Bring your DL to NYC!
Definitely bring your DL to Brooklyn. I've had mine here for 2 1/2 years and I love it. Don't worry about parking, theft, traffic, cabbies, etc. Just make sure you drive OFFENSIVELY (i.e. make it clear that you will drag the MF cabbie from his cab and beat him with your U-lock if neccessary), get a decent lock (see above), don't park stupidly, and get decent insurance so when someone knocks it (and possibly you) down, you'll be covered for repairs.
Other tips: invest in decent crash bars (my Givis have spared me mucho heartache), always always always wear proper riding gear (you WILL crash/dump/get doored, but likely at low speed, so WEAR YER GEAR!), avoid the big slabs of steel NYC uses to cover monster potholes (they are like ice in the rain - trust me on this one), don't plan on parking ANYWHERE in midtown (there are a couple of places, but I ain't tellin!), and note that the NYPD likes to ambush riders coming off of bridges on their way to work, pull 'em all over, and write 'em all tickets whether they deserve 'em or not (I have successfully fought mine in court).
Also note that the cabs are far easier to deal with than the guys driving black cars and delivery trucks. Those guys are much worse and should be taken more seriously. Same goes for SUVs with Jersey plates. They all seem to think they're Sopranos extras (and a few may have actually consulted on the show).
Who cares if a dog pisses on your tires? The rain will wash it off. Unless you like coming out every morning and sniffing your tires, why is this a problem? Does dog piss degrade rubber or something else I don't know?
Be super-careful splitting lanes - you will develop Spidey-sense eventually about this, but in the beginning be ultra cautious. People change lanes here more often than Microsoft issues security patches.
DO NOT lock your helmet to your bike and expect it to be there when you come back. Cracky will cut the strap and steal it in minutes.
Do not expect your bike to remain flawless here. This is NYC, and it takes a toll on bikes (and people). However, with every ding/scratch/rust spot/tear/crack you acquire, the more the cages will stay out of your way.
Pedestrians are actually stupider than they look and WILL freeze like deer in headlights in the crosswalks while they send emails on their Crackberries. However, if you have right of way, well....
Bicyclists are the craziest MFs here. Give them space in case they didn't take their meds that day.
All this said, riding in NYC is like a great big (possible fatality-inducing) videogame. Riding to work in the morning wakes me up better than any coffee, and by the time you get home at night, you'll forget about the stresses of work. You'll get around faster than ANYONE else, and I cannot stress enough the joy of terrorizing Vespa riders (those things have spread like roaches among the yuppie scum up here). Plus, you can get out of the city relatively easily to the sweet backroads of upstate NY pretty easily (try the Teconic and the Saw Mill Parkways on a nice Saturday morning for starters - yummy miles up there).
The DL is the perfect bike for the city - don't leave it behind!
Last edited by melsner; 01-12-2008 at 08:11 PM.