One would think the day after Labor Day it would be easy to get a bike. The trains were pretty much empty coming into the city. and sure enough they were plenty of bikes to be had in the morning despite my arrival.
The ride to work Tuesday was very pleasant. We’ve been blessed with mild summer but today it was a bit humid. But otherwise I made it to the 51st and Lexington station with no problem. Well, there was a slight problem as I didn’t read the signs and ended up going all the way down 50th St. and till I hit Second Avenue before realizing I was a block off. But I circled around and found the right one eventually. Even though September had started it was humid outside so I came to work drenched in perspiration. Thank havens for my little Windmere fan.
Coming home was the same sad story. I wanted to leave work early but as usual got stuck doing things until 6 PM. By the time I checked the city like that every single station within a 10 block radius was completely empty. Welcome back to New York City
On Wednesday, I took the early train. To my excitement there were 5 bikes in the docks outside of Penn Station, but I soon realized all of them were broken.
As I was contemplating the situation a woman rode back right in front of me and docked her bike. Of course there was another woman equidistant to me on the other side. I heard the song from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly go through my head as we both made eye contact and froze, seeing who would make the first move. But since I was still on my vacation high and I smiled and waved for her to take the bike. She gave me a look at was half grateful and half incredulous, but she took the bike. For my part, I was rewarded 30 seconds later when the rebalancers came with their fresh haul.
The ride wasn’t too bad. I went up Eighth and across 42nd; going across on 42nd is a little dicey because there’s no bike path so I had to use the bus lane.
The buses were pretty nice about it with the exception of one who seemed intent on tailgating me, even though I was riding much faster than he could go anyway.
The weather today was nice (much nicer than yesterday) so I got to work in relatively dry shape.
I was determined to get a bike today, so I left work early at 5:30 PM (I’m still putting in so many 12-14 hours days I figured I deserve to leave early every now and again). I got to the dock at 51st and Lex, where the Citibike Web site said there were 15 bikes left. But by the time I got there there were only about 5 bikes, and I could see people swarming from all over. So I grabbed one as soon as I could.
My ride took me down Lex and then across on 37th.
Again, a nice ride but a bit harrowing at times due to a lack of bike lanes, so again I used the bike lanes and drafted off other bikers as best as I could to try to avoid traffic. For all the experimentation I’ve done, I think the best rides so far for me are up 8th, across 40th, and up Madison for going to work, and across 50th and down 9th for coming back from work (when I get a bike).
Cost per ride: $95/38=$2.50 per ride
Stress: 4 of 10
Aggravation: 6 of 10