Citibike… I’d been wanting to try it out for a while, so the BF and I figured what better day than the sunny Fourth of July holiday that just passed. Now trust me, I’ve heard and read about the pros and cons of the introduction of this bike share, and honestly I was initially weary about its success. I remember when Bixi Bikes where introduced in my home town of Montreal. Back then I used to drive everywhere, so naturally I was upset when parking spaces were being lost to bicycle paths (especially in a city thats covered in snow half of the year, I mean really?!). And when I finally decided to give the bixis a try, the were so heavy and hard to manoeuvre… needless to say, I wasn’t the biggest fan.
Contrarily, the idea of a bike share program in nyc automatically appealed to me. In a city where it’s a hassle to own a car and where the mta (public transportation system) is often bogged down by delays and closed lines (usually on the days that I’m in a rush), I was excited for these bikes to get rolling. We decided to rent them for a 24 hour period, which is $9.95 and allows you to take a bike out an unlimited number of times within 24 hours for 30 minutes at a time. I originally thought 30 minutes seemed like too little time, but really, it works. The bikes weren’t heavy and were easy to use (I was able to able to shift gears seamlessly), oh and they also have these little bells on them so you can ring away at bikers passing by (… or taxi drivers that are about to run you over). For those of you concerned about riding the streets of nyc, it’s really not as bad as you would think. There’s bike paths sparsely spread throughout and if you need to venture off them (and I guarantee that you will need to at some point) my experience riding in traffic was scary but definitely doable. As long as you stick to one side of the street you’re good and the cars passing by won’t hit you… even if you feel like they will. In terms of releasing and locking the bikes — that went down pretty smoothly too. We only had one issue throughout the day, and it was solved within minutes by a quick call to 311 (…yea I know, they actually pick up and help you!).
Anyway, we had a great day on the bikes and I would definitely use them again!! I must say… riding along the west side next to the Hudson river makes for the perfect day. There’s different options in terms of rental time available as well — $25 for 1 week for unlimited 30 min trips, $95 for 1 year for unlimited 45 min trips, which is really not bad! So the next time you’re in the mood to explore the city, but not in the mood to ride the subway or waste money on a cabby, definitely go the citibike route… I think you’ll love it as much as I did. xox