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The way to get a Citi Bike at Rush Hour, Wait for a Monsoon – Day 11

Well, it’s July 15, 2014. All day long I’ve been getting these “Emergency Alert” messages on my iPhone that all go something like this:

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I really wish they’d use a sound other than the Emergency Alert System tone that those of us over 40 have been conditioned to freak out at every time we hear it (and breathe a sigh of relief every time we hear “this is only a test”). But that’s a subject for another blog.

Because of the pending monsoons I decided not to bring my helmet to work today and just subway it like old times. I have to admit, after a week of Citi Biking, there was something really nice about getting on the subway this morning instead of biking. The irony is–I love biking. My dream is to pull a Forrest Gump one day and take nothing but a Mastercard and a bike from the East Coast to the West Coast. But the problems with Citi Bike–the broken docks, the empty stations that should be full, the full stations that should be empty–those are the things that hurt the most.

The torrential rain came and went, but by 5:30 not only did the rain stop, the weather was beautiful with blue skies and a nice breeze.
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I walked over to 52nd and 5th. I saw something I never saw before and will likely never see again–a dock full of bikes. The time was 5:32. Evidently the rain had scared off the usual cavalcade of bikers that swarm over that station around that time.

docks with bikes

I didn’t have my helmet with me so I was extra careful. I rode gingerly up 52nd, took a right on 6th, and then rode up 53rd to connect to 9th. Like I said, it turned out to be a beautiful afternoon for biking–there were puddles on the road but nothing too bad, and there were fewer cars and bikes than normal.

my route

My plan almost backfired when I got to Penn and–you guessed, it–all the docks were full. Looks like the rebalancers took the afternoon off because of the rain too. But I got the last dock and amazingly it actually worked the first try.

I went into Penn Station and caught the 5:50 PM train. The door to door about an 18 minute trip, which is much shorter than waklking and even shorter than taking the subway, given the amount of time I have to walk to and from the subway stop.

If only every day were like this, I and probably hundreds of other people would be Citi Biking. If only.

Cost per ride: 95/18.5 = $5.14
Stress level: 2 of 10
Aggravation level: 4 of 10

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