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.
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.
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