You ALMOST had me, Citi Bike, you ALMOST did.
I got off the train this morning to an absolutely gorgeous day. Beautiful blue skies over Eighth Avenue and not a cloud in the sky. The temperature was in the 70’s and there was a cool breeze blowing. It’s the kind of day that makes you happy to be alive (or specifically for city bike commuters, still alive).
Amazingly, I went to the docks, and the first bike unlocked without a hitch. I couldn’t believe it.
Seeing a ton of bikers in the bike lane and feeling a little more confident than before, I decided to try biking up Eighth again. Smooth sailing until the dreaded spot where the bike lane ends and merges with the taxi lane in front of Port Authority Bus Terminal. But even then, despite a few tight squeezes, I made it up to 52nd, where I rode east to 52nd and 5th.
I was making record time and was having the time of my life doing it. But then, of course, I find that EVERY dock on 52nd and 5th is full.
Seething, I make my way to 51st and Lexington. The docks look ominously full here, and I was pretty much out of options after that–the next nearest station would be about a 15 minute walk to work.
Lo and behold, I saw someone picking up a bike, so we exchanged pleasantries and I took his dock. Okay, gently push. Yellow light. Try again. Yellow light. Try again. Yellow light. SLAM it. Yellow light. Try again. Yellow light.
I finally see one more free dock on the other end of the bikes, and try it. Miraculously, this one docked.
In the afternoon, I skipped out of the office a little early, at 5:45. I lost my bearings a little and wandered around trying to find the bike station at 51st and Lexington again. I got a sick feeling as I saw one Citi Bike after another riding past me; I imagined me walking up to the dock just as the last one was being taken. But no, I ended up getting one of the last ones. I don’t know if Citi Bike really wants to be reinforcing the lesson that slackers who leave work early get the best stuff in life, but that’s exactly what it feels like.
I rode west on 51st and then hung a left on Broadway. I took a right on 47th where the bike path ends and then went the rest of the way on 9th, gingerly going back to 8th by way of 31st. I found one of the last docks in front of Penn. Total trip was 2.73 miles going at an average clip of 10.97 miles per hour, making the total trip in a little less than 15 minutes, which was wonderful and pretty darned close to a personal best (I can generally ride faster than 11 MPH, just not in New York City).
Again, for the second day in a row, a very, very pleasant ride coming and going, although the docks by midtown are still keeping my aggravation level elevated.
Cost per ride: 95/20.5 = $4.63
Stress level: 2 of 10
Aggravation level: 6 of 10