Citi Bike Ride Reports

My First Decent Morning Bike Commute: Day 4

So on the fourth day of Citi Biking I experienced something I never thought I would–my first relatively pleasant commute to work.

I should preface by saying:

  • The weather is hot and muggy in the mid-80’s in the early morning. Not fun to show up to work dripping in sweat.
  • The date is July 3, where apparently 99% of the City is allowed to work from home or take the day off. Guess who’s in the “one percent”? 😛

In other words, I don’t expect this to be the norm. But I’ll take it.

I took the late train and got to Penn at about 9:20. I walked up to the nearest bike dock and happened to see the bike rebalancer guy riding away, so there were a fresh set of bikes for me to use. Seeing this was like seeing a leprechaun riding on the top of the Loch Ness Monster onto a UFO.

citi bikes at penn station


But again, remember that this is July 3, so most sane people are starting their Indepdence Day weekends.

I hopped on and started the ride up Eighth. I noticed a lot of bikers crossing town earlier in the high 30’s; I’m guessing they all learned that navigating through Port Authority area with its “shared bike and taxi lane” (which would be somewhat akin to a zoo putting a “shared lion and gazelle lane”) is no fun. But I held my breath and plowed forward anyway.

Learning my lesson about construction on 40th I decided to hang a right at 44th. To my surprise, 44th did have a designated bike lane that cars in motion did a pretty good job of keeping out of. But I can’t say the same for double-parkers. I had to swerve to avoid at least 8 of them, including this delivery truck…

delivery truck double-parked

…this police car with another van in front of it…

police car double parked

…and these happy out-of-towners taking their old sweet time packing their trunk.


But luckily traffic was relatively light and the cars in the one free lane were pretty understanding, so it wasn’t horrible. I gotta say there were a couple tight squeezes in there though.

I got to the notorious 49th and 5th bike station, and sure enough even on July 3 it was jam packed. There were four empty docks. I tried this one…


No yellow light. Okay, how about this one…

broken citi bike rack 1


Nope, okay, let’s try this one.

broken citi bike rack 3
Nope.  But the fourth try was a charm, as I saw the glorious yellow-then-green LED light go on on the very last dock.

citi bikes at penn station


As awesome as the experience I had in Chelsea was yesterday, it’s mind-boggling why Midtown is so poorly managed. They have tons of space, you’d think they could maybe add a few more docks to one of the busiest areas of the City?

In any case, all in all not a bad ride. It took 15 minutes and 51 seconds station-to-station, and I was in the office at around the same time as if I’d taken the subway. Granted, I was pouring buckets of sweat, but a little toweling off with a hand towel, a little desktop fan and good AC is taking care of that…I hope.

Per-trip cost: 95/6=$15.83
Stress Level: 4 of 10
Aggravation Level: 6 of 10


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