Riding a CitiBike

citibike_06When I saw the Citibikes around town, I knew I needed to get in on the action.  I signed up the first weekend they were available because it seemed like such a great deal.  For $100 a year I could take unlimited 45 minute bike rides around the city.  I was bummed that the bikes only went up to 60th street, but hopefully that will change in the future!

My annual key came a few weeks later and I was anxious to give the bikes a try.  I decided to go in the middle of the day when I didn’t need to get anywhere quickly because I wasn’t sure how hard it would be to check out the bikes or maneuver them around town.  I am definitely intimidated by the taxi drivers in NYC so sharing the road with them was going to be a challenge to overcome.

I used the free Citibike app to find a kiosk on 25th street and 6th Avenue.  I slid my key in and was granted access to that bike.  Success!   The seat was easy to adjust and I hooked my bag into the space at the front of the bike and took off in the bike lane.  I biked from 25th Street to 41st Street and it was a really easy trip.  I only had to swerve out of the bike lane for parked trucks a couple of times and I actually felt really safe on the giant bike.  I am an convert of this program!

The only downside came when I tried to return the bike.  I shoved it into the slot on 41st street (you have to push pretty hard), but did not get a green light (which is supposed to indicate the bike has been returned).  When I tried to take it out and return it again it wouldn’t let me.  I ended up having to call customer service.  They were really friendly and they closed the trip out for me and didn’t charge me, but still, it was annoying to call.  I think there are still some glitches to work out with the program, but for now, I am glad the bike share exists in NYC, flaws and all!

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