So I finally tried out Citi Bike last night after getting a membership for my birthday. And yes, it was terrifying! The streets of New York are not for the weak. But it was also a lot of fun and a great workout. Here’s my little review and a few tips for bike riding in the city!
It’s actually a really cheap workout. It costs about $150 for the year for unlimited rides. That’s cheaper than the cost of your own bike, which in a big city like New York, is likely to be stolen/damaged anyway. There’s a ton of drop-off/pick-up locations and they’re relatively easy to find thanks to the app. If Citi Bike continues to expand the way it has been, that means even more locations and a huge decrease in traffic. Plus, it’s environmentally friendly. You can take them for a spin for leisurely rides along the Hudson River (like me!) or in Central Park. Or you can use them as a quick way to get from one place to another or for your morning commute. It’s very easy to get around if you travel within areas with bike lanes!
My biggest complaint is the quality and safety of the bikes. I quickly found out that these bikes were definitely not built with anyone under 5’5″ in mind! I could barely touch the ground, which is very dangerous. I emailed them today to see if they’re working on this. The gears are also a little flimsy so it can sometimes be difficult to speed up or slow down.
- Learn the rules of the road. There’s a lot of great info on the web!
- Take advantage of the Citi Bike app.
- Do as I say and not as I do: wear a helmet!
- Avoid areas without designated bike lanes. Check out bike maps here.
- Surprisingly enough my biggest obstacles weren’t cars. They were pedestrians that wander into the bike lane. Watch out for them.
- Likewise, there’s a ton of potholes, litter, and other obstacles. Keep your eye out.
- I made the mistake of going down a cobblestone road. Pay attention to avoid this before you’re on one.
- Be visible and predictable.