On Wednesday the 23rd I had a big presentation in the morning so I took the subway to work so I wouldn’t be panting and sweaty during the presentation. Thank God, the presentation went well, and since I’d gone to work at 5 AM that morning I decided to leave the office earlier, around 4 PM. Of course there were plenty of bikes available at all the docks.
Feeling a little adventurous, I decided to go east again and picked up a bike at 48th and 3rd. The ride south was not bad at all from a traffic perspective–the lanes are wider, cars and trucks generally stay out of your way, and pedestrians seem generally more well-behaved. The one downside is that Third is a LOT hillier than I thought. It felt I was really giving my thighs and legs a real workout.
Still, the roads were pretty clear and it was neat having a new vantage point. I got to ride by the UN and other east side sights, and then hung a right on 33rd. I gently rode my bike right into the dock, and it clicked and locked instantly.
On Thursday the 24th I had to go to work early again for a morning meeting. I wanted desperately to head out early again, but I was so busy I didn’t get out until around 6. I opened the Citi Bike map at my desk starting at about 4:00 and watched helplessly as bikes started disappearing one by one and stations started emptying. I saw there were 8 bikes left at 47th and Park so I walked briskly there to find there was two bikes left without a red light on. As you guessed, the first one I tried didn’t undock. But the second one did.
But as soon as I got on the second one, something seemed weird.
If you look carefully you’ll seee that somehow the handle of this bike had bent downward so that it felt more like one of those tiny bicycles that clowns ride. I tried using my strength to turn the handlebars back to their original position, but it wouldn’t budge. But I was desperate and prepared to ride this defective bike all the way to Penn Station.
But luckily, as I was heading one someone rode in and returned his perfectly fine bike. I docked mine and took his. Citi Bike logged the first ride as a 2 minute and 52 second ride, and the real one as a 15 minute and 21 second ride.
This time I rode down 6th, and boy, was today like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. The offenders today were those guys riding the bicycle rickshaws. Seems like they think they own 6th, so they (mostly empty) kept hogging the bike lanes. There were a few times there’d be room for me to squeeze in between cars, but the bicycle rickshaw guy would zip in front of me and block my way, even though there’s no way his gigantic ricksaw would fit through that narrow space.
And then there are the pedestrians, randomly crossing the streets everywhere without looking and ignoring my little ding-a-ling. On a narrow street westward, a bus came at me from behind and squeezed me to the point where it was about 3 inches from me. Ironically, the cars were the only ones acting somewhat civil and not so self-absorbed.
But I got to the same dock near Penn as yesterday.