Citi Bike Ride Reports

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 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!

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