within seconds was tuning and cleaning up a bike that was my size.
from Streetsblog . . .
You could win a flat-screen television just for supporting eco-friendly businesses.
This spring, Earth Day New York is sponsoring a green-themed scavenger hunt throughout the five boroughs.
Earth Day New York has signed on 24 specific Earth-friendly businesses – including Bike and Roll New York City – and New Yorkers that swing by can enter to win a cash prize or electronics — such as a laptop or flat-screen TV.
People that visit 12 or more “green” destinations can win prizes including $500 cash, a Toshiba flat-screen television or a Toshiba laptop.
People that go to at least five destinations can win gifts such as $250 in gift cards.
Participants must collect stamps at each destination on their “Passport to Green,” which can be downloaded at www.earthdayny.org.
Earth Day New York hopes to raise awareness of the green places in the city and support environment-friendly businesses.
The contest runs from March 20 to April 21.
The following are participating businesses:
Bike & Roll NYC
Dos Toros Taqueria
Green Fitness Studio
New York Botanical Garden
Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanic Garden
By Courtney Laird
With a degree in Spanish from Colby College, I hoped to find a summer job or internship that allowed me to utilize my Spanish language skills daily. With the help of Colby’s Career Center, I stumbled upon the Language Liaison/Marketing Assistant Intern position at Bike and Roll New York City and became immediately interested upon seeing that the main responsibilities of the job focused around language skills and international business.
I knew from the first week that I would enjoy myself during this internship—from taking two tours to acclimate myself to the product, I realized that the culture of Bike and Roll is one steeped in fun and innovation and that their products are something you should definitely try!
The internship is comprised of three main segments: marketing with ALON Marketing Group, public relations with Nicholas and Lence and translating Bike and Roll’s brand literature and promotional material. All three segments work in harmony to increase Bike and Roll’s presence in international markets relative to your language focus—since I speak Spanish, I translated the promotional material into Spanish and contacted Spanish-speaking countries that provide the most tourism in America.
Using an online database full of travel agencies and Tour Operators, I located and contacted (in Spanish!) companies that spanned 10 countries in order to introduce them to the rentals and tours Bike and Roll offers here in NYC. Creating direct dialogue with international companies in their native language helped Bike and Roll enter a whole new business market—many of the companies I contacted responded that they would promote our services on their websites. I liked this process best—it was a great way to hone my Spanish skills in professional correspondences, to learn more about how sales and marketing function when pitching products and to create connections with people in various countries like Spain, Argentina, Guatemala and Peru.
I also really enjoyed translating the promotional documents. It was a great way to keep my brain alert, to learn new words and phrases and to practice the sometimes complicated process of translating. It was really rewarding to know that my work would be published for customers to use! It was also fulfilling to be able to incorporate and improve upon my existing writing skills in both English and Spanish—drafting emails, crafting a research project and writing blog entries allowed for ample opportunities to enhance valuable communication skills.
The interactive and direct experience of marketing and public relations (two fields in which I had limited experience) definitely enabled me to learn a whole new set of skills that prepare me well for a career in these interrelated fields. The opportunity to learn more about sales and marketing, coupled with the opportunity to use and improve my Spanish skills, made this internship invaluable. From working with a small company of friendly and knowledgeable people to expanding my professional network into Latin America, my internship at Bike and Roll NYC helped me locate my career interests and provided me the necessary skills sets for jumpstarting my career.
(by Andrea Doyle, Successful Meetings, February 25, 2013)
By Henry Nalle
I heard about Bike and Roll NYC’s Marketing Assistant/Language Liaison internship through the career center at my college. The internship was advertised as a great way to put foreign language proficiency to work while gaining experience in marketing, public relations, and international business—and that is exactly what it was! As a French major interested all of these fields, this internship seemed like the perfect intersection of my academic interests and professional pursuits.
What made this internship so unique was the fact that it was truly a learning experience. I was also able to work and interact with so many different people over the course of the summer. It’s as if this experience was three internships in one. In addition to working directly with Bike and Roll NYC, I also worked in conjunction with Alon Marketing Group and Nicholas and Lence Communications to make Bike and Roll’s products more accessible to foreign markets.
The work I did directly for Bike and Roll NYC consisted of translating all of Bike and Roll’s promotional material (websites, brochures, tour documents, etc) into French. Translating this material early in the program really helped me to familiarize myself with Bike and Roll NYC’s products and mission. What’s more, during my first week I was given the opportunity to go on two of Bike and Roll’s tours: the Inside Central Park tour and the Bike and Boat tour. I thoroughly enjoyed both these tours and they really got me excited about working for a company with first-rate products and superior customer service. I was always encouraged to give constant feedback on my experiences over the course of the summer. I even had the opportunity to collaborate with my fellow intern, Courtney, to draft part a manual that will serve as a training guide for future Bike and Roll interns.
One of the key components of my internship was my work in conjunction with Alon Marketing Group. Alon puts Bike and Roll into contact with hundreds of tour operators who put together tour packages and sell them to travel agents, who then sell them to tourists. As a French-speaking intern, I researched Francophone tour operators that offer tours to New York City. I also did substantial research on the French biking culture and how it would translate to an interest in biking in New York City. After completing this research, I drafted an email (in French) selling Bike and Roll NYC’s tour and rental offerings. I reached out to tour operators by tailoring this email to each operator’s interests as expressed on their website. Reaching out in French helped to break down the language barrier that may have previously prevented contact with these buyers. I also felt that I was actually doing something to help Bike and Roll while learning a great deal about the travel and tourism industry.
I also had the opportunity to work with Nicholas and Lence Communications, the firm that manages Bike and Roll’s PR. During my days at NLC, I made press lists of Francophone journalists and posted Bike and Roll tours to NYC event websites to help advertise and sell our product. I also drafted sales pitches and translated press releases in an effort to reach out to French-speaking tourists in NYC. My work with NLC exposed me to the world of Public Relations and served as an amazing opportunity to work with some real experts in the field.
Interning for Bike and Roll NYC was an amazing learning experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone with foreign language proficiency interested in marketing, PR, and international business!
Do you have an internship experience you’d like to share with us?
Written By: Darryll White
New York City is one of the most visited places on the planet, ranking in some polls as the number five (5) tourist destination worldwide and number one (1) in the US. Due to all the history, diversity, culture, and architecture, along with a massive local retail and service industry, the city is a tremendous destination.
With all the city offers, a visit at first glance might seem overwhelming. For many, guided tours offer a way to capture the essence of certain sections and or aspects of the city in an efficient and enjoyable manner. There are many types of tours to choose from, including walking tours, bus tours, boat tours, bike tours, along with nuance tours such as food tours, architecture tours, history tours, neighborhood tours, etc.
The city strives to protect the interest of the visitor to NYC so that when purchasing guide services the consumer has some assurance, that those who provide services will be prepared to offer a quality product. While buyer-beware is always good advice, NYC offers a layer of consumer protection by requiring tour guides to obtain a Sightseeing Guide License. Acquisition of the license requires an extensive base of knowledge about the city and the tourism industry.
Persons applying to become guides in NYC must file an application, provide proof of identity, take and pass the guide exam, and pay applicable fees.
The exam covers numerous topic areas and requires broad based understanding of the NYC touring industry. One must understand local logistics, history, have knowledge about local neighborhoods and landmarks, understand ethnic culture, including foods and religion and immigration patterns both historical and current; as well as have basic knowledge on local museums, public sculptures, art, culture, including music, theatre, dance and literature. Additionally, knowledge on architecture, city planning, parks, parkways and cemeteries is required.
The licensed guide is also required to understand “practicum”, which includes legal routing of passengers, pick up/drop off points for tour busses as well as the requirements surrounding the use of microphones, billing customers and taxes, along with terms specific to travel and tourism.
When selecting a tour in the city, the consumer should qualify the operator by ensuring that they utilize authorized and licensed guides for all of their tours. Most guides will carry their license with them when conducting business and facilitating tours in the city.
Wendy Rose from Bike and Roll offers the following in regards to the license test: “The city guide licensing test is impressively rigorous, and I love it! The questions were incredibly involved, so I really had to study all aspects of the city (past, present, food, culture, navigation, etc). It does an excellent job of looking to all the Boroughs of New York. The test for me, took four hours to complete. It was exhaustive, but incredibly rewarding. While some people likely find the test to be an unnecessary hurdle, I definitely welcomed the challenge and opportunity to immerse myself in as many details on NYC as possible”.
Bike and Roll NYC has been providing bicycle tours in NYC since 2007. With eleven (11) locations in New York City and in Jersey City, NJ, Bike and Roll is the largest bicycle tour operator in the NY Metro area. The company offers several daily tours in Central Park and along the NYC and NJ waterfront. A night tour is available and some tours include packaged deals such as the Bike and Boat tour. Additionally, Bike and Roll NYC offers walking tours and Segway tours.
Sending out more than eleven (11) daily tours with other tours available on demand takes a reliable and dedicated staff of tour guides and attention to detail at the management level.
According to Bob Trenta, Manager of Guides at Bike and Roll, “We have put together a quality team of seventeen  licensed tour guides, each having their own perspective of New York City.
The range of their experience and backgrounds is truly impressive. Actors, wood worker, Vassar grad, Columbia art history grad from Maui, rock band keyboardist, money manager, photographers, men’s clothing designer, architect, educators, Harvard educated contrarian, film editor, industrial designer and coaches all bring something different, unique and refreshing to each tour.
They have been the backbone of the many four and five star reviews we have received. Most importantly, they are always willing to adjust their schedules anytime we need them for a major touring event”.
One key to facilitating a successful tour is to know your group. The development of a relationship adds great value to the tour and also helps the guide understand what the group most wants to see or to gain from their tour experience. From there the guide can tailor the tour by focusing on certain aspects and not others in order to best align with the group’s overall interests.
Bike and Roll NYC tour guide, Dan Golden states: “My favorite part about working for Bike and Roll (aside from being paid to bike) is the flexibility. No two tours are the same, and if I get to make slight variations on the tour stops based on what I think the group will like, everyone is happier. For instance, I just discovered Ladies Pavilion in Central Park. The views of the lake and skyline are incredible, so now I take people there if they’re really into picture-taking”.
What I enjoy most about being a NYC tour guide is that I love the city and love America. I’m proud to show this place off to people who have only seen it in movies. I love defying the guide books (Don’t want to wait in a long line for the amazing views on top of the rock? I know a good rooftop bar nearby with incredible views. Want the best Italian American food? Little Italy in Manhattan is great, but I know a place in Brooklyn that makes you feel like you walked into a scene from the Godfather. Like being active? How about getting a $50 day-pass to Chelsea Piers, free kayaking on the Hudson, or a horseback riding tour at Kensington Stables in Prospect Park. I also love hearing from tourists that they thought New Yorkers were supposed to be rude, and they’re actually really friendly. Don’t even get me started on how visiting New York changes their perception of the typical American.
Damien at Bike and Roll further adds; “My favorite tour that Bike and Roll has to offer is the “Bike and Boat”. Starting out in New Amsterdam right into New York up to a Modern Marvel, the Brooklyn Bridge, then off to the boroughs first neighborhood “Brooklyn Heights”. Next, down to the Portofino of Brooklyn “DUMBO”, then to the hop on – hop off Water Taxi, making you feel like Henry on the Half Moon going up the Hudson. Lastly, hop off and pedal down the Greenway into our newest of land fills (like putting the cherry on top of the cake) Battery Park City! Wow what a tour!!”
Managing a group of people on bicycles in a large urban setting takes attention to detail and strong leadership skills. While fun is the goal, safety is always the top priority.
Bike and Roll NYC President, Chris Wogas elaborates, “At Bike and Roll our tours are based on two pillars. First, show off the greatest the city in the world. Second, build each tour around knowledgeable guides, well-trained team-members and safety. We understand that providing a great product must include delivering a safe product. Whether it be providing helmets, creating first-class tour routes, continual equipment maintenance and upgrades, or ongoing team-member training; everything we do at Bike and Roll always has our guest’s enjoyment and safety top of mind.
Seeing New York by bike is an experience like no other – a must do event! Seeing New York by bike with the best guides in the industry who continually provide a first-class, customer centered and safe product is truly a serendipitous experience and will be a lifelong memory”.
Wendy adds, “The streets of New York are busy and have their dangers, like anywhere. The key for bike safety in New York is to bike in a predictable manner. That means that you stay in the bike lane, bike in the correct direction, and hold your position in traffic (no swerving!) when there is no bike lane. On Bike and Roll tours, we all wear helmets, always go over safety rules, and encourage our guests to bike in a predictable, self-aware way. One last tip: it is crucial that people do not bike side by side on the Greenway”!
Bike and Roll NYC is a member of the Bike and Roll National Cooperative. Cooperative members have provided bicycle guide services and equipment rentals in five (5) major US cities for the past twenty-one (21) years. As a pioneer and leader in urban bicycle tours, Bike and Roll strives to set the standard nationwide for high quality and safe urban tour experiences.
September is here! Starting September 2nd, our Fall operating hours will go in to effect.
Open 7 Days a Week
Central Park at Columbus Circle West: 8AM – 10PM
Central Park at Columbus Circle South: 8AM – 10PM
Central Park at Tavern on the Green: 9AM – 7PM
Pier 84: 9AM – 7PM
Battery Park: 9AM – 7PM
Open Weekends ONLY
Brooklyn Bridge Park: 11AM – 7PM
Riverside Park: 11AM – 7PM
Liberty State Park: 10AM – 5PM
East River Park and West Harlem Piers Park are CLOSED for the 2014 season.
New York City in the Fall is a beautiful time of year! Hop on a bike and take in the beauty of Autumn in NYC!
Bike and Roll celebrates the completion of its 6th season as a supporter and integral member of the NYC Summer Streets program. Serving as a bicycle outfitter for the event, Bike and Roll NYC has provided free 1 hour rentals to Summer Streets participants at each annual program since the first Summer Streets in 2008. This past season Bike and Roll provided between 800 and 900 free rentals over the 3 day event period.
“Summer Streets has become a part of the fabric of NYC and is a highly anticipated event by residents and visitors alike”, says Bike and Roll New York City President, Chris Wogas. “As a leader in our community, Bike and Roll is pleased to promote cycling as a fun and healthy activity, as well as a means of transportation. Over the past several years, our donation of free bike usage for each Summer Streets event has allowed Bike and Roll to connect with the community and is one of the reasons why we are New York City’s largest bike tour and rental company. From my standpoint, giving back to the community is simply a must for any company actively involved in their community and I will ensure that Bike and Roll continues to create memories and smiles every chance we get.”
According to NYC.Gov, “Summer Streets is an annual celebration of New York City’s most valuable public space—our streets. Summer Streets provides space for healthy recreation and encourages New Yorkers to use more sustainable forms of transportation. In 2013, more than 300,000 people took advantage of the open streets”. The 2014 event saw over 400,000 participants, continuing the growth trend since the inaugural program in 2008. For more information on Summer Streets, please go to http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/summerstreets/html/about/about.shtml
As a follow up to Summer Streets and continuing its theme of bicycle promotion and free incentives, Bike and Roll just launched a 2014 end of summer and fall program for free bicycle rentals on Governors Island. If you purchase a Bike and Roll bicycle or Segway tour, you will receive a separate free rental of a bicycle, helmet and lock for use on the island. For more information on this program please follow this link http://bit.ly/BNRGIPass
Bike Smart: The Offical Guide to Cycling in New York City, is a helpful handbook with information on making your cycling safer and easier, including tips on using newer bike facilities such as protected lanes and bike boxes. And it’s free!
- Download Bike Smart in English
- Download in Chinese (中文版), French (français), Haitian Creole (Kreyòl Ayisyen), Italian (italiano), Korean (한국어판), Russian (русском языке) orSpanish (español)
NYC Biking Laws
Cyclists have all the rights and are subject to all of the duties and regulations applicable to drivers of motor vehicles. Download a complete list of New York City bicycle rules
- Ride in the street, not on the sidewalks (unless rider is age 12 or younger and the bicycle’s wheels are less than 26 inches in diameter).
- Ride with traffic, not against it.
- Stop at red lights and stop signs. Obey all traffic signals, signs and pavement markings, and exercise due care to avoid colliding with pedestrians, motor vehicles or other cyclists.
- Use marked bike lanes or paths when available, except when making turns or when it is unsafe to do so. If the road is too narrow for a bicycle and a car to travel safely side by side, you have the right to ride in the middle of the travel lane. Bicycling is permitted on all main and local streets throughout the City, even when no designated route exists.
- Use a white headlight and a red taillight, as well as a bell or horn and reflectors.
- Ride in a straight line, obey traffic signs and signals, and do not weave in and out of traffic. Riding predictably reduces your chances of a crash with a motor vehicle.
- Look, signal and look again before changing lanes or making a turn. Establish eye contact with drivers. Seeing a driver is often not enough. Make sure drivers see you before executing a turn or riding in front of a turning car.
- Watch out for car doors. Be prepared for the possibility that a car door may be opened in your path. When possible, leave room between yourself and parked cars (3 feet is generally recommended) so that you can avoid a door that opens unexpectedly.
- Stay visible. Wear brightly colored clothing for daytime riding. At night, use reflective materials and lights.
- Use your bell. Your bell alerts drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists to your presence, it is required by law.
- Don’t wear earphones. By law you may wear one earbud, but keeping your ears clear is a much safer choice.
- Wear a helmet. Helmets are required by law for children age 13 or younger and working cyclists, helmets are a good idea for cyclists of all ages.
For Children on Bicycles
- Children under age one cannot be carried on a bicycle.
- Children must be carried in a properly affixed child carrier.
- Cyclists under age 13 must wear an approved helmet.
Everyone should wear a helmet while riding. DOT fits and gives away the official New York City bicycle helmet at events throughout the city. Call 311 to schedule a fitting. In order to receive a helmet you must: be present, learn how to properly fit and wear a helmet, and sign a waiver (a parent or legal guardian must sign for children under 18).Find the next helmet fitting on the DOT Events Calendar
Don’t Be a Jerk
DOT’s Don’t Be A Jerk bike safety campaign humorously highlights the essential dos and don’ts of safe, responsible biking. According to DOT’s 2010 Sustainable Streets Index, commuter cycling increased 262% in New York City from 2000 to 2010. With more bikes on the road, smart cycling is even more crucial to making New York City’s streets safer for everyone using them. Learn more.