Every morning I have a 23 minute walk to work. Okay so I know that’s quite a luxury but seeing as I start at 7am, I’m happy to do anything that’ll shear off 10 minutes. Well, finally, it’s here! The Citi Bike.
The clunky blue bikes have been up and running (rolling?) for a week now, but last week they were only available for those who’d paid the annual fee. Now they’re for plebeians like me, too.
Usually I leave home at 6.35am and get to the office at about 6.58. How would Citi Bikes compare?
I donned some leggings under my dress and left home at 6.39 – just in case – and walked a block to the nearest racks at Astor Place. It took about five minutes to navigate the machine (we’re losing time heeeere) and once I’d swiped my card, entered my phone number (presumably in case I felt like nicking the bike… and then picking up my phone to admit it) and been given a 5 digit code, I chose my bike. I entered the code and I was off.
Once I’d remembered which side of the road I was allowed on, I zipped across Broadway and headed south to SoHo. The bikes weren’t as heavy as I’d imagined; it was a smooth ride.
Well, until I got south of Houston and had the cobbles to contend with. I should have donned a sports bra with those leggings.
A few blocks later and I clicked the bike into place at the racks at Spring and Mercer. A quick clock check – 6.52.
I think using the machine for the first time added a few minutes, as did my apprehension about the roads. What would take even more time off would be paying the yearly fee as I wouldn’t have to bother with the machines at all. And it really is cost effective to go for the yearly plan – just $95 compared to a painful $10 for 24 hours. I would definitely use the bikes at least 10 times a year to make it worth it.
For once, I was grateful for a 7am start as it meant there we very few cars on the road. New York drivers – especially taxis – have no fear, so I’d never cycle on the roads any other time of the day. I hope other Citi Bikers know what they’re doing… and that they do it with a helmet.
I know they’ve had their critics, but for me, they’re perfect. Now I can now leave the house at 6.45!