Sucks! I’ve written about riding on Staten Island before when I go visit family and the story is about the same. The roads suck, the people suck, and the scenery sucks (for the most part – there is 1 or 2 places with a good view of NYC, but otherwise it sucks).
The potholes are huge. The cracks cavernous. Mix of water, oil, and ice in the mornings everywhere. It’s windy. And the drivers, like every New Yorker, assume the right to drive their vehicle with total disregard for human (i.e. cyclist’s) life and laws. Including, but not limited to: doing well over 30mph above the posted speed limited, running red lights, stopping for red lights then quickly becoming impatient and just going through them (I saw this 6x in 3 days), talking on cell phones without hands-free devices (a personal favorite for DC too), throwing shit out their window (after all, SI is a dump so why not?), cutting people off (again, especially cyclists), pulling u-turns without looking, signaling, or even considering other people are on the road, and the list goes on…Oddly, though, they won’t make a right on red because that is illegal in the 5 boroughs. Crazy SOBs.
After riding for 3 hours on Friday my bike was a wreck and I needed to true my wheels and tighten my rear hub. My brain was slightly rattled too from being bounced around and my neck strained from fighting 30mph winds. Included with this was the nerve-wracking conditions of being buzzed, literally within inches of me, by gigantic SUVs and Hummers doing 50mph on narrow, pot-holed roads. Of course, the argument for even owning an SUV or Hummer on SI is ludicrous, but perhaps nontrivial since the roads, as bad as they are on the island, warrants owning a vehicle intended for off-road use. Then again, these vehicles probably contribute to the roads getting even worse. But ay, who gives uh shit.
Finally, the bike lanes. Some are ok – this probably includes about 2 miles of neighborhood bike lane clear of debris. But mostly they are full of gravel and glass and on the eastern shore’s Hylan Blvd are full of mud and water. So much in fact that the lane itself is being swallowed up by the slumping of dirt running off into the lane. This forces cyclists into the closest of the 2 adjacent car lanes and requires said cyclist to now avoid cracks, holes, glass, etc. as well as to be attentive to the approaching anti-bike-tank-vehicle doing Mach 1 speeds.
So…if you go to Staten Island, do what most do, and drive like a retard.