For my morning commute I picked up a Citi Bike and immediately my seat sank to the bottom. I guess there are still some people who don’t know how to adjust a bike seat. Here’s a refresher for those who need one.
- To the left side there’s a wheel and to the right there’s a lever. Pull the lever up and turn the wheel clockwise to loosen. You want to loosen it to the point where you can move the bike seat up and down to your desired height. This is really a matter of preference, but I like to put my seat high enough that my toes are just touching the ground.
- Once you get the seat to the right height, you’ll want to tighten the wheel by turning it counter-clockwise, to the point where you feel resistance when you push the lever back down. You don’t want it to be too tight that the lever doesn’t go down, but you don’t want it to be too loose (as the guy who had this bike before me did).
- Push the lever in to “lock” the seat in place. Congratulations, you have a perfectly-fitted Citi Bike.
- On at least some of the bikes there’ll be markings so you can remember what number (or between what numbers) the best seat height for you is.
I thought I’d try the East Side to see if the ride were any more pleasant than 8th (where the bike land abruptly ends at Port Authority, 6th (where what bike lane there is is for “suggestion only”), or Madison (where if the construction won’t get you in the beginning, the buses on the right and the cars turning on the left will). I rode all the way to Third on 29th and took a left to get on.
Bad choice. Almost right away, there’s the deafening rat-a-tat-tat of workers tearing up the street. And of course, traffic is horrendous. Now you’d think that someone on a bike could weave in and out of cars and avoid the traffic jam, but these cars were leaving about 6 inches between them and the next car. And that left me sitting on my bike, literally stuck in the middle of traffic. What a country!
Once I cleared one awful traffic jam, two blocks later there was more construction that was blocking off traffic. So again, you have parked cars, double-parked cars, trucks, and cars all trying to fill up about two and a half lanes on the road.
I did get a nice view of the Chrysler Building, though, something you don’t get on the West side.
I finally got to the office at about 10:00. An aggravating way to start the morning,; my average speed is usually anywhere from 8 to 12 MPH, but this time it was about 6 MPH; a jogger could have gone faster than me. But at least for once the aggravation wasn’t Citi Bike’s fault.
That evening I had to get to a Yankee game. Now tonight was Derek Jeter figurine night, so I wanted to get there early as I figured there’d be mad rush of people trying to be the first 18,000. But someone at work scheduled a 4:30 PM meeting, which meant I wasn’t getting there at 5 PM when the gates open as I’d hoped.
So the instant the clock turns 5:00, I rush out of my meeting and out of the office. I’ve walked to the D train before and have been burned by waiting anywhere from 20-40 minutes for it. The only other option was the 4 train. Getting to the 4 train from midtown has always been a dilemma to me; on the map it looks like a pretty short walk but it always feels like I’m walking forever to get to Lexington. So this time I walk to the Citi Bike station at 51st and Lex (still plenty of bikes at this time), get a bike, ride up Park (to avoid going against traffic) and then park at 58th and 3rd to the 59th Street 4 train. I was surprised that Kinetic reported it as a 1.17 mile ride, given that a New York City block is only 1/20th of a mile and I’d only gone nine blocks, but I guess all that turning from Park to Lexington takes a chunk of distance as well.
Oh yes, I did get my figurine, and I did see the Yankees take the field–and get my cheesy Derek Jeter figurine before all those poor folks who were still waiting for the D train.
This was the first time I took Citi Bike for “convenience” to help me do something quick I needed to do in the City as opposed to a long ride or commute, and I have say it worked out well.
Cost per ride: 95/22.5=$4.22 / ride
Aggravation Level: 6 of 10
Stress Level: 6 of 10