Citi Bike Ride Reports

Uh, so why are there no Bikes in midtown at rush hour? Day 6

I figured this day would come eventually, I just didn’t think it’d be on day six.

So I leave work at 6:30, a pretty normal time to leave work, right? I check the app and see this.

no bikes

That’s right–there are zero, zilch, nada bikes anywhere close to my office near 49th and Madison. I’ve learned by now that when the App shows there is one bike left (where you see the tiny blue tip at the bottom of the bubble), there’s a 100% chance that the one bike in the dock is broken.

Now just an aside to anyone from Citi Bike or Alta that might be reading this. If you’ve sold Citi Bike as a service for people who want to commute from their workplace, WOULDN’T IT MAKE SENSE TO HAVE MORE THAN 20 BIKES AVAILABLE IN AN AREA WHERE HALF A MILLION PEOPLE WORK???!!

But where was I? Oh yes, so just for fun I see how far I can walk to Penn before finding an open Citi Bike. I figure if I stumble upon a bike halfway at the very least I can safe half of my walking time.

So I walk across to 44th and 5th. There’s actually a bike there and its red light isn’t on! Could this be my lucky day?

citi bike station

You guessed it. Like an idiot I stand there trying over and over again to put my key in. Just a yellow light and then nothing. Over and over and over.

yellow light

I walk over to 6th and up to 45th to the next bike station. At least here there wasn’t a lone bike to tease me.

empty citi bike station

I cross over to Broadway and head down to 41st through the crowds and crowds of tourists I was so hoping to avoid. Now mind you, I’ve already walked more than halfway to Penn but I plow on. I get to the bike station and see three bikes!

three bikes at a citi bike station, all dead

But as you guessed, a closer look and they’re all broken.

broken citi bike broken citi bikes

Finally at Broadway and 35th I see a few bikes. Most have red lights on but a few do not.

citi bikes available

Now mind you, I’m pretty much at Penn Station. It would take me less time to walk down 34th to 7th than it would for me to bike, find a parking station, and dock a bike (especially knowing how awful the docks are). But put of principle I undock a bike and ride to the next bike station on 8th.

one block to penn

As you might guess, the first dock didn’t work, and neither did the second. All I got was that damned yellow light and then nothing.

broken bike dock

As tired as I am of posting these repetitive pictures of yellow lights, I’m even more tired of having to deal with these idiotic docks.

But finally, I got there…again, having missed the 7:01 train by five minutes again. But thank you Citi Bike. I had a nice walk from 49th and Madison to Broadway and 35th, and really, really enjoyed the three-minute bike ride.

Per ride cost: I don’t count this as a ride, just an exercise in futility
Aggravation level: 10 of 10
Stress level: 8 of 10


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