Pretty uneventful two rides today. I got in on the late train and there were plenty of bikes waiting for me on Eighth.
I had my computer bag (a lovely Timbuk2 TSA-Friendly Laptop Bag that my wife and brother-in-law got for me, which is my favorite laptop bag of all time, especially in airports) with me. Inside I had my precious MacBook Pro, as well as some fruit from home.
Citi Bike’s area in front for storage is one of many Citi Bike features that has gotten a lot of flak but I haven’t had too many problems with it. Granted the first time I tried using it I had a small plastic grocery bag, which flew off the second I crossed the intersection at 34th.But I’ve since learned for plastic grocery bags to either put them inside a larger bag OR tie the plastic handle to the metal frame in the bike.
I do like the fact that the carrier is in the front vs on the side where you wouldn’t see if it flew off, and the way they have it today is a lot less goofy looking than having a big wicker basket like on a girl’s bike. Sure, they could do a better job of engineering it, but like I said it’s worked okay for me so far.
To use the basket, you need to put your briefcase, purse, or bag in the front–and make sure you leave anything you wouldn’t want to get crushed at home–this is not the thing for transporting Faberge eggs or Tiffany lamps.
Then, you take the thick elastic cord and wrap it around the front of the bike. There are four “notches” on the placard in front. If you have a large thing to carry, you hook the elastic loop onto the top two notches. If you have something smaller, you’ll need to use your strength but you can hook the elastic onto the bottom notches. The key here is the make sure that your bag is snug and that the elastic is gripping it tight. I usually test it out by slapping my bag a few times.
I rode up Eighth to 40th and cut across–traffic was lighter than usual but I did have the tight squeeze before Bryant Park to contend with. I made my way to Madison to the bike station at 53rd and Madison which–surprise–had no open docks. So I backtracked to 47th and Park.
I actually took a midday ride as well. I needed to go to run some errands at CVS and the Sony Store a few blocks from the office, so I took an afternoon walk. At the Sony Story, I saw a row of stations outsdie and figured, what the heck. So I took a Citi Bike and rode the 5 blocks and 1 avenue from 56th and Madison to 51st and Lex. Granted, walking would have taken me about 8 minutes, while biking took me about 5 minutes, so I saved a whopping 3 minutes. But the ride that time of day was pleasant and the roads pretty clear, so I figured I’d enjoy my membership.
Cost per ride: $95/32.5=$3.06/ride=$2.92
Aggravation level: 6 of 10
Stress level: 4 of 10