After a year of admiring the shiny (and not so shiny) bikes at a distance, I finally gave in and got a Citibike key. It took me about two weeks after getting my key to psych myself out enough so that I actually got ON one of the bikes1, but I did it and I like it.
I started in August and I saw a significant lift in my biking that month, am definitely looking forward to September.
Being Citibike user I’ve learnt a few things, and so I will now share my observations with you.
- It’s actually quite easy to use Citibikes – well, after you’ve read the instructions.2
- It’s also very easy to return the bikes, as long as the location has power.3
- The actual riding of the bike in the city isn’t as bad as I thought it might be. Though I do feel safer when riding on a protected path and would go out of my way to use one.
- Sometimes riding on the other types of bike path opens you up to cat-calls from people in their car.
- It’s always good to have hand sanitizer handy. ALWAYS.
- If you’re going to be taking a bike from, right after someone else returns it, you will most likely not like the experience of that person’s sweaty palm imprints on the handle bars.
- Hold the silver metal part when you are trying to loosen or tighten the seatpost clamp.
Now that I’ve ridden Manhattan, I’ve finally used all its major forms of transportation – I feel like a local. Happy riding.
1. It’s scary riding a bike in the city!
2. How did I miss the whole, remove bike by lifting seat instruction?
3. There was one time when three stations were not accepting bikes and my time was running out. It was a race to find an open kiosk! What an adventure (no, not really).