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Archive for June, 2014

My First Citi Bike Ride Back to Penn Station (Day 1)

As 6:30 PM rolled around I left work with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation. It was one thing to come on the later train to work, but I wondered if there’s be a single bike within a country mile during the peak of rush hour.

I walked to the same bike rack I left the bike at in the morning. The app said that there were no bikes, but I figured I’d give it a shot anyway.

As expected, the entire row of bikes was gone (Citi Bike Annoyance #10). But coincidentally, as I walked up to the station a young woman rode up and began docking her bike. We exchanged pleasantries and I was able to undock the bike as soon as she docked it. I’ve heard horror stories of people getting in fights over bikes, so I nervously looked over my should to make sure no one else was staking claim to it.

a bike! a bike!

I had a bit of a mission today. It was June 30 and I had two coupons that happened to be expiring today, a $25 gift card to Staples and a free shake at Shake Shack. I checked the app for the nearest bike station to Shake Shack and it was on 45th and Eighth.

The crosstown ride on 49th wasn’t much better than in the morning. No bike lane meant buses hugging the curves, pedestrians scattered like bird mites infesting a kitchen, and something new I discovered–POT HOLES (Citi Bike Annoyance #11). Specifically, the further west you get the more gaping holes there are in the ground, especially in the bike lanes. The Citi Bikes have nice thick tires so they can take a beating when it comes to little dings in the road, but some of those potholes look absolutely gorge-like, the kind that would help you do awesome BMX-like stunts unintentionally.

Speaking of bike lanes, the thought did cross my mind of riding against traffic on the bike lane on Eighth, but common sense prevailed. I wish I could say the same about the dozens of bike messengers and couriers who rode south on Eighth and north on Ninth in a narrow bike lane. They’re just accidents waiting to happen.

Speaking of accidents waiting to happen, once again all along the way delivery trucks were double parked in the bike lane and even police were parked in the bike lanes.

blocking the bike lane

In any case, I made a straight shot down to Ninth, rode the few blocks downtown, and docked a block from the Shack. Happily, the dock I chose happened to have plenty of open spots.

I ended up walking down Eighth to the Staples and then on to Penn. I guess I could have biked but I’m starting to realize that the hassle really isn’t worth it for short trips.

Cost Per Ride: 95/2=$42.50
Stress Level: 6 of 10
Aggravation Level: 4 of 10

My First Citi Bike Ride (Day 1)

I remember growing up, WABC-TV’s John Johnson had a series called “Into the Belly of the Beast”. And boy, does that summarize my first-ever Citi Bike experience.

It actually wasn’t as horrible as I thought, but only because I had been preparing myself mentally for the absolute, absolute worst.

I started the day by taking the late train in, which leaves my hometown at 8:56 AM. The train was unusually crowded for a week that has a holiday in it. As the train approached the City, I started checking the Citi Bike app. To no surprise, the app showed that there were maybe a handful of bikes available around Penn, which I was sure would be completely gone by the time I got above ground.

No Citi Bikes Available


I started planning in my head what I’d do if I couldn’t find a bike. The plan was to walk south on 8th, and if I couldn’t find a bike I’d cross eastward and walk up Broadway. Hopefully I’d find a bike before I walked completely to my destination on 50th.

To my absolute shock, when I got above ground I saw a bike available.

A broken Citi Bike

Just kidding…this bike had the dreaded “red light” on with the seat turned backwards. I see these all the time which leads me to ask…are these Citi Bikes really breaking down every single day or do they intentionally leave these broken bikes in the dock to take up space? In any case, this is Citi Bike Annoyance #2.

But to my shock and amazement, in the distance I saw…

Citi Bikes Available!

That’s right–there were actually a bunch of bikes available. I couldn’t believe my eyes, but I realize it’s because I just happened to be there when the bike redistribution guy was there balancing with docks with bikes he himself biked over from somewhere else.

Citi Bike Redistributor Guy

I gave him a appreciative nod, and he nodded back. We need more guys like this.

Undocking the bike was pretty seamless. I stuck my key into the slot (it took me a little while to figure out that the slot is a weird shape because it was designed for both a card and a key fob, but the key fob glides nicely into the bottom of the slot). Then, I lifted the seat until the LED light turned yellow and then green. And just like that, I had a bike to ride in the City.

Adjusting the seat was pretty easy. Like a regular bike, you just flip a lever out, pull the seat up to your desired height (I like it so that my feet just touch the ground), and then flip the lever in to lock it.

The bike was alright in terms of being comfortable. The first thing that struck me is that the handlebars are really, really thick, like Popeye’s arms.

Citi Bike Handlebars


The turning was a little stiffer than my bike at home, but I never felt out of control. Being a private entity associated with the government, of course they felt a need to fill any empty space that didn’t have a Citibank logo with words. Yield to pedestrians. Stay off the sidewalk. Obey traffic lights. Ride with traffic. Trucks have large blind spots. Give them extra room. They forgot to add one: stop reading all these words we put on your bike that you should have learned in third grade and pay attention to the road.

It took me a little while to figure out how to shift gears on a Citi Bike. At first I assumed that the gear was locked into first.

You can't change gears on a Citi Bike

I was to figure out on my ride home that you can shift the gears by spinning the inside end of the handle clockwise or counter-clockwise.

In any case, I was off. I decided to keep it simple by riding up Eighth Avenue to 50th, and then crossing over to Madison on 50th.

I put my computer bag in the convenient holding area up front, which kind of made me feel like I was riding a girl’s bike with a basket in front.

Computer Bag on Citi Bike

And then so my ride began.

As I suspected, the bike lane on Eighth Avenue had a smattering of pedestrians who decided that they were too good for the sidewalk and wanted to try out this cool new green-colored sidewalk instead. Clueless Pedestrians in the Bike Path = Citi Bike Annoyance #3.

One thing I found very quickly is that pedestrians tend to feel more secure to flaunt the rules of the road when they’re in groups, and so the best way to counteract that is to get together with a group of fellow bikers and reclaim the bike path as a “pack”. Sounds like a bad episode of Game of Thrones, but I guess life is all about forming the right alliances.

A few blocks into my ride, my bag plopped down on the ground. It’s then that I realized that there was an elastic band that I could use to secure it, which I did. A less-than-secure means of securing your bags to your bike would be Citi Bike Annoyance #4.

secure bag on citi bike

Still for the first 3-4 blocks, not a bad ride, although another annoyance were bikers biking the WRONG way on the bike path. Grrrr…. (City Bike Annoyance #5)

Things started to get dicey when I reached around 38th Street. If you look at this picture, you’ll see that the bike path was completely blocked by a delivery truck AND a police car AND a dude talking to the guy in the police car, which meant I had to swerve into a fast-moving lane of cars to avoid them and the various delivery men with their hand trucks (Citi Bike Annoyance #6).

delivery truck and police car blocking bike path

Worse, once I entered the area around Port Authority, the bike lane ends (technically, it becomes a “shared” lane as evidenced by a white drawing of the bike in the middle lane, but the cars and taxis weren’t in much of a sharing mood. (Poor Bike Paths = Citi Bike Annoyance #7)

share the road

To avoid myself being the next white drawing in the middle lane, I scampered to the leftmost lane and did my best Frogger impersonation to avoid being splattered by turning cars.

For a brief stretch after that, the bike path was amazingly clear again. Emphasis on the word “brief”.

clear bike lane

Of course, not knowing how to get out of first gear I couldn’t accelerate to make up for lost time, I just kept pedaling and pedaling like a grandma.

I finally got to 50th Street, when it was time for me to hang a Ralph to make my cross-down ride. As I was crossing the intersection, a dude pulling his street cart suddenly walked in my way, narrowly avoiding me.

Keep in mind that 50th street doesn’t have a bike lane. And judging from the number of buses on the road, it’s pretty much a bus lane.

buses are a menace

As you can see, even if I were down to my fighting weight, there’s no way I could squeeze to the right of this bus. Which meant riding on a busy sidewalk (which the bike told me not to do–I read it on the handlebar), riding behind the bus for the whole length and enjoying the intoxicating fumes, or swerving to the left of the bus.

I chose the third option. Problem is, once I got to the right of this bus, I realized I was to the left of another bus–and they were converging (Buses=Citi Bike Annoyance #8). Suddenly, I felt like Luke Skywalker and muttered “we’re all gonna be a lot thinner”. But happily, I managed to navigate my way past both buses.

At long last, I got to my destination to find this:

full citi bike rack

Every slot in the deck was taken except for two. I quickly grabbed one of them, and about 15 seconds later a young woman got the other one.

So, the next step was trying to figure out how to dock the bike (they spend a lot of time telling you how to get a bike but not a lot telling you how to put it back). I got off the bike and walked it into the dock and I assumed all I had to do was hold it there for a little bit. Nothing. I tried lifting the seat. The LED turned yellow, but I could still pull the bike and and out. Finally, out of desperation I inserted my key. The light turned yellow to green and then the bike locked. You’ll see from tomorrow’s post that yes, you are supposed to just be able to place your bike in the dock, but this dock like many others seems on the verge of dying.

By the way, after I got back to my office, I confirmed from their site that the proper way to return a bike is this:

Push the front wheel of the bike firmly into the bike dock and watch for the green light to blink on. The green light indicates that the bike is properly secured into the dock. If the yellow light on the bike dock stays on or if a red light appears, pull the bike out and try to re-dock into another empty bike dock.

After you dock your bike, wait to make sure the dock displays a green light. This will let you know that your bike is properly docked. Don’t see a green light or want to make sure? Grab the back of the seat and lift up to see if the bike comes back out of the dock. If you can remove the bike from the dock, please try again to dock your bike.

So evidently I did everything right, but for some reason the dock wasn’t cooperating. I did go to the Web site later and confirmed that my bike was indeed returned.

My first citi bike trip

I walked to my office at exactly 9:56 AM, for a door-to-door commute of almost exactly an hour. Mind you that usually when I take the 8:56 AM train, I’m usually at my desk by around 9:40 AM, but that’s because I can hop off the LIRR and onto the E train in a matter of seconds. Here, I had to walk to find the bike station near Penn and walk from the bike station near Rockefeller Center to my office, which took time.

So Citi Bike didn’t save me time–and I was fortunate enough to find a bike at the station I wanted and an empty dock at the station I wanted. I can only imagine how much more time would be added to my commute if I had to search around for a free bike or an empty dock.

Being in the mid-80s outside, I was pretty sweaty (Citi Bike Annoyance #9), but a small fan in my office got me cooler pretty quickly. Luckily I have no meetings today, so if I am stinky I will be so in the comfort of my own office.

Overall, my first Citi Bike experience was pretty much what I expected. It’s not for the faint of heart. If you’re thinking Citi Bike will be a nice leisurely experience where you pop in some headphones and listen to some tunes while taking a peaceful ride up and down town, this is not for you. You have to constantly be on guard for street vendors, pedestrians, other bikes, and cars. Even a dedicated bike lane like the one on Eighth Avenue is riddled with potholes, one of which could easily send you flying. And where there are no dedicated bike lanes, it quickly becomes the Wild West which even the police can’t seem to control.

On the other hand, I have to say I was pretty pleased at how quickly I got a bike and how easily I found a dock (time will tell if either of both of those was just an aberration). And while things were a bit more stressful because it was my first time, I think that should go down as I learn more about the unwritten rules of riding in New York City.

In any case, I’m stuck with it for a year, so I’ll plan on making the most of it.

My Per-Ride Cost: $95
Today’s Stress Value (out of 10): 8
Today’s Aggravation Value (out of 10): 5





Activating the Citi Bike Key

I got my Citi Bike Key on Friday, but I figured I’d hold off on activating the key until the day I was ready to take my first ride. So I waited until after midnight for it to turn into Monday, June 30 (it’s about 1 AM as I write this).

The registration process is pretty easy. You start by finding the number on the back of your Citi Bike key:

citi bike keychain device

Then you log onto the Web site using the username and password you registered with and enter the number there.

activate citi bike

And voila…you can see that my membership is active as of….yesterday???!

Citi Bike's first fail

So, there you have it, my first negative experience with Citi Bike (Citi Bike Annoyance #1), where they stiffed me out of a day of my annual membership and I basically waited up until after midnight for nothing. Bah.

Something else I didn’t like was that after I registered, there really wasn’t much fanfare. You’d think there’d be a “Welcome to Citi Bike” reinforcement message with a recap of how to take your first ride. But none of that today.

And so, I’ll go to sleep tonight and dream of my first ride in the City tomorrow.

Best Bike Helmets for Urban Commuting in Manhattan

As I said, if you got the Citi Bike welcome package in the mail, one thing you got was a $10 off coupon for a new bike helmet.

You can only use the coupon at participating bike shops around the City, but if you don’t have one or have one that’s really old, this is a must-do. Regardless of whether or not there’s a law in place yet in Manhattan, all it takes is for one idiot driver or clueless pedestrian to get in your way and cause an accident. As an avid cyclist for many years who’s had a few falls over the years, every time I see a new Citi Bike rider casually riding alongside traffic without a helmet, I just want to shake them and tell them to go out and get on. It’s one thing to get a couple scrapes and scratches to heal, but something altogether if your head impacts with the ground or a car.

One thing I’d suggest is to do your research on Amazon for which bike helmets commuters rate the highest, and then go into your local bike store. While most bike shops sell the helmets at retail, a lot of bike store owners will cut you a break, especially if you’ll go in often to buy more accessories and get tune-ups from them.

Again, the $10 coupon is good for a limited set of manufacturers. Here are the highest-rated ones on Amazon, along with some quotes from some of the reviews.


Giro Aeon Road Bike Helmet

This is the overall highest rating bike helmet on Amazon right now. It’s not cheap at $250, but word is that it’s comfortable and light, with ample ventilation to help you keep cool, which is perfect for riding in those summer months. One reviewer noted that “it provides additional visibility, which I believe is important as a NYC commuter rider”.


Bell makes a very highly rated Multi-Sport Helmet, but for biking, their Solar Bike Helmet is both economical and very highly rated. Several of the reviews on Amazon recount some pretty horrific bike accidents ranging from minor falls to serious injuries, but over and over again they talk about how this helmet saved them from much worse. It’s the cheapest one on this list in price, but in terms of quality it looks like it rivals all of them.


This Bern Macon Summer Matte EPS Helmet with Visor is typical of Bern helmets in that it’s specially designed for summertime riding, complete with a removable cloth-material visor (a separate Winter liner is available). Since it’s ASTM, CPSC, and EN 1077B/1078, it’s suitable for snow, ski, bike, and skate. There a review from a rider who actually got hit by a cab and hit the pavement with her head and came out of it. As for the look of the helmet, the folks who write the Bern product copy probably said it best when they said that this helmet “doesn’t look like a spaceship landed on your head”.


Nutcase Gen 3 Helmets come in a variety of designs, including an Evel Knievel-like Americana design, an 8 ball design, and my personal favorite, the watermelon design you see to the left. You can see all their designs here. The designs aren’t just for cheeky good looks, but provide 360 degree reflectivity, so you’ll have maximum safety at night. I also like the idea of the magnetic buckle. These also meet both CPSC and ASTM certifications for biking and skateboarding. If you have little kids at home, their Nutcase Little Nutty Bike series lets you get some of the same patterns for the little ones if you’ll be riding together.

Triple Eight

The Triple Eight Certified Rubber Helmet is double-certified, meaning that it meets CPSC safety standards as a bike helmet and ASTM standards for skateboarding, so if you’re into multiple sports, this is the one for you. It sports a high-density ABS outer shell and was supposedly engineered to fit a variety of head shapes. A lot of the reviews are commenting that sizing is a bit tricky, so this is definitely one you’ll want to get fit at a bike shop rather than buy online.



The Uvex Urban Bicycle Helmet is the most highly rated Uvex helmet and has rave reviews from urban riders. It’s been called “super cool for city commutes” and looks “somewhere between a bike helmet and a skateboard helmet”. It’s only 325 grams and has 15 ventilation openings and a soft feel that’s “almost like rubber but it is not soft”. If you like great German engineering, this is the bike helmet for you, and it’s pretty reasonably priced at around $60.


The safety quality of all these helmets are pretty comparable, as they have to be in order to meet CPSC safety standards. That means that it really comes down to your personal style and budget. But the one thing I’ll leave you with is, in a city like New York City. with over 13,000 taxis, over 40,000 livery vehicles, 6,000 buses, 200,000 other bicyclists, over 500,000 walking commuters, and everything from pedicabs to street vendors to horses to motorcyclists to dollar vans weaving in and out, a helmet is the one thing anyone riding a bike in the City cannot be without.

Citi Bike Welcome Packet Unboxing

Just a few days after ordering the annual Citi Bike membership, an envelope arrived in the mail.


envelope containing the citibike welcome letter


The first thing that surprised me was that this was a pretty impressive looking packet. I expect anything with the City’s imprimatur to be dull, filled with legalese, and otherwise not very exciting. But this package looked more like something you’d see from a company like Apple or Amazon.

citibank welcome package contents

The contents were as follows:

  • The outer pamphlet, which provided the following “Get Ready to Ride” tips:
    • Activate your Bike Key – this is something you have to do online once you receive your plastic blue dongle.
    • Review the rules of the road – A reminder of what you should have learned in third grade.
    • Helmets are strongly encouraged –  I’m actually shocked that in such a progressive City that wants to regulate the water you drink and the air you breathe (literally), there still isn’t a bicycle helmet law (growing up in New Jersey, we’ve had such a law on the books for over 20 years).
    • The first 45 minutes of every ride is free – Well, “free” is in the eye of the beholder, given that they’ve just taken $95 from me.
    • Ready to go? Here’s where they provide you your instructions on how to actually use Citi Bike–insert your key into the dock and lift the bike by the seat to remove it. You can return the bike to any station. Firmly insert the bike back into the dock and wait for the green light to appear
  • They also included the blue keychain dongle. It’s a little smaller than a piece of chewing gum and looks like it uses the same RFID technology as other devices like Exxon and Mobil’s Speedpass or your car’s EZ Pass.
  • A one-day pass. I liked this idea, as if I want to come into the City on a weekend with my wife, it’s a good way to
  • A $10 off coupon for a helmet. There’s a $10 coupon good for a bike helmet from Bell, Bern, Bontrager, Giro. Nutcase, Triple Eight, or Uvex. I’ll write a couple suggestions in the next post.

what you get in the citibike welcome package

Finally, there was a letter printed on the brochure that read:

Dear Member:

Congratulations and welcome to Citi Bike! You now have 24/7/365 access to a growing network of Citi Bike stations across Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Enclosed you’ll find important instructions to active your Citi Bike key.

Need a helmet? We’ve included a coupon for you to use at your local bike shop, within the five boroughs, to buy a discounted helmet. Wear it whenever you ride the Citi Bike.

Whether you’re a longtime bicyclist or you haven’t ridding in a while, take a moment to review New York’s bike rules and regulations. Remember to always yield to pedestrians, stay off the sidewalk, obey traffic lights and ride with traffic.

For additional riding tips, more planning resources, station locations, and more, visit citibikenyc.com or download our app for iPhone and Android.

Now go ahead. Unlock a Bike, Unlock New York.

citibike welcome letter


I have to admit, their little packet did a good job of getting me excited about riding. I figured I would wait until Monday morning to register my Citi Bike key, as that way I could get a full year out of it vs. signing up on a Friday and leaving the whole weekend without riding.

And so, let’s ride!

Welcome to my Citi Bike Blog

A few years ago I started the Nutwiisystem blog. The goal of the blog was to take something that’s done every day–playing video games–and figure out ways to trick my brain into exercising without knowing I was exercising. My experiments were wildly successful–I ended up losing around 30-40 pounds on a combination of Wii exercise games and the Nutrisystem diet.

As happens to most people, I eventually gained the weight back because I just didn’t get video game exercise into my regular daily routine, at least not to the extent that the exercise counteracted the otherwise sedentary life I led and the amount of junk I ingested during my daily work routine in the City.

My daily commute takes me from Long Island to Penn Station, and then I have to hop on the E train to get from Penn Station to Madison Avenue near 50th Street where I work. My pattern has been that I generally take the subway from Penn Station in the morning, and then maybe 3 out of 5 weekdays I’ll walk back to Penn from 50th Street, which takes about 20-30 minutes depending on my pace.

When Citi Bike became available in May 2013, I was excited. I could save money AND get a little bit of a workout at the same time. If you do the math, assuming you pay $95 for a Citi Bike membership. First of all, the “26 cents a day” Citi Bike mentions on their site is bunk–that’s assuming you ride once each and every day of the year. But let’s say that 7 weeks I don’t come into the City because of holidays, vacations, personal days, and sick days. And let’s say further that 20 weeks out of the year I can’t ride because of rain or snow or darkness of night. That leaves 25 weeks in the year I do ride. At 5 days a week a 2 rides a day that’s 250 rides in the year. Deduct the number of rides during those weeks that I’d otherwise walk, and that comes out to 175 subway rides I’d be offsetting with bike rides. At which comes out to about .54 cents a ride, or theoretically a savings per year of $342.50 over Metrocard fees.

Of course, this assumes PERFECT conditions. I’ve read horror stories of lines and lines of Citi Bike members waiting for bikes by Penn Station during rush hour, and then fighting each other when a random person returns a bike. I’ve heard other horrific accounts of people walking and walking to find a Citi Bike station with a free bike, and by the time they’ve found one they’ve already walked to their destination. Of course, there are stories of clueless pedestrians walking in the bike lanes, cars using the bike lands to double- and triple-park with no police to enforce it. And the stories are well documented of Citi Bike’s inaccurate iPhone app. The first few weeks that Citi Bike launched, I scoped out the areas by Penn Station and sure enough, I saw a lot of these things with my own eyes. But we’ll see if a year later they haven’t ironed a lot of this out.

So what I’ll do is post a regular update of my own Citi Bike experiences and let you know what I think of it. I’ll also keep a “per ride cost” tally on each post to track how much my per-ride cost is.

So here we go–hang on for the ride of your life!

Wii Sports Club is coming…again

As I mentioned on this blog before, Wii Sports Club has been available for some time as a downloadable title on the Wii U. Even though only a few sports were available, I did put it on my top ten list of Wii U Fitness games. In particular, boxing can provide a fantastic workout, baseball and tennis can get you some light to moderate exercise, and golf and bowling, well, if you’re like my nephew who jumps wildly up and down every time he crushes me in a game, you’ll get a workout there too.

wii sports u box art

While Nintendo originally announced that Wii Sports Resort would be a download-only game, they’ve wised up and decided to make it an actual physical disc. It’s not free like the original Wii Sports, but at $39.99 it’ll be cheaper than most new Wii U games (as well as cheaper than buying them separately online). And if you have a Wii U, I’d say it’s worth it for the much more detailed graphics, the more precise MotionPlus controller support, and the really good online gameplay.

If you’ve already purchased some titles online, it probably makes sense for you to finish buying the rest online (golf was released in December and baseball/boxing became available today). But otherwise, if you can wait until July 25, you can get all the games for a great price–and have a physical disc you can bring to a friends’ house.

You can pre-order it at Amazon here.

Release Date for Gamecube Adapter for Wii U and Super Smash Bros Bundle

I have the feeling that Mark Twain’s line saying “rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated” will be getting used more and more for Nintendo Corporation.

By most accounts, Nintendo has had a few very good weeks lately. The release of Mario Kart 8 saw 1.2 million copies of the game sold, helping to quadruple sales of the Wii U and put it on line to be on par or even surpass sales of the Xbox One and PS4, at least for the month (although that’s not likely to last).

And during the latest E3 conference, a lot of the buzz was about Super Smash Brothers for the Wii U and the 3DS, which we discussed last time.

They provided more details about the use of GameCube controllers and Super Smash Bros. The adapter by itself will be available for a suggested retail price of $19.99. It’ll allow up to four wired or wireless GameCube controllers to be attached to the Wii U.

gamecube adapter smash bros

The company is keeping mum about whether it’ll just work with the handheld GameCube controller, or whether it’d make all GameCube controllers like the CyberBike, DDR Game Pad, Active Life Game Pad compatible as well. It also hasn’t officially mentioned compatibility with games other than Super Smash Bros (although I’d be shocked if they didn’t make it compatible with Virtual Console games). So far, they’ve only officially announced that it’ll work with one controller and game: the classic GameCube handheld controller playing the new Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

[UPDATE: as of 7/16/14, a few retailers like Best Buy have published updated product copy that states things like “Play a variety of games on your Wii U using your classic GameCube controller” and “Play your favorite Wii U games with the controller experience you know and love”. Whether this is a little bit of advanced insider knowledge or a low-level copywriters making stuff up, time will tell. It’s a shame we have to play this guessing game, but something tells me that Nintendo themselves are still figuring this stuff out as we speak as well…]

The official launch date for this adapter in North America has still not been confirmed, although they do say to expect it in “4th Quarter 2014”. You can pre-order it at Amazon for $19.99. If the price drops between now and then Amazon will refund the difference.

gamecube controllers on wii u

There will also be a $99.99 bundle that includes a copy of Super Smash Bros, a brand new GameCube controller with the Super Smash Bros. branding, and the adapter.

From the photos it looks like it’ll take up two of your four precious USB ports on the Wii U, so if you have things like a USB drive and an Ethernet adapter installed, you’re going to start feeling a little squeezed. But a good USB Hub should serve you well if you want to add additional things like a keyboard or a microphone.

Fingers still crossed that the GameCube adapter will bring all those old peripherals to life. Nintendo certainly needs all the help it can get to get old Wii users to make the jump to the Wii U, especially since publishers like Namco Bandai, Konami, and Big Ben seem to have all but abandoned the idea of active gaming with the Wii U.

Gamecube Controller to Wii U adapter from Nintendo is coming

h/t to Jayne for this news 🙂

So it turns out for the release of Smash Bros, Nintendo will be releasing its own Gamecube Controller-to-Wii U adapter, as they just announced on their Twitter feed.

Interestingly, this announcement took just about everyone by surprise. Everyone had pretty much written off Nintendo’s support of the old Gamecube controllers since they ripped out support from the last version of the Wii and all Wii Us. Mayflash had made a valiant attempt to come up with a converter, but as we concluded here, their attempt fell short.

Could this mean that all your old GameCube controllers, such as the Cyberbike, the DDR dance pad, the Active Life gamepad, might have new life on the Wii U? Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Nintendo hasn’t released any other information other than this teaser, so it’s not clear yet whether these will be available to be purchased at retail, bundled with Super Smash Bros for the Wii U, or otherwise. I’ll put up an update once they announce that.

With this announcement, as well as Nintendo’s generous free game promotion for purchasers of Mario Kart 8, it’s clear that Nintendo is trying to use its popular old franchises to try to entice old owners of the Wii to upgrade to the Wii U. We’ll see if they do.